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  #1  
Old 06-25-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Default Shoulders and Blades

I came across an exercise that required you to try to grip a finger/pencil between your shoulder blades. Easy-peazi I thought, without moving your shoulders backwards, the tape said. And suddenly I found it almost as hard to do as wiggling my ears.

A lot of advice differentiates between movement of the shoulder and movement of the shoulder blade and sometimes I think I have a handle on it and then not. The differentiation seems especially important for forward reach/stretch.

Now I've tried the exercise reaching up the wall etc but wondered what other advice you folks might have for learning to control/sense the two as separate entities. :)
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Old 06-25-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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you mean this one?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NphQCsEikiU

I remember too I had no clue what they where talking about when I first saw this and was unable to really seperate the different parts of the shoulder.
It all felt like one big lump.
Its a bit better now, so progress is possible, but the last thing of lifting from the lats and not the shoulder is still a little unclear.
(how can the lats lift?, they only can pull I would think)
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2015
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
I came across an exercise that required you to try to grip a finger/pencil between your shoulder blades. Easy-peazi I thought, without moving your shoulders backwards, the tape said. And suddenly I found it almost as hard to do as wiggling my ears.

A lot of advice differentiates between movement of the shoulder and movement of the shoulder blade and sometimes I think I have a handle on it and then not. The differentiation seems especially important for forward reach/stretch.

Now I've tried the exercise reaching up the wall etc but wondered what other advice you folks might have for learning to control/sense the two as separate entities. :)
i would not do this as an exercise. squeezing of the shoulder blades together is not a good thing to encourage as it produces a winging of the scapula. if you imprint this action, then you may start doing it during activity like swimming. this will lead to bad stabilization of the shoulder and ultimately shoulder problems.

in the past, these things were recommended by PTs and weight trainers. now things are reversing as they have seen the bad effects on shoulder stabilization. well, the weight trainers could help you build up your muscles but big muscles doesn't mean you can stabilize properly during activity....

the best video i've found that clearly explains scapular function/shoulders is Sue Falsone's DVD The Shoulder: http://www.otpbooks.com/dvd/shoulder/

go to the bottom to order the DVD or you buy a digital download version.

you can also watch this video by Evan Osar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mve_pIrXGyo
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Thanks David.
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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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  #5  
Old 06-25-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
you mean this one?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NphQCsEikiU

I remember too I had no clue what they where talking about when I first saw this and was unable to really seperate the different parts of the shoulder.
It all felt like one big lump.
Its a bit better now, so progress is possible, but the last thing of lifting from the lats and not the shoulder is still a little unclear.
(how can the lats lift?, they only can pull I would think)
Exactly so!

Does your encyclopaedic knowledge of Youtube swim videos ever concern you ZT!!! :D

I think I've made a bit of progress recently too and maybe will just focus on that. Mine has been the result of trying to get my spearing arm to extend straight out. I've had to both relax and work harder at the same time, harder in the straightening and more relaxed in terms of a disconnect with the rest of my body.
__________________
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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  #6  
Old 06-26-2015
Ron Bear Ron Bear is offline
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"I've had to both relax and work harder at the same time, harder in the straightening and more relaxed in terms of a disconnect with the rest of my body."

Talvi,
I can totally relate. When I am fresh I spear forward and swim well/ fast. When I get tired I tell my arm to spear forward and what I actually do is pull back with the opposite arm. I actually feel pretty stupid. I am doing something hard instead of something easy when I was already tired in the first place. But what I have found is that instead of telling my arm to spear forward, I can tell my arm to release. That makes no sense to me sitting in my chair right now, but it works (for me) when I am swimming. "I release you forward left arm!" and it spears instead of my right arm pulling back while my left arm stays rigid. Sounds like you are saying something kind of similar with "relaxed in terms of disconnect".
Ron
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Old 06-26-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Bear View Post
"I've had to both relax and work harder at the same time, harder in the straightening and more relaxed in terms of a disconnect with the rest of my body."

Talvi,
I can totally relate. When I am fresh I spear forward and swim well/ fast. When I get tired I tell my arm to spear forward and what I actually do is pull back with the opposite arm. I actually feel pretty stupid. I am doing something hard instead of something easy when I was already tired in the first place. But what I have found is that instead of telling my arm to spear forward, I can tell my arm to release. That makes no sense to me sitting in my chair right now, but it works (for me) when I am swimming. "I release you forward left arm!" and it spears instead of my right arm pulling back while my left arm stays rigid. Sounds like you are saying something kind of similar with "relaxed in terms of disconnect".
Ron
Ron:

I think you are describing what I do when I am tired, and I couldn't figure out how or why I was screwing up!

Your "release" command trick sounds very promising. Sometimes the most simple but unlikely approaches are magically effective. I'll try it next time.
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  #8  
Old 06-27-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Bear View Post
"...what I have found is that instead of telling my arm to spear forward, I can tell my arm to release. ...
Exactly Ron! Very well put.

For me it's the approach I was fortunate to have taught me by my yoga teacher 40+yrs ago (and which I have kept forgetting and rediscovering ever since!!)

Over the last week I've been revisiting yoga practice - the approach that holds yoga as not being the attainment of asanas - and noticed (again!!) many small things about the way my body moves. From lack of symmetry in walking and standing to involuntary head/arm/shoulder etc movement, breath holding etc when I try to modify actions. Why do I ever expect to NOT have these self same issues in my swimming practice?!? :D
__________________
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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  #9  
Old 06-27-2015
Ron Bear Ron Bear is offline
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I took these thoughts with me to the pool last night and had a personal record of sorts.

I had a single goal the whole practice of "fall forward perfectly". To achieve that I alternated two focal points: 1) relax forward (as we were discussing) 2) perfect catch/ EVF.

I have only recently learned how to do this and only at a tempo trainer pace of 1.4 so 1.4 is where I started. It took me 4x 50m at 1.4 to dial it in and then I moved to 1.3. The best 50 meter 1.3 of the evening took 32 strokes and 46 seconds. That is the PR of sorts; not my fastest, but my fastest at 1.3.

The really cool thing for me is that this is out of my green zone in the good direction. My green zone is 35 to 46 strokes. So the 32 strokes at 1.3 indicates that I should be able to swim maximally efficiently at a faster tt pace. I can't actually do that yet (1.2 is coming, but not there yet), but it seems I have unlocked the potential at least.
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Ron, I am green with envy! :) What happens when you swim longer distances?
__________________
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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