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  #11  
Old 12-26-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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As a non-expert I have always wondered if, as we are taught that early vertical forearm is much more efficient than straight arm technique because the vertical portion is achieved much earlier, then why not extend the principle with a co-ordinated earlier flexion of a more distal joint, i.e. the wrist in an "earlier vertical palm" movement; and why stop just there -- in principle "even earlier vertical fingers" would be even more efficient, albeit with ever diminishing returns, and then only assuming the whole very complicated movement could be accomplished accurately and efficiently. I thought this whole thing was a feverish fantasy of mine, because I had never heard of or seen anything like it until this presentation of yours. Does anyone else describe or promote or exhibit this more complicated catch? In my limited experience I have never noticed this before.
You are noit the only one. When I really really want to squeeze the most effective lenght out the stroke I try to move my arm in a gripping position as if its a multi jointhed catterpillar.
First bending finger over the edge, pivott palm, pivot forearm and pivot hand back(to keep it vertical). At shoulder height make one plane of hand /forearm/upperarm and pull shoulder joint together with formed wing back like a one side crucifix exercuse (gymnastic rings),
After that phase the pushing plane becomes smaller again reducing from forearm /hand to only hand at the end of the push.
This all happens in my head, What happens in the real world might be different.

Lack of flexinility is the limiting factorr, especially letting the forearm drop while keeping the lebow in place. Almost impossible for most people. Its easier when the arm entry is relatively wide.
Carefully warch signs of your shoulder. If lifting your arm starts to hurt,when thunbs turned to the ground on dryland you are going too far.
You could possibly go to this edge and let the muscles adapt to the different/increased effort
I get shoulder pain when I suddenly increas time spent on the edge, but if I build it up gradulally there isnt a problem.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-26-2014 at 06:58 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
This all happens in my head, What happens in the real world might be different.
LOL. Story of my life!
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  #13  
Old 12-26-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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At least competetive guys are assuming I have some swimming background nowedays, so I am not completely living in a phantasy world ;-)

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-26-2014 at 07:50 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Hey, ZT, as I was having a shower, I practiced a new visualisation of the early vertical fingers, then palm then forearm idea. Like your idea of a multi-jointed caterpillar, I tried to think of my upper limb as a venetian blind rolling over the far edge of a desktop. As soon as the first panel drops over the edge, it must stay vertical and not keep on curling back. Ditto the second and subsequent panels. Therefore the first flexed joint (between the first and second panels) must straighten out as the second panel starts to go over the edge, and so on.

It's a little complicated, but not impossible, and thinking of the moving "fold" as a continuous flow rather than micromanaging each specific joint and segment, seems a little easier. I'm not sure what significant (water grip) improvement, if any, is achieved by starting by flexing the fingers then the palm, etc., but maybe that's less important than fixing the type of movement in the mind for ease of body language visualisation.

It's a little like hip-hop dance artists doing trick movements with the hands and shoulders and body to create an illusion of a different kind of movement, or even like Michael Jackson's moon walk. I mean you break down the effect you are trying to create into many different micro movements which may initially feel strange and unusual, but you co-ordinate the effect in your mind by visualising the final effect to create an easy "body-language mnemonic". I'm sure that's how we learned to walk, which seems like a trivial task now which we don't really even think about, but which involves a really complicated sequence of body part movements, counter movements and balancing adjustments.

Anyway, for what limited and still clumsy effect I have managed to achieve so far on dry land exercising, well, actually, I was in the shower, it feels really cool.

Last edited by sclim : 12-26-2014 at 07:52 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Hey again, ZT; I just re-jigged it further a bit. My thought experiment in the shower ended with the whole upper limb vertical. I realise now, as your full description fleshes out, that the rest of the pull requires that the sequence be carried out in reverse as the upper limb gets carried back of the line of the shoulder. It's a bit more complicated, because the only way that the elbow can bend the other way is to rotate the shoulder to orientate the bendy direction of the elbow. The hand can extend on the wrist quite easily to stay vertical, and the fingers really can't be fixed to hyperextend on the knuckle joints in any significant degree, so the process ends there, I guess.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Hey Sclim,
Good work practicing the movements on dryland. First it all feels very weird, but when more muscle memory builds it becomes more and more subcontious, so you dont have to think about it anymore.
My description is more a description how a competetive stroke is learned. Getting your fingers over the edge of the table, and gradually work more arm parts over that edge.
But here the edge lies almost on the surface level, In a possible deep spear TI stroke you skip that part and go straight to almost catch position.
This has several advantages inn the learning process, or even later on
- pressure on top of the arm herlps balance and rotation a bit.
- chances of pushing down at the front are deminished
- eassier on the shoulder
-you dont have to think of all these little gestures at the start of the stroke, which temd to distract from the core bodyroll action.
This certainly is a valid point.I am always juggling between combining a smooth solid roll with an optimal caterpillar armpull. Geting both on track simultanously is lke letting the left and right hand of the pianoplayer work together

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-27-2014 at 08:04 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
then why not extend the principle with a co-ordinated earlier flexion of a more distal joint, i.e. the wrist in an "earlier vertical palm"
Terry made a great talk about exactly this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97b6XIntfcc (not sure if it's in part 1 but lots of gold advice here so watch the whole thing)

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Originally Posted by sclim View Post

In trying to copy the exact timing and movements of your animation (maybe an ambitious project for a beginner who hasn't even got a secure grasp of the simple early vertical forearm!), I would worry that your very precise 12 part subdivision of the stroke cycle did actually correspond to equally spaced (time-stamped) segments of the original video.
as I said to Charles the segments are taken from http://www.virtual-swim.com/

I am guessing they modelled his race pace so either 200m or 400m, I think from memory Ian Thorpe is relatively slow and long on the stroke for this event, maybe 70 per minute.

The video is split into 24 frames so I took all the odd numbers. In that respect it should be pretty accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
I love the symmetry of your layout of your 2 sets a and b. This is helpful to co-ordinate the micro-timing of the 2 events of one hand vs the other. But then this requires the analysis has indeed to be precise and hold up under detailed analysis.

Do we know for certain that your 12 beats are actually of equal time segments? Or are these an approximation. I would think that no matter how accurate they might be for one tempo, they would drift away from 12-segment symmetry as the tempo changed, not to mention the differences for different individual styles and body types.

My initial surprise was that the catch started to happen before the opposite hand entry. I had always supposed the "patient lead hand" meant no movement at all before the other entry, and I took this to mean no catch, either, but obviously I had taken this too literally.
The segments hold up for someone wanting to have a long powerful stroke like Ian Thorpe. Rebecca Adlington looks really different.

You want your catch to be fully formed before you apply any power from the opposite spearing arm, for me at least always.

I concentrate on the basics of the three equal pairs for my own swimming but the additional detail of the Thorpe frames I thought were interesting. My learning from it is that I was giving double the time to recovery that Ian does as my 6 segments in the stroke cycle were

spear
stretch
catch
pull
hand exit
recover

by fitting hand exit and recover into one segment he has time to push a few extra inches without delaying the stroke rate. This will be my focus for a couple of weeks.

hope that's a helpful answer. :)
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
hope that's a helpful answer. :)
Absolutely! Complete and useful.
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
My learning from it is that I was giving double the time to recovery that Ian does as my 6 segments in the stroke cycle were

spear
stretch
catch
pull
hand exit
recover

by fitting hand exit and recover into one segment he has time to push a few extra inches without delaying the stroke rate. This will be my focus for a couple of weeks.
I just read that last post again, and mined more useful information out of it that might have been there before; but your explicit stating of the whole point of your "aha" moment suddenly revealed it for me too! Thanks.

I'll try it too; I recognise it might be a little advanced for my stage, but if trying it seems to upset my balance, I'll file it away for now and remember it for future when my other basics are more solid. But your prior point, that the catch must be well formed before pulling on it and that the power comes largely from the opposite spearing arm is still valid to be worked on now for me.
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  #20  
Old 12-29-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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I tried the 6 part stroke cycle scheme this morning. I tried to keep to an exact 6 beat count in my head but that was too complicated -- maybe not enough dry land rehearsal, but I got kinda approximate. I found doing the catch at the same time as the opposite arm was doing the exit + recovery segment seemed to make the catch a little premature, suspiciously close to doing the 180 degree windmill thing, although my stroking arm was bent at the elbow. I thought if I could break that 1/6 segment up further into halves, I could do the exit at the first half and the recovery and catch start at the second half. It seemed to work better, but I can't say for sure if the timing was as exact as I described it. I'll have to think a little more about what actually happened. Anyway, it didn't end in total confusion, which is encouraging.
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