Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 01-25-2015
Danny Danny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442
Danny
Default

If you want to get really depressed, just find your best friend who is about 10 yrs old and skinny and ask him or her to extend their arms over their head with arms straight and hands clasped. The ease with which they do this is astonishing.

My wife suggested a stretching exercise to me, which I just started working on, in part to see if I could identify the muscles that seem to be too tight. Then I started googling to see if I can get their names. I think the first problem is actually in the front, the outside edge of my pectoralis major just under the shoulder.Next in line for complaints is (I think) the latissimus dorsi (the muscle for pull-ups). My range on both sides is so limited, it feels like trying to stretch them out when swimming would just distract me from other more important form questions. When I push off the wall, I never try to clasp my hands at the midline, because I simply can't.

Some dryland stretching can doubtless help in this, but I need to be realistic. I'm never going to be 10 yrs old again. I find that spearing deeper and accepting my limitations works pretty well. But everyone has to make these judgements for themselves.

One more aspect of this seems worth mentioning. I suspect that working on an enhanced vertical forearm (EVF) when your shoulder mobility is as poor as mine is not the best way to go. Since I am already spearing so low, I try to keep my entire arm straight for the front part of the catch and push the ball of water up into my armpit as I'm going over it. I'm still experimenting with when to start bending my elbow in the stroke, but by postponing this process somewhat I found this week that I could knock off 1 or 2 SPL, with no additional effort.

Last edited by Danny : 01-25-2015 at 10:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
If you want to get really depressed, just find your best friend who is about 10 yrs old and skinny and ask him or her to extend their arms over their head with arms straight and hands clasped. The ease with which they do this is astonishing.
I'm not going down that road, Danny. It leads to contemplating one thing after another which they can do that you'll never ever be able to do again. Next thing you know, you're slitting your wrists. I'm turning 67 in a month or so, and the only reason I'm here still is that I didn't go there :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
When I push off the wall, I never try to clasp my hands at the midline, because I simply can't.
To be fair, I think what is more likely is that you can clasp at the midline, but when you try to straighten your elbows it hurts way before they approach your ears. Would it be better off to clasp at the middle and straighten elbows only to the limit of tolerability? Or would that seem too far off base to be useful?

There are 3 simultaneous parts that happen in the ideal movement. Abduction of the humerus on the scapula, that is, the movement of angling towards the midline of the upper arm on the corresponding joint surface of the shoulder-blade, internal rotation of the scapula (the whole shoulder-blade itself swivels around to help the angulation of the humerus towards the midline -- this happens partly in the plane of the blade of the scapula, but the lower point of the triangle that is the scapula loses contact with the posterior rib cage and hangs out over the edge a little), and elevation of the scapula, which is shifting and sliding of the scapula upwards, that is towards the direction of the head.

When I am doing pull-ups on a bar in the morning, after the active pull-ups are done, when I think about it, I try to relax the shoulder muscles completely and try to tolerate a brief passive hang. This achieves a passive stretch to get the 3 movements in the last paragraph going. I have been doing pull-ups for years now, and I am confident in knowing what my muscles can tolerate. Someone starting from scratch would be wise to start gently with 1-2 pull-ups initially assisted by support from your feet on a low platform. Don't do a passive stretch unless the active system has been doing this ok for several weeks.

(I vividly remember doing this for the first time in 1999 -- I was 51 -- I easily knocked off a whole series of pull-ups the first time, no problem. That night I awoke at 2 am screaming in pain from searing burning in both lats that could not be relieved no matter what I tried, and with excruciating exacerbation when I put weight on them, e.g. lying on my back, making sleep impossible. I walked around crippled for three whole days. I'll never forget this lesson in ageing gracefully, or not so, I guess.)

Last edited by sclim : 01-25-2015 at 10:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-25-2015
Danny Danny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442
Danny
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post

When I am doing pull-ups on a bar in the morning, after the active pull-ups are done, when I think about it, I try to relax the shoulder muscles completely and try to tolerate a brief passive hang. This achieves a passive stretch to get the 3 movements in the last paragraph going. I have been doing pull-ups for years now, and I am confident in knowing what my muscles can tolerate. Someone starting from scratch would be wise to start gently with 1-2 pull-ups initially assisted by support from your feet on a low platform. Don't do a passive stretch unless the active system has been doing this ok for several weeks.
This might be a good idea. How long do you hang? I do pull-ups on a somewhat irregular basis. Lately I have been going down to the gym to jog on a treadmill, because it's too cold for me outside, so I have started doing them again. I'm good for about 7, but I don't hang afterwards. I'd like to try this and would be grateful for any tips beyond the warnings you have already given.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Seriously, Danny, the thing I take away from this whole thing, is that we'll never approach the physical potential of the 10 year old. But with our age comes unmatchable experience, and it keeps on astounding me all the accumulated wisdom and insight that has been shared here in this forum, from all the acknowledged experts and even from those strugglers (like me) who have been willing to share their problems and insights in the hope of finding an eventual solution.

Terry's personal swimming performance over the years way beyond his youth is a case in point, but by no means the only one that I can discern from the generous sharing over time of the numerous contributors to this forum describing their failures and successes.

This gives me confidence and the inspiration to strive for continued improvement in performance that thoughtful analysis, patience, trial and error, solidity of purpose, mindful practice, and growing confidence in our ageing selves has every potential to achieve.

What's the alternative, anyway? Just lying down, waiting for death to overtake us?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
This might be a good idea. How long do you hang? I do pull-ups on a somewhat irregular basis. Lately I have been going down to the gym to jog on a treadmill, because it's too cold for me outside, so I have started doing them again. I'm good for about 7, but I don't hang afterwards. I'd like to try this and would be grateful for any tips beyond the warnings you have already given.
No, if you can already do 7, then you've proved you can tolerate some without immediate or delayed onset musculo-skeletal pain.

The underlying principle for increasing loads is WHEN YOU'RE OLD, GO SLOW (see cautionary tale above lol. BTW, notwithstanding the disastrous beginning at age 51, I have progressed sometimes to 16-19 pull-ups in palm facing me mode, sometimes adding an L-sit position if I need to particularly build on core strengthening, such as working up to a martial arts grading test. I mention this to demonstrate that if we oldies go slow, it's amazing how much we can arrive at. I see no current usefulness in trying to further increase the number of pull-ups I can do. But I am now working on palms facing away pull-ups, as these seem to me to match the muscle alignments used in the catch and pull. Having the arm strong enough to pull in the front of chest position would be nice, but I'm not that strong.)

So you should be able to attempt one brief passive hang, gradually relaxing all shoulder and chest muscles but keeping a solid hand grip. Be prepared for any sudden increase in shoulder pain, and just in case, prepare ahead, maybe with a soft mat below to give a softer rushed landing, and being mentally prepared to let go at short notice if the passive stretch is unexpectedly painful.

I would try just one (don't forget this is a new stress on a previously unstressed area), then wait a couple days, in case of delayed onset pain, which you wouldn't want to exacerbate.

Meanwhile, increase the frequency of pull-ups to every day, maybe decreasing the set number initially, maybe to 5 or even 4 or 3 if it gets a little sore. Don't forget the daily accumulation of number of occasions of muscle stress over the week is also an incremental load.

Once you have reliably demonstrated a reliably strengthened pain free active shoulder pull capacity, and a limited passive hang capacity, gradually increase the latter in tiny incremental steps. Pay attention to increased pain with cumulative load (i.e. over several days even of limited reps), and be prepared to back off or even stop for however long it takes. If you find the passive strain is too much at first (it may be surprisingly painful hanging stretching the muscles passively without any muscular lessening of force on the stretched elements), you can stand on a low stool or support, then gradually bend your knees applying partial body wight to the passive stretch, holding it for longer periods -- you get the idea.

Mild ache is ok. More severe, or continually increasing pain has to be respected.
Shoulders can be injured by sudden unexpected or rapidly ramped up accumulated forces. Don't do that. Oh, I'm repeating myself.

Last edited by sclim : 01-26-2015 at 12:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-25-2015
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Middle England
Posts: 159
jafaremraf
Default

hi Robin....great to see some underwater footage of you at last!

You're looking good! My only comment is your head position, which I think you've mentioned in posts and how you prefer to look slightly forward, but to me it seems like it just makes you have to try and reach up with your face to breath and you get that arch in your back. It looks a familiar position to me as I thought I had a similar body position when I saw footage of myself. I've really tried hard to keep my head down and rotate around the crown of my head (like being pulled through the water by a cord attached to the top of my head). I was also feeling tension in my neck after a while and I think holding it slightly up was the cause. The other thing I've gleaned from the forum is to rotate the recovery arm which causes the hand to enter with the palm facing outwards; I think it has helped prevent the dropped elbow, as someone has already mentioned.

All the best
J
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-25-2015
Danny Danny is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442
Danny
Default

sclim, I'm way too disorganized to be able to follow any set of instructions laid out as carefully and in as much detail as the ones you just gave, but I will take your advice to heart to start slowly and very cautiously. I'll let you know what happens, but, rest assured, you bear no responsibility for any potential disasters.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-26-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jafaremraf View Post
The other thing I've gleaned from the forum is to rotate the recovery arm which causes the hand to enter with the palm facing outwards; I think it has helped prevent the dropped elbow, as someone has already mentioned.
Ok on everything else you said, but something about your description triggers a memory of very specific advice from a TI coach to me NOT to do that; i.e. the advice was specifically to (correctly) enter the water like mailing a letter through a mail slot, i.e. with the hand held horizontally, even though the recovering arm had been rotated so the elbow led through the first phase of the recovery.

I'm a novice, and I can't remember the specifics, why the hand was particularly supposed to be held horizontally like that, or whether there were special circumstances where leeway was allowed or even advised for rotation to a thumb entering first orientation. But for myself, I have been beavering away at my drills with a special self imposed strictness to mail the letter horizontally, with a fear that if I allowed my hand to tilt in any way, a lighting bolt would strike me out of the water, or something.

Obviously my insight on this is limited. I would be grateful for someone more knowledgable to wade in and advise on this gap in my knowledge.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-26-2015
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604
CoachDavidShen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
You should check out Marc Evans book, as he does something kind of similar, he calls it loaded & unloaded. In the unloaded hands are on hips. In the loaded hte arms are raised overhead, so not only does it add the upper body but also adds weight to the hips & lower body.
i will put it on the list! trying to get through the plethora of "new" running books out now.

many ways to skin the cat - much of it can be driven by personal preference - i need to write a blog post on my swimmers' assessments and why i use these versus others.

in the end, any drill or movement can be either used for exercise or for testing. if you'll recall the conversation we had in our FB group with coach mat hudson about using the new shorter TI sequence as a test also, to decide whether to use other drills/techniques.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-26-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
CoachSuzanne
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
If you want to get really depressed, just find your best friend who is about 10 yrs old and skinny and ask him or her to extend their arms over their head with arms straight and hands clasped. The ease with which they do this is astonishing.

My wife suggested a stretching exercise to me, which I just started working on, in part to see if I could identify the muscles that seem to be too tight. Then I started googling to see if I can get their names. I think the first problem is actually in the front, the outside edge of my pectoralis major just under the shoulder.Next in line for complaints is (I think) the latissimus dorsi (the muscle for pull-ups). My range on both sides is so limited, it feels like trying to stretch them out when swimming would just distract me from other more important form questions. When I push off the wall, I never try to clasp my hands at the midline, because I simply can't.

Some dryland stretching can doubtless help in this, but I need to be realistic. I'm never going to be 10 yrs old again. I find that spearing deeper and accepting my limitations works pretty well. But everyone has to make these judgements for themselves.

One more aspect of this seems worth mentioning. I suspect that working on an enhanced vertical forearm (EVF) when your shoulder mobility is as poor as mine is not the best way to go. Since I am already spearing so low, I try to keep my entire arm straight for the front part of the catch and push the ball of water up into my armpit as I'm going over it. I'm still experimenting with when to start bending my elbow in the stroke, but by postponing this process somewhat I found this week that I could knock off 1 or 2 SPL, with no additional effort.
Sounds like pec minor and possibly teres minor (or major...get those mixed up).

Check this stretch out. I'm not sure what the words are but this ist he safest of all the stretches I briefly looked at online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO224K6mS2c

These all look good, and practical too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khoNsq-UAW8

this too
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSyEOS3F3dE
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 01-26-2015 at 03:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.