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  #1  
Old 12-09-2013
wetbivybag wetbivybag is offline
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Default Finis Forearm Fulcrum

Hi

Has anybody used these? Do they help with TI technique or do they prevent the slight bend for the initial catch?

T
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Originally Posted by wetbivybag View Post
Hi

Has anybody used these? Do they help with TI technique or do they prevent the slight bend for the initial catch?

T
I tried and hated them. Just putting them on is an unpleasant experience, which obviously doesn't get any better when trying to swim with them.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2013
dgk2009 dgk2009 is offline
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agreed,did one length and took them off.
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2013
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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I have used the fulcrums for students fixated on the pull, pulling to balance or pulling to breath, the wrist bends looking for leverage that isn't there, as well as the dropping elbow that can happen as a consequence. The fulcrums are not comfy (at first), but any change is never comfortable. What I use the fulcrums to help train is to keep forearm and hand on the same plane throughout the stroke, max leverage and feeling pressure on entire arm not just the palm. Swim only short repeats with the fulcrums (50's), slowly and drag fingertips on recovery. Then remove and try to hold same same position, i.e. 50 with fulcrum, 100 without, 50 with .... and so on

Stuart
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Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 12-11-2013 at 01:05 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
I have used the fulcrums for students fixated on the pull, pulling to balance or pulling to breath, the wrist bends looking for leverage that isn't there, as well as the dropping elbow that can happen as a consequence. The fulcrums are not comfy (at first), but any change is never comfortable. What I use the fulcrums to help train is to keep forearm and hand on the same plane throughout the stroke, max leverage and feeling pressure on entire arm not just the palm. Swim only short repeats with the fulcrums (50's), slowly and drag fingertips on recovery. Then remove and try to hold same same position, i.e. 50 with fulcrum, 100 without, 50 with .... and so on

Stuart
MindBodyAndSWIM
OK Coach, I got the Forearm Fulcrums, and on dry land after the initial weirdness, I got the idea right away. Any flexion at the wrist and they fall off. Way more uncompromising feedback than just telling me not to flex at the wrist, to which I nod my head, but proceed to keep on doing exactly what I've always been doing -- flexing at the wrist at the catch and who knows when else, because I'm not paying attention. Your earlier comment regarding your common pet peeve, flexed wrist during the recover on the "Another SPL/TT question" thread surprised me, but took a particular relevance to my practice later on.

During the practice this morning, the distraction due to the new appliance was uppermost, but not overwhelming. The idea was to apply minimal extension pressure to keep the things on, but no more than that. I tended to over extend against the appliance too forcefully, sometimes, causing some distraction, and rarely, because of over concentration, even a bit of pain*. But it worked, in that it almost fell off only once or twice, which means I got the idea. Now to move forward so I'm only applying constant and minimal pressure, and where it automatically happens in the background. (*There was also distracting pain in my right little finger end joint which got kicked and sprained last night in martial arts sparring).

Interesting that one of the times it just about fell off was during the recovery, just before the entry, when I wasn't paying attention, because that's not a moment that was lagged on my radar. I think what happened was that this is a moment I've drilled into my head to apply as much relaxation as possible, and to me this means floppy marionette hand (I've done wiggling/waggling in the past to ensure this) and I guess if I overdo this the wrist goes into flexion.

I rarely got past the distraction stage this morning, so I wasn't able to concentrate much on other experimentation and focus, but one of the things that happened by accident was that on the rare occasions during the propulsive phase of the stroke I suddenly felt a lot of drag resistance on my forearm. I was too focused on other things to make analysis, but it was enough that I flagged a difference, which meant there was a definite deficit in my prior orientation which accidentally got fixed instantaneously. I say accidentally, because I wasn't aware exactly how it happened, but the wrist attitude from the FF was obviously a helping factor. As best I remember it at the time, the critical improvement factor was the degree of forearm rotation i.e. pronation/supination rather than the perpendicular angulation of the long axis, which I have been trying to get, and I think I have been achieving it, but then again, maybe not.

One technical point, I got the Junior version, because the Senior one looked like it might be too big, and length wise they look right, but they end up causing a fixed 20 degree flexion angle at the wrist. The instruction diagram shows the swimmer having a flexion angle too, but maybe 10 degrees. I made it work during practice, but the only off putting thing was in the push-off from the pool wall, with hands overlapped in streamline, the 20 degree bend caused my front to dive down. I had to compensate by arching my back a bit. I also got confused at the end of each lap reaching for the pool rim with the FFs on, but maybe that's a fault and I shouldn't do that.

If there isn't a good reason why I shouldn't do so, I can fix this problem by heating the FFs in hot water and moulding them to my wrist until I get a more neutral position. I'll wait for feedback as to what residual optimal angle I should shoot for.

Last edited by sclim : 05-19-2016 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 05-20-2016
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HI Sclim,

Re: Flexed wrist on recovery. Yup a pet peeve of mine and is wasted motion to manage. A flexed wrist requires tension, but is often perceived as floppy or relaxed. Similar to hanging head no tension in the neck, just hang the hand off the end of the forearm, no tension in the wrist.

Re: Distraction. Yup, that's a good word. But this distraction is as much about isolating the hand and forearm removing unnecessary movement as it is about wearing the fulcrum. But I think it has to do more with the former.

Re: Fulcrum falling off before recovery entry. This is good feedback for you. A common issue is over-reaching recovery, bending wrist 90 degs pointing fingers down at entry - not slicing in fingertips, wrist, elbow as a linear unit. Use that focus on right side with and without fulcrum.

Re: Jr, Sr size. Sounds like the Jr is too small for you, those are really for kids 10-14. I wouldn't modify, just get the Sr. They're only $17 or so.

Stuart
MindBodyAndSWIM

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 05-20-2016 at 05:25 AM.
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  #7  
Old 05-20-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
HI Sclim,

Re: Flexed wrist on recovery. Yup a pet peeve of mine and is wasted motion to manage. A flexed wrist requires tension, but is often perceived as floppy or relaxed. Similar to hanging head no tension in the neck, just hang the hand off the end of the forearm, no tension in the wrist.

Re: Distraction. Yup, that's a good word. But this distraction is as much about isolating the hand and forearm removing unnecessary movement as it is about wearing the fulcrum. But I think it has to do more with the former.

Re: Fulcrum falling off before recovery entry. This is good feedback for you. A common issue is over-reaching recovery, bending wrist 90 degs pointing fingers down at entry - not slicing in fingertips, wrist, elbow as a linear unit. Use that focus on right side with and without fulcrum.

Re: Jr, Sr size. Sounds like the Jr is too small for you, those are really for kids 10-14. I wouldn't modify, just get the Sr. They're only $17 or so.

Stuart
MindBodyAndSWIM
OK, will do. However, I thought I'd check -- in the demo instructions, the swimmer wearing the FF in the diagram, allegedly correctly, seems to have about 10-12 degrees of residual wrist flexion when full extended on the rigid loop of the FF. Isn't this too much? Shouldn't it be more like 0 degrees?

(Haha, btw I sometimes wear kid's sizes in slacks and swim trunks!)

Last edited by sclim : 05-20-2016 at 06:47 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-20-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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I checked out some instructional videos for the Finis Fulcrum. The text and voice over always talks about "neutral wrist position", but the demonstrator swimmers all seem to have a slight flexion angle when using the Forearm Fulcrum that I estimate at 10-15 degrees. So this must be the optimum angle of wrist flexion. Funny no one (at leat on my quick google search!) seems to address this angle or at least name it.

Why not zero degrees?
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Old 05-21-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Today, on the 3rd day of using the FFs, things got a little more comfortable and less distracted by the need to hold the FFs on with just the right pressure -- not too hard and not too loose.

I also was able to spend more focus on rotating the forearm to feel more water traction during the pull, mostly by more pronation (palms down if in the seated position with hands on knees) particularly at the last 1/3 part of the propulsive phase, but also some subtle finer tuning in the first 2/3 which I'm not exactly clear enough on to describe.

There was also another simultaneous process that I was working through (I know, you're not supposed to combine focuses, but I just had to try to implement this new piece of information for me, once I had digested and understood the directive), trying to wait with my lead hand not just until the other spearing hand had more or less reached the elbow before initiating the catch, as I have been used to be trying to do, but to actually wait until the trunk rotation lifted the the lead hand around, and made it the upper hand before initiating the catch and subsequent propulsive phase.

So whether it was the beginning of gelling of better wrist and forearm angles during the catch and propulsive phase due to the FFs, or finally being patient enough to delay the catch until the lead hand was past the neutral position of rotation, to expose the underlying imbalance, and to start working on it from the core instead of the lead hand, I started to get some consistency of left and right balance coming out of the rotation phase ending with the spear.

Today I set off doing 50m repeats with the TT set at 1.35 sec -- a longish tempo, long enough to accomplish some complicated new catch timing skills for me, but short enough so it wasn't trivial, I hoped, and not changing the TT settings.

Earlier in the year I had done more or less this type of distance with a lot of rests, and trying really hard, and was able to do 1:13/50m or so at the 1.35 sec TT setting.

Today I started out at 1:15, got the hang of it and did 11 more (up to 600m cumulative) at 1:12, 1:11 or faster pace per 50m, essentially corresponding to 23 SPL average, which is not bad for me. More importantly, I was achieving this without absolutely killing myself, so this represented a significant improvement, I thought.

I thought I was getting some consistent "wrist proprioception sticking" from the FFs by this time, so I ditched the Fulcrums and started 75m repeats. I was able to sustain the 23 SPL for 3 lengths, and slipped to 24 SPL on the 4th, and I did this for 4 repeats in total. I then successfully did a 100m, holding 23 SPL (I think) for 3 lengths, giving up 1 stroke on the last length, I think, because I ran into another swimmer right at the end. For me this was not bad as it was at the end of 1000m of consistent repeats, although I was getting plenty of rest in between.

So the Fulcrums have been a successful experiment for me, and I think there is still more improvement I can milk out of them, so I'll keep on using them a bit more.

Last edited by sclim : 05-21-2016 at 10:06 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Stuart: I have a sort of Fulcrums question. I know you hate wrist flexion on recovery just before entry, even if the excuse given is that the swimmer was merely trying to demonstrate wrist floppiness and relaxation.

However, earlier in the recover, I have got used to focussing on a low hand trajectory with the fingers brushing the water surface. I really like this because it automatically keeps my recovering arm in the scapular plane or even forward of it, and I have learned to do this automatically now. The Fulcrums make this more awkward, and I think it's because of the extension tension required to hold the Fulcrums on, like you're supposed to.

So, when I eventually ditch the Fulcrums, I intend to keep the rigid wrist throughout catch and pull, and on entry and spear, like you have advised. During the mid recovery, would it be acceptable to relax the hand, even if that allows the wrist and fingers to flop into slight flexion, because that's what I think I naturally do as the fingertips lightly brush the water surface, and it feels quite natural to do so. (I'll stiffen up the wrist and fingers again somewhat going into the entry and spear phase, of course).
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