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Old 05-10-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442

Hi ZT, this is an interesting exercise, although it took me a while to figure out what you were trying to say. With my limited shoulder flexibility, I can only do this exercise when my armpits are at the edge of the mattress, but I did learn some things from it. My right shoulder suffered a separation in a skiing accident years ago, and the joint has a tendency to lock up when I use the right hand and forearm to push against the edge of the mattress. This is something I was already aware of, and it means that I have to rotate more on this side in order to keep my elbow up. I was already aware of this need for the recovery, but I now see that the same is true for the pull phase underwater as well. What I learned from this is that I do need less body rotation than I thought in order to keep that elbow up, at least in the pull phase. I suspect it is the recovery of the right arm where I need it the most. All part of the process of getting to know your own anatomical limitations and how to work around them...

With shoulders like mine, it isn't all that surprising that I have trouble getting my stroke rate down below 1.2 s/cycle. I have to rotate too much and that is slowing me down.

Last edited by Danny : 05-10-2015 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 05-10-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,898

I found it surprising that its easy to forget the extended arm while you try to make a high elbow while not touching the top of the mattress(lots of rīs and tīs) with the other arm.
Its easy to let even that extended arm slip into a dropped elbow shape, what you would probably do in the water.
Its also good te be aware of other tensions in the body that are not needed, like in the neck or in the hands.
If you consciously shut these tensions off and only use the muscles that are needed you get more awareness of these muscles.
Hopefully its possible to remember these basic posture and muscles activation patterns in the pool.

If you try to shove your body forward with the planted hand against the side of the mattress it becomes obvious why so many people have a dropped elbow.
When applying force, the elbow is pulled against the mattress.
The lats may be strong, but but a whole lot of supporting muscles are needed to keep the arm in this high elbow shape if these lat muscles start pulling.
Takes quite some time to build strenght and endurance in those supporting muscles, that are never trained in normal land based movements.
It could be a good starting point not to pull harder with the underwater arm as the supporting muscles can handle keeping the elbow high.
By practising this dryland drill, you could get a sense where that point lies, by searching the pressure level where the elbow starts to drop. Holding static pressure at this point.
In the pool it could mean swimming a lot slower then normally, or pulling less fierce. Hey, thats TI!

In my experience (n=1), this kind of shoulderflexibility and strenght can be improved quite a lot.
Just build it up gradually and back off when shoulders keep on hurting in the extreme shape.

Damn talking about the arms again!
Well, its also about keeping a tight streamline with the rest of the body while doing things with the arm, so in that sense, its still on topic.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 05-10-2015 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 05-12-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
Posts: 1,675

Agree ZT, that's what my sessions are now all about (see end of #5 above): extension of spear quickly (arm in sleeve), holding it fully extended with minimal tension (opening armpit and shoulder) until breath is completed, "disconnecting" spearing arm from the rotation, and yes my shoulders are quite stiff and my head moves when i stretch my arms above my head unless I concentrate. I'm not clear how muh it's actual stiffness and how much a habit to emphasise movements.

Anyway, today's session followed on from the last time so all good. No clear breakthroughs (Garmin can't cope). Swimming using slow TT 1.65 (0.55 x 3) which emphasises the buoyancy phases of stroke.

Wlill need to spend some time figuring out your dryland exercise :) Sounds interesting.
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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Old 05-12-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,898

Head movement becomes very obvious with a snorkel.
Turning the head back before the recovery arm comes over (early breath) also tends to quiet excessive head swinging.
The dryland drill is a bit the opposite of overrotating.
I guess when getting roughly the same feeling in the pool as on dryland you are rotation about 30 degrees and damping some of the rotation in the open armpits and underside of arms.
Thats the opposite of enhancing rotation by spearing deep, so eventually you might want to go to something in the middle.
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