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  #21  
Old 06-21-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Charles,

Quote:
...I'm not sure if it's that's nod. If so I'll immediately start calling that this way....
It is, surely. And it's another very interesting step on the "nodding-ladder". Steps in the ladder for now, provided my correct understanding. Never turn (nodd) your head more than absolutely necessary :

- Ideal streamlined stoke, have a look at the left pool wall, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at the right pool wall, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at surface to right side from below, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at surface to left side from below, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at surface to right side from below and above, parted goggles, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at surface to left side from below and above, parted goggles, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at surface to right side from below and above, parted goggles, and realize your mouth is free, no breathing.
- Ideal streamlined stroke, have a look at surface to left side from below and above, parted goggles, and realize your mouth is free, no breathing.

And here (my pov) your step will fit exactly as step before continues breathing.

Think this ladder is not bad for most of us hobby swimmers from time to time or even more often...

Best regards,
Werner

PS: This ladder seemed not to be my most difficult drills. For me it is/was holding a steady head without turning together with body in my no breathing strokes.
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  #22  
Old 06-21-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
...Second video shows exactly what I'm trying to avoid. She lifts her head while the speared arm and hand (surface parallel!!) pushes down to allow this lift. This will not have positiv effects on our legs or pencil-formed body (mine is more like a guinea pig)...

Last but not least I'm very sceptical transforming stroke characteristics of competing swimmers to my stroke directly. (My slow stroke is around 2:15min per 100m my fastest 1:35min). Charles sometimes mentioned, these guys'll be afraid drowning at my fastest pace. It definitely is a completely other point of view at swimming. Seems to me as putting the cart before the horse from behind.

So I'd say (for me): Never find any excuse for head-lifting, there is none!

Best regards,
Werner
Hmm, sorry about that first video. It is infuriating how the "world wide" web is increasingly parochialized by some! Anyway, here's another of Anna-Karin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqmreJUGm7I

I think this is in danger of becoming a dialogue of the deaf without clearer parameters around what exactly "lifting" comprises. Also your ability is ahead of mine. I've never tried to go fast. Pace is for me a measure of my efficiency and technique. So I guess I don't know what my numbers might be, but my fastest distance pace (500m+) is your slowest, and my fastest short (50/100m) is 15s slower than yours, so I think that may have a bearing on our experience.

In this Ann-Karin video her head, for me, is "lifted". She's a TI coach I think.

In that second iSport video I posted, the woman's head lifts, but as far as I can disect the video what I conclude is that the geometry of her position in the water means that her mouth simply doesn't clear the water if she doesn't lift her head. At 0:34/0:35 her body is fully rotated but her mouth cannot clear the surface, unless she rotates her head closer to 90' or she changes her head's angle. I can't see a way around this.

On the other hand, Anna-Karina, at 0:17 already has a high head position.

At 0:33 in the iSport video, her entire upper body and her whole head (bar 1cm) is underwater. This is despite the fact that her head is angled back slightly. On the other hand, Anna-Karina's upper body, even when flat, is slightly above the water surface (see 0:15). Her head is above the water line and by the same 1cm but she has her head angled down. It seems to me that these minor differences are probably necessitated by slight variance of body density (bone density, volume, fat, lung utilizartion, etc). It can't then be one precise "size" fits all.

My conclusion is that head "lifting" is a bad thing if it kills alignment, introduces stress etc, but having the head too low results in banana-ing to reach the air.

I don't have an answer for myself. I'm trying to find my geometry in the water to figure out what "size" fits me. At the moment I think my head is a bit too low.

I like your steps of breath training. At the moment I struggle with anything other than breathing every other stroke, so it's a chickens and eggs thing. When I get good enough at breathing I'll be able to do the breathing exercises well enough to be able to get better with breathing. I am not currently convinced that stopping swimming to focus only on bi-lateral breathing, or four stroke breathing is the way to go. At the moment I throw in a few strokes of bi-lateral or four stroke or more, to check alignment and then try and improve on what I find, switching sides between lengths, over several lengths, or during lengths.
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
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  #23  
Old 06-21-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Talvi,

thanks for the other link. Yess Anna-Karin does lift her head slightly, but that seems as reaction of other things than breathing. Her head goes down to be aligned, when getting to breath. Think there are some other parts in her stroke which are not pure TI doctrine. But who am I to criticise that? Although if understood right, Anna-Karin has been a world class swimmer who retuned her stroke directed to TI.

Another thing, Suzanne should jump in for better explanation. The scull's joint at spine is (upright) higher than your mouth. So "lifting" your head "relaxed" back wan't help to get your mouth higher than surface. It's necessary to bend your spine. How will you do that without additional (unnecessary) tension? Same when looking half and half with split goggles. If you just bend your head you'll push your mouth deeper, so you have to bend your upper spine into an uncomfortable tensed way even if not in water...

Sure a relaxed head will not be supported totally, it's best washed over by front wave. (May be it's easier for me because a hollow head has enough buoyancy). Same wave which builds the valley trough for our breath.

Quote:
I think this is in danger of becoming a dialogue of the deaf without clearer parameters around what exactly "lifting" comprises.
I totally agree.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #24  
Old 06-22-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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@Werner: You're absolutely right regarding the relative positions of the connection of the spine to the skull (technically the Atlanto-Occipital Joint) and the mouth: in the standing position, the AOJ (no, don't add this to the TI acronym list!) is higher that the mouth. However when the normal person tilts the head to the right (the motion one would take when "lifting the head" while in a horizontal on-the-side position in the water preparing to breath), this tilt never takes place 100% at the AOJ with all the other cervical vertebral joints locked in a straight line on axis. It is actually impossible to do this unless some disease process has locked the other joints, i.e. a "fusion" has taken place either by operation, scarring or by being born like that. The AOJ is only capable by itself of a limited side tilt of very few degrees.

So in real life this tilt normally takes place with a gentle curve occurring in all the cervical vertebrae, with each intervertebral joint contributing a few degrees of lateral tilt (and rotation, too, as it turns out, in the swimming breathing action). Consequently, as the lowest cervical vertebra is about level with the top of the shoulder in the standing position, i.e. considerably lower than the mouth level, the resultant side tilt (=side curve) lifts the mouth a considerable distance out of the water, even with a relatively modest degree of side bend that wouldn't cause an undue amount of tension. (It would be bad for TI balance and streamlining, of course).

Last edited by sclim : 06-22-2014 at 02:05 AM.
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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There seems to me to be a simple way clarify the geometry and physiology at least.

Stand up against a wall/door. The surface of the wall/door is a parallel surface to the surface of the water, which is somewhere on your back. Place your mouth against the door, and then see how your mouth moves relative to the "plane of the water" (aka the door) when you move your head.

While this is not a precise match to the position in water it seems good enough. You could hold a book between your mouth and the door to get a more accurate position. However, with or without a book, tilting/lifting/angling/turning your head moves it clear of the book/door/wall. I can't find a way to "lift" that presses my mouth more forcefully against the door/wall/book.

There is an increase in weight when the head is more out of the water, but as any such increase would only occur for the fraction of a second taken to turn, the differential buoyancy wouldn't have time to come into effect. and sink the whole of the front body.

Sitting here and testing again the idea of "burying" my forhead i.e tilting my head around the AO towards a shoulder, I find little difference in the position of my mouth. Perhaps it is "raised" 5mm or 10mm i.e moved closer to the opposite shoulder, but for me in water, especially open water, such a difference is negligible as wave heights are greater.

Am I missing something? Who is a model for the perfect head position that we can all, at all speeds, attempt to emulate?
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you 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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  #26  
Old 06-22-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello sclim,

Quote:
AOJ (no, don't add this to the TI acronym list!)
LOL! Thanks, also for detailed Facts of the AOJ.

Werner
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  #27  
Old 06-24-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
... Am I missing something? Who is a model for the perfect head position that we can all, at all speeds, attempt to emulate?
Hi Werner, I hope you didn't think I was being sarcastic with my questions. I really would like to know, as this point is also cetral to what I am trying to practice at the moment (the Foundations thread etc).

Can you point me to any videos showing what you think is the ideal position?
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you 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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  #28  
Old 06-24-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Talvi,

hmmmm... Think I can't go around Shinji's most graceful - Video from 1:45min. Although there's a tiny(iest?) body-bumping. His head is just awashed sometimes. Hard to realize on which side he's breathing.

Sure I saw a front view from Charles, where no one will find out his breathing side, maybe he's forgotten himself :-) Don't know how to find it.

Same with an underwater side view video from Mat Hudson. Think Mat's advice is very good one: Put a small stone on your backhead and swim some strokes without breathing. If the stone is still there, head has been aligned well. (It's easier with a small dog's toy ring and cap...)

Sorry not being of more help.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #29  
Old 06-24-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Thanks Werner,

On this Shinji video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJpFVvho0o4 (the one you mean?) there's an u/w shot at 1:02 which seems the best of him re breathing. What I see (besides of course a beautiful swimmer) is that his head moves, away from a perfect spinal alignment, towards his shoulder. You have to put your head on one side to see this, or stand your laptop on its end, then the angles are clearer. Do you see what I mean?

I think in the above water shots the bow wave distorts the picture we see si it's hard to make out the actual spinal alignment. What I feel is that without the bow wave, and the trough it creates, the head needs to be rotated more or moved towards the shoulder to get to the air (as the water level is higher - or in other words it has not been lowered by the bow wave). Without sufficient forward motion this bow wave will be negligible. My guess is that it's negligible at speeds below approximately 2:00/100m.

I hunted a Terry video and found this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC8ZZZhabp4 If you look at eg 1:15, it is as you suggested earlier: his body/spine is 10'-15' off the horizontal. If his body were parallel his head would have to be more "angled".

Not sure where this leaves me as Terry is clearly a great swimmer (even if not as pretty as Shinji - no offence!). So who to model on, who to envision?

When Terry breathes e.g at 0:45, the water bisects his lower goggle, rather than one goggle up and one down, and there isn't much of a distorting bow-wave in that shot either, so it's pretty clear. His mouth can be seen to be fully above the water, no need for any popeye breath, and almost as soon as his recovery hand clears the water, way before it reaches his shoulder.

All interesting re timing also, and I think my conclusion at this point is that at the speeds I swim I need to adopt a less strict approach to my head position than perhaps you do.

What I found that also really interests me is Terry's kick, which can be seen well at 0:46-0:48. Here, his left leg goes down, following his rotation. It doesn't stay at the surface. Then, after that, his right leg kicks. It's quite distinct. He also has a very fast kick that looks to be centred on the power moment of his stroke.

I found it interesting that Terry's stroke rate in this video is 1.50 and Shinji's 1.45 as this is the rate that I think I often gravitate to. Any guess as to how long Shinji's pool is, 25m or 20m?
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov

Last edited by Talvi : 06-24-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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  #30  
Old 06-24-2014
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
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That Terry video is a great find Talvi. It is slightly off topic, but it is interesting to see how relaxed Terry's hands are on entry and whilst his fingers may close ever so slightly during the catch, gaps between his fingers can still be seen. I know it's something you have commented on in your own swimming Talvi and how closing your fingers has made a difference for the better for you. It makes me wonder though just how much of a key element to better performance fingers play?
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