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  #1  
Old 04-23-2017
dk2943
 
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A day or so ago, I got an email from Total Immersion with a link to a blog about separating my fingers. It discussed separating your fingers a little bit during the pull and the scientific reasons for it. I thought it was very interesting, so, when I got in the pool for my regular swim, I tried it. I immediately felt that I was creating a much better water flow.

I always cupped my hands, so now, I am keeping my hands cupped but spread my fingers apart.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2017
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Hi dk2943,

Yes, space between the fingers, but it's really just relaxing the hands, no cupping hand or tension in fingers throughout the stroke cycle. Relaxed hands mean no tension in forearm and allows a fluid recovery as well as (open hand) creates a larger surface area in the water.

Stuart
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2017
Penguin Penguin is offline
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Relaxed, separated, extended fingers are sensitive to small side forces. This is an excellent feedback of how straight you are spearing.
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Old 04-28-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
Relaxed, separated, extended fingers are sensitive to small side forces. This is an excellent feedback of how straight you are spearing.
I have evolved myself to a relaxed moderately widely spaced finger position with a flat plane of finger-palm-forearm, and it feels very nice and natural, with an inclination to be relaxed throughout the stroke cycle, and imparting this relaxation to the rest of the body.

However, I wonder about the extraneous drag penalty I incur during the mail-slot entry and forward spear extension. I wonder if drag can be effectively reduced by closing the spacing of fingers and thumb during these phases. I have experimented a little, and it can be done, but it is difficult to do this without introducing tension into the hand and arm. It probably can be done better (i.e. less or no tension) with practice, but I thought I'd ask for advice here before trying this any further. The benefit is likely small, but I don't know exactly how to quantify it. There is a risk, I guess, of introducing an element of tension into the cycle, no matter how hard one practices, and this tension may negate the small theoretical advantage of less drag on entry and spear.

On thinking about it a bit more, I realise that my relaxed hand does not exactly form a flat plane. In the relaxed finger state there is a small degree of cupping (of the fingers with respect to themselves and the palm). I watch the hand enter out of the corner of my eye, and I notice that at present I do successfully insert this shallow cup from the edge of the cup (fingertip side) first at the approximate angle that seems to offer the least resistance.

I also notice that my relaxed wrist, hand and fingers nevertheless retain just enough firmness so that there is no distortion of the relaxed finger shape, or collapse of the wrist as it hits the water, and as it continues its spear. I now realise that this ideal trajectory (I hope) is made possible by very fine sensitivity and continuous micro-correction of muscles and redirection so that all flow is felt equally on all surfaces of the hand wrist and forearm (i.e. resulting in an exact axial direction of entry and spear). In other words, what seems initially like a simple mechanical action is actually quite a sophisticated movement with continuous small re-directions, requiring high sensitivity to flow sensation. Perhaps this sensitivity is at risk of being lost if I try to eliminate the slight cupping and finger separation on entry and spearing, and tense up as a result.
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2017
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Watch her hands. Two years ago I tried and failed. It's a lot like trying to learn from quadrant timing or 2-beat kick. The natural spear followed by an expanding hand, feeling for grip on the water. Maybe I'll try again this week. Especially visible at 2m30s.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ8iw8q2F9U
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2017
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Dont you guys watch your own demo videos?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC8ZZZhabp4 (around 2 min10)
Look at Terrys fingerspacing.
Enter: hand-fingers together, (no splash mantra)
Feel: -fingers open,
Catch and pull: fingers close a bit again. (dont want too much fingerspacing)
I always found that a quite remarkable feature in his swim.

In the whole picture all that fingerspacing talk is totally irrelevant. (well almost)

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-29-2017 at 07:22 AM.
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello,

don'nt know, what Terry would say, but it's like reaching over and draw a large ball of cake dough

- fingers relaxed together
- fingers spread seperated a little wider to get a good grip
- fingers tend to go together, but the cake's dough holds them seperated a little more than first...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2017
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If you watch Terry's (and Natalie's) hands above surface, hands are soft/relaxed, recovery fluid and natural, slight space between fingers happens as a result of a soft hand. When Terry spears forward, there's some unintentional tension where his fingers spread out a bit, but it's not affecting his grip/hold of the water.

Spearing with tense hands, cupped at forward extension, triggers the impulse to pull. Soft , relaxed hands hold water as you gently press back upon it as the body slides forward.

Stuart
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Dont you guys watch your own demo videos?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC8ZZZhabp4 (around 2 min10)
Look at Terrys fingerspacing.
Enter: hand-fingers together, (no splash mantra)
Feel: -fingers open,
Catch and pull: fingers close a bit again. (dont want too much fingerspacing)
I always found that a quite remarkable feature in his swim.

In the whole picture all that fingerspacing talk is totally irrelevant. (well almost)
Actually, I would describe this slightly differently (only in detail, admittedly). At the moment of entry, yes, fingers and maybe thumb are close together, but not tightly, which is consistent with the relaxation condition.

But immediately after the entry, the fingers and thumb start to spread, especially on his left hand side. I would have thought that maintaining the tightly compacted hand configuration (fingers and thumbs touching each other) would be advantageous (for lack of extraneous drag) also in the spearing forward phase, before the catch. What exactly is the advantage of this opening out of digital spacing during the forward spear?

BTW, I have evolved something like this in my own entry and spear (by my visual observation) just by telling myself to relax, relax, relax during the recovery and poising with just a touch of slowing, not quite a hesitation in mid-air just before the mail slot entry. Maybe my entry is made with slightly a more separated finger and thumb spacing than Terry's example. But definitely I have the relaxed splaying during the lead hand spearing. So I am very interested if there is any advantage of that open finger position, apart from the fact that it feels sooooo relaxed when you do it. Is there any way to preserve this relaxed feeling, and yet perhaps tighten up the finger and thumb approximation a bit?

PS, I couldn't see what Natalie's hands looked like at the moment of entry, but immediately afterwards, while spearing, i.e. when traveling straight forward in the water, the fingers were splayed, and slightly tipped to the little finger side (ulnar deviation) which, to me, did not seem the ideal configuration hydrodynamically, that is from a physics only view-point. Of course I am ignoring the neuro-physiology/kinesiology side of things entirely.

Last edited by sclim : 04-30-2017 at 01:37 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2017
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I have had some good swims by forgetting about the hand.
Just keep that relaxed hand with slighly too much fingerspacing that slips water through and hold that zero tension all the time.
The pressure center on your arm will shift up a bit and you will be swimmig more with forarms also driven a bit more from the body.
The drag of the fingerspacing during forward extension is neglectible against all the other drag sources we are most likely making with feet , legs, snaking etc.
Just let the hands move like a leave on the end of a branch in the wind, but only manage the connection/movemnent of the branch to the treetrunk.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-30-2017 at 07:05 AM.
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