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Old 12-14-2009
greg26 greg26 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: belgium, a cold country... brrr...
Posts: 9
Default on the side , off the stomach , flat .. so many different opinions..

On the side or not.. so many different and controversial opinion about swimming...

Here is bob bowman (phelps coach since ever) explaining us his version of breathing and rotation..
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Old 12-19-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820

Hmmm, Bowman's last comment about being on your side seems like he really meant all the way on your side . Anyone with thoughts about this ?

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Old 12-20-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
TI Coach
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384

I don't hear anything unusual here. Earlier in the piece he said that as swimmers get older they will rotate more. What I get, reading between the lines on this, is that as swimmers get older (practice for more years), they develop a better fine tuned awareness of rotation and can rotate farther without getting stuck. Most of us mortals get stuck if we rotate too far and end up crossing over or recovering the arm behind us. And most of us don't have the flexibility to rotate more. I believe he is saying that once all these errors are completely eliminated, you can increase rotation without consequences. Then you must ask if that rotation adds benefit for your body. Our bodies will not be like the elite, so we may never benefit from that extra rotation.
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Old 12-20-2009
RadSwim RadSwim is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 201

I have a different take on all of the recent discussion regarding rotation.

5 years ago, when I started TI, rotation meant drills featuring stacked shoulders and belly button facing the side wall. With that training, many of us learned to over-rotate while swimming whole stroke. I still can swim whole stroke with 90 degree rotation, although I have learned to rotate much less.

I can now get away with much less body rotation than in my old 90 degree rotation days because I have much greater control over my balance and my swimming posture is much better, with a less curved upper back and more optimal neck (straighter) neck position.

Last summer, I swam with a "vintage-TI-trained" triathlete who swam the Ironman with 90 degree body roll and a stroke rate of 2.0 sec per arm pull -- it was amazing how much he improved with a 45 degree body roll and a 1.3 sec stroke rate.

Recognizing that "vintage TI" was teaching its disciples to over-rotate, Terry has progressively reduced emphasis on body rotation -- which is a good thing. However, based on recent posts from new students, some TI students may be learning to swim too flat and are experiencing problems breathing as a result.

In the video clip, Bob Bowman is addressing his remarks to age-group (ages 8 to 14) swimmers, many of whom have learned to swim without much body roll at all. His message to spend as much time on your side as possible makes sense in this context.

Middle-aged adults like me probably need to rotate more than children, since our necks and upper backs are less flexible and cannot twist and bend to allow flatter swimming.

Most of us are going to find an optimal body roll at about 45 degrees -- more on breathing strokes and less on non-breathing strokes (range 30 - 60 degrees).

I think a good message to send is "just enough rotation" means "45 degrees plus/minus 15 degrees."

My 2 cents worth,
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Old 12-21-2009
gooner gooner is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 13

Radswim, these are exactly my thoughts on the subject.
Unfortunately these are the problems we have learning from books, dvds etc. I often read posts here and wonder if I'm over rotating when in actual fact I've recently realised more rotation would be beneficial, especial when breathing.
A good analogy is from Harvey Penick, golf guru, who said : "When I ask you to take an aspirin, please don't take the whole bottle."
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