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  #11  
Old 10-13-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart, thanks for the clip of Mandy. When I watch her, what I notice is that her shoulders are stationary, not rotating like a paddle during recovery (as I just mentioned in my post above). Instead, it seems that only the arm is moving. As you may recall (because you were part of earlier discussions on this subject) I am trying to find workarounds for a bad shoulder. I don't think I can do what Mandy is demonstrating on dry land, certainly not when recovering with my bad shoulder. This is why, as I said above, rotating both shoulders somewhat like a kayak paddle as I recover seems like a viable option. By doing that, my catch shoulder can remain in an elbow up position without stressing it. So that's why I'm trying to explore these various options.
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2015
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Hi Danny,

Yup understand. I've worked with many swimmers with a large range of shoulder issues from injury, overuse and otherwise. Use the Swing rehearsal to see what your range and limits are. If you can't get your elbow above the shoulder, it's probably time to see PT if you are not already seeing one. One swimmer I had could not get his elbow much above shoulder on either right or lift arm, anything higher - pain. He went to PT for around two months to gain more shoulder mobility; he came back and could raise or lead with elbow on top / in front of head.

Another rehearsal, using both arms I use before swimming to open up rotator and get the blood flowing. This is also a range of motion, rotator mobility check (in swing) too, i.e. can you swing hands (palm facing down) above your head: Swing vs Lifting Elbow

Good luck!

Stuart
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Danny,

Yup understand. I've worked with many swimmers with a large range of shoulder issues from injury, overuse and otherwise. Use the Swing rehearsal to see what your range and limits are. If you can't get your elbow above the shoulder, it's probably time to see PT if you are not already seeing one. One swimmer I had could not get his elbow much above shoulder on either right or lift arm, anything higher - pain. He went to PT for around two months to gain more shoulder mobility; he came back and could raise or lead with elbow on top / in front of head.

Another rehearsal, using both arms I use before swimming to open up rotator and get the blood flowing. This is also a range of motion, rotator mobility check (in swing) too, i.e. can you swing hands (palm facing down) above your head: Swing vs Lifting Elbow

Good luck!

Stuart
Hi Stuart,

When I do the test shown at the end of Swing vs Lifting Elbow, where I place both hands on top of each other and raise my elbows, my right side gets stuck somewhere under my nose. However, if I lay both forearms on top of each other, so that the fingers of one hand reach the elbow of the other, then I can raise my arms over my head. This is the limitation imposed by my shoulder. I should mention that this limitation is not due to tight muscles or tendons, but rather because the joint itself doesn't function properly due to a shoulder separation years ago. Having just finished 6 weeks of PT for my hips (arthritis...) I am reluctant to go back pursuing this. So I am looking for compromises. I do stretch my shoulders to try to maintain some range of motion, but I am never going to win any beauty or flexibility contests. Rotating my shoulders like a kayak paddle as I recover might work if I spend some time practicing it in the water. Only time will tell.

Thanks for your help!
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2015
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Hi Danny,

Got it, getting your elbow to your nose is just about enough, this is forward enough such that the forearm will pivot about the elbow to slice in just in front of head and not trigger recovery arm to lay on surface.

One more test I do on swimmers with limited shoulder rotation, and if you can bear with me, give this a try. I don't have a video, so I will keep this a brief as I can.

Standing, face a mirror from waist up if possible. Rotate body 45 degs so the left shoulder is facing toward mirror (hips, shoulders, feet on same plane). Both arms/hands relaxed at your sides, keep eyes looking at your nose in the mirror; now rotate right arm, straight/extended (no bend in elbow) in largest complete circle, 360 degs.

Are you able to make a complete circle without pain or shoulder getting stuck? If shoulder gets stuck, given your shoulder represents the center of the circle, where on the circle does this happen (back/lower, back/upper, front/upper, or front/lower quadrant)?

Stuart
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Old 10-14-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Danny,

Got it, getting your elbow to your nose is just about enough, this is forward enough such that the forearm will pivot about the elbow to slice in just in front of head and not trigger recovery arm to lay on surface.

One more test I do on swimmers with limited shoulder rotation, and if you can bear with me, give this a try. I don't have a video, so I will keep this a brief as I can.

Standing, face a mirror from waist up if possible. Rotate body 45 degs so the left shoulder is facing toward mirror (hips, shoulders, feet on same plane). Both arms/hands relaxed at your sides, keep eyes looking at your nose in the mirror; now rotate right arm, straight/extended (no bend in elbow) in largest complete circle, 360 degs.

Are you able to make a complete circle without pain or shoulder getting stuck? If shoulder gets stuck, given your shoulder represents the center of the circle, where on the circle does this happen (back/lower, back/upper, front/upper, or front/lower quadrant)?

Stuart
Hi Stuart,

I am grateful for you willingness to think about my problem, and will enthusiastically try any such tests you propose. They help me to understand where my limitations are. So I just tried the one you proposed above. There are two ways I can do this exercise. The first way is to sweep out a conical shape with my arm as I rotate, as opposed to keeping the whole arm and shoulder in one plane. The narrower I make the solid angle of the cone, the easier this exercies becomes for me. I would say that, if my arm points somewhere between 10 and 11 o'clock at the highest point of the trajectory, then I can execute the swing easily. If I try to move it higher than that, then it locks up. The place where it locks up is somewhat in back of the highest point, again at around 11 o'clock to the highest point (back/upper). I think this is a good test because it illustrates some of the compromises I need to make in my recovery. I am aiming for a recovery that swings my arm in the conical shape, and this will shorten my reach in both the forward and rear direction. However, by rotating my shoulders with the arm, I can recover some of that reach, which is the strategy I think I am aiming at.

I did get a chance to try some of these things in the water this morning, and I was pleased with the results. This is still work in progress, but it holds the potential for making my recovery relaxed and pain free. I still need to focus on holding my grip on the water in the catch while doing this, and also maintaining a stable body line, but practice should help at this.

Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated. Thanks,

Danny
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  #16  
Old 10-14-2015
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Danny!

Yes, perfectly described. Rotating your arm about the shoulder/rotator following a conical shape. If you can rotate 360 with arm between 10 & 11 o'clock without getting stuck or pain, then you have plenty of range and don't have to compromise motion. I've had serious rotator injury, right shoulder, 12 or so years ago. I also have range limitations, cannot bring my hand higher than 11 o'clock either. The good news is you don't want that arm directly above the body 12 o'clock, and needs to be outside the torso between 10 and 11 o'clock.

Now that you know you have the range of motion in the "high-swing" rehearsal, try this in the pool in freestyle. Again, I don't have a video (but you've prompted me to make a couple more) and I'll try to be brief:

High-swing drill/exercise in freestyle: Rather than trying to get to a rag-doll forearm, think straight arm recovery like you did in the last dryland rehearsal. This is not a windmil since you are holding a long skating edge on opposite side, rotate recovery arm along that wide (10-11 o'clock canonical) path and as it gets into the front/upper quadrant, let recovery arm drive in. Use the momentum and weight of recovery drive/slice arm in. The recovery will naturally start to hinge at elbow in the upper/front quad. Don't slow the momentum as recovery arm drives; don't lay flat at entry, hand/arm slice in and it will feel like a steep angle. Both arms still move independently like in front-quad stroke, swinging one arm at a time. You can also bring in the focal point, trade hands so lead arm doesn't start to pull during the high-swing recovery.

The high-swing drill/focus does three primary things, 1. releases tension in shoulder than many of us hold on to, 2. discover range of shoulder motion and if there are limitations and if motion compromises are necessary, 3. feel and discover the momentum and weight of the recovery arm that drives rotation connecting arms to the core - driving energy forward.

It's a high straight arm recovery following that canonical shape between 10 & 11 o'clock. If you experience any sharp pain, of course, stop and don't continue with this drill/focus.

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 10-14-2015 at 06:31 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Danny!

High-swing drill/exercise in freestyle: Rather than trying to get to a rag-doll forearm, think straight arm recovery like you did in the last dryland rehearsal. This is not a windmil since you are holding a long skating edge on opposite side, rotate recovery arm along that wide (10-11 o'clock canonical) path and as it gets into the front/upper quadrant, let recovery arm drive in. Use the momentum and weight of recovery drive/slice arm in. The recovery will naturally start to hinge at elbow in the upper/front quad. Don't slow the momentum as recovery arm drives; don't lay flat at entry, hand/arm slice in and it will feel like a steep angle. Both arms still move independently like in front-quad stroke, swinging one arm at a time. You can also bring in the focal point, trade hands so lead arm doesn't start to pull during the high-swing recovery.

The high-swing drill/focus does three primary things, 1. releases tension in shoulder than many of us hold on to, 2. discover range of shoulder motion and if there are limitations and if motion compromises are necessary, 3. feel and discover the momentum and weight of the recovery arm that drives rotation connecting arms to the core - driving energy forward.

It's a high straight arm recovery following that canonical shape between 10 & 11 o'clock. If you experience any sharp pain, of course, stop and don't continue with this drill/focus.

Stuart
Hi Stuart,

Not sure I follow all of this, so let me ask some questions.

For context, I have been trying to do this conical shaped recovery that I think you are describing, but with elbow-up, so that the finger tips drag in the water. It seems to work fairly well for me, unless I increase my stroke rate too much, and then the elbow starts to straighten, perhaps in the way you are suggesting in the drill you propose. So I am working on being able to increase the stroke rate and still keep the elbow up, and I am a little worried that your drill will undo the habits I have been trying to ingrain. That said, if there is something specific I can learn from keeping the elbow straight, I'm more than ready to try it. Or do you think I'm past that point already?

Key to all of this for me is to have my forward arm completely weightless during recovery, and also to use my shoulders to extend my reach both forward and backwards during the stroke. Does all of this make sense to you?

One of the key things I am trying to visualize in the drill you propose is my elbow rotation as my hand comes out of the water in the back. For elbow up recovery, that elbow is turned outward, so it can easily go into the elbow up position. If I were to try to do the drill you suggest with my arm turned in this direction, it will lock up. In order to do your drill, I would have to turn my elbow inward towards my body as the hand comes out of the water. Then I can swing the arm forward in a straight position as you suggest. But, as I said, I am trying to ingrain the elbow out position as my hand comes out in the back, and I am a little concerned about breaking this habit.

So maybe you can provide some more details about this before I try it.

Thanks as always for you interest in my problems!
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  #18  
Old 10-14-2015
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Yeah, don't be too worried where the elbow is pointed or keeping pointed in one direction throughout recovery since it can't with straight arm. The elbow will point up (and palm faces up) as recovery hand exits water at hip. As arm swings high your arm naturally rotates about the rotator, at mid (high swing) recovery, the palm will face away from body, and as recovery hand/arm approaches recovery entry, arm/hand continues to rotate together, (four) fingers should slice in at entry, aka the "mail slot". In the high swing focus, don't worry about the elbow, let it rotate as recovery arm swings high from exit to entry.

Take note of this arm axis rotation during the dryland rehearsal too.

Stuart
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Stuart,

The drill you are suggesting sounds a lot like the recovey that Shelley Ripple is showing here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb1Supmb2TQ
Do you see any differences between what you are suggesting and her recovery? What I also like about this recovery is how clearly you can see her shoulders rotating like a kayak paddle to extend her reach both forwards and backwards.
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2015
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Hi Danny,

We must be in same time zone since we both answer in morning, or mroning where I'm located PST.

I like Shelly's video, the emphasis on recovery, humerus (upper arm bone) on same plane as the back as arm recovers forward. But the only difference is extending the forearm in line with the humerus where both humerus and forearm are on the same plane as the back in recovery. And especially like Shelly noting not stalling (stopping momentum) of recovery at hip from pulling through fast over the hip, but rather carry that momentum forward on recovery swinging wide - nice!

Here's a video from speedo of Nathan Adrian of what the drill/focus looks like - but turn off the sound and watch recovery arm above the surface, see 0:17-0:25 and 2:25-2:35: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SONx52cyltI

Although this is Adrian's demo of his stroke, I have swimmers with tight shoulders or tense shoulders do this high swing to feel full range of recovery and motion in shoulder carrying momentum forward. Adrian enters in sometimes thumbs first; make sure to enter four fingers first palm facing down. After entry and at full extension, fingers should extend down on the same sloping plane as the extended arm - Adrian scoops his hand up a bit.

Once you are able to do the high/wide swing in freestyle, start to work on relaxing the forearm just a bit while maintaining high elbow position as if the arm were still extended straight. Follow this progression continuing to relax forearm (keeping elbow high) until fingertips tips touch the water. I often break the recovery into three positions: 1. High-swing (straight arm), 2. begin to relax forearm (hinging at elbow) maintaining high elbow, 3. relax forearm until dragging fingertips or tickling water. Swimmers start to become aware whether forearm is extended straight/high or hinged at elbow dragging fingertips, the circular path recovery the recovery elbow takes remains the same.

Stuart
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