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  #1  
Old 03-29-2012
rkadar rkadar is offline
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Default "Glide Is A Dirty Word" ???

I was surprised to see this claim on www.swimtypes.com as it appears to be so contrary to what we have learned via the Total Immersion system.

They even show a video of what they call an "overglider" and I think his form looks great!

To glide or not to glide. That is the swimming question of the day!

Personally I like to glide. It feels good, conserves energy and takes advantage of the natural buoyancy of water. I see other swimmers in my pool exhausting themselves taking twice as many strokes as me and often going slower. Then after 4 laps they have to stop to catch their breath and I keep going and going and going. Something wrong with that???

Below is the excerpt from the site. Thoughts?

Cheers,

Robert

~~~

http://www.swimtypes.com/overglider.html

Glide Is A Dirty Word
Swim Smooth believe that glide is a dirty word in swimming because it encourages swimmers to stop, pause and do nothing at the front of their stroke. This is very bad for your rhythm and timing and greatly harms your catch.

Introducing glide to make your stroke as long as is humanly possible has led many swimmers down a stroke technique cul-de-sac. If you have glide in your stroke it will feel strange at first when you remove it. Don't let this put you off: you'll soon notice improved swimming efficiency as the increased stroke rate starts to feel good.
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2012
rbs24h rbs24h is offline
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transparent, weak
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2012
rkadar rkadar is offline
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Sorry? Don't know what you mean.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Glide is a WONDERFUL word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkadar View Post
Swim Smooth believe that glide is a dirty word in swimming because it encourages swimmers to stop, pause and do nothing at the front of their stroke. . . . Introducing glide to make your stroke as long as is humanly possible.
I think by transparent, Paul may be referring to SwimSmooth's attempt to denigrate TI via coded language they hope people will recognize - albeit without mentioning our name.

However, in doing so they set up a straw man to knock down, and as with all straw men, it's their own construct, not an accurate reflection. As well, perhaps a reflection of their own weak grasp of some critical nuances of technique.

In fact, glide is a misunderstood word, and certainly not a dirty one. Glide is a wonderful, sometimes transforming, experience for anyone who has never known anything but frantic survival stroking. When we do it on a bike it reminds us of why we got so much pleasure from cycling as a kid. When we watch eagles and other raptors glide on updrafts it's mesmerizing and we wish we could experience it.

In the water, glide (you might alternatively call it 'flow') allows you to take advantage of buoyancy and momentum to introduce an invaluable quality of leisure and relaxation into our swimming. This is in fact the source of the artful grace in Shinji's stroke which people find so rare that sometime next year his viral video will become the most-watched swim video of all time.

Here's what we teach and encourage people to practice:
1) To learn to be patient with the lead hand -- and keep the body aligned and stable - while bringing the other hand forward with as much leisure as possible. Contrary to SS's claim of doing 'nothing at the front of the stroke,' a LOT is going on, all of it requiring keen attention and exacting body control. (i) using spinal stabilizers to keep a long, sleek stable body line during recovery; (ii) cultivating a firm grip and applying pressure to the water with the hand and forearm while keeping the water molecules on which you're pressing still.
2) To do this with a range of stroke tempos, sometimes slowing tempo, sometimes speeding it up again.

Also contrary to what SS asserts--'make your stroke as long as humanly possible' - we've taken care to clarify we're advocating they optimize--maximize--Stroke Length.

And what is the form of 'glide' we teach people to avoid in whole stroke? Stopping both the lead hand and the one that's finished pushing back -- i.e. a motionless hand at your hip. That occurs in Skate and Interrupted versions of Switch drills. But the Continuous or Rhythmic versions of those drills are explicitly designed to 'edit out' that pause. SS has failed to edit it out from their web site.
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Last edited by terry : 03-29-2012 at 06:32 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2012
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Default The "Glide" from SwimSmooth

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkadar View Post
I was surprised to see this claim on www.swimtypes.com

http://www.swimtypes.com/overglider.html

Glide Is A Dirty Word
Swim Smooth believe that glide is a dirty word in swimming because it encourages swimmers to stop, pause and do nothing at the front of their stroke. This is very bad for your rhythm and timing and greatly harms your catch.

Introducing glide to make your stroke as long as is humanly possible has led many swimmers down a stroke technique cul-de-sac. If you have glide in your stroke it will feel strange at first when you remove it. Don't let this put you off: you'll soon notice improved swimming efficiency as the increased stroke rate starts to feel good.
Hi Robert,

If you look closely at the "Type 4 - Glide" as SwimSmooth characterizes it, it's not a glide at all, it's a "sink" with some body extension; one video the swimmer is pausing at hip, all are pushing down at beginning of pull and windmilling, lifting recovery arm over body, no anchor or patient lead hand. Looking at "Type 6 - smoothest swimmer in the world", he's *actually* gliding and has a fairly patient lead hand, decent balance, but rolls hips too early, coming in flat up front, over reaching and crossing the center line of body - never taking advantage of weight shift for locomotion.

type 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=s3HhNlysFDs

These six charaterizations from SwimSmooth are cute and charming, but over simplify/mask the real problems of each swimmer - all carry the same windmill stroke with different degrees of poor balance. Type 1-5, the source of the swimmers problem is lack of balance and stability in the water, position second, timing third. The Type 6, aka "Mr Smooth" has good balance, but timing of roll and catch are off - but that comes as a consequence of pulling and kicking and not understanding how to swim with your whole body.

Also, interesting on SwimSmooth website, absolutely no mention of balance. Balance is priority, not negotiable. Without good balance, you do not have a solid platform to work from, will not be able to hold position and streamline, and will not be able to time actions of arms and legs through core using weight shift for forward momentum.

Stuart
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2012
ian mac ian mac is offline
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Default Glide is not a dirty word

Robert,
There are times when I think that the swimsmooth gang are somewhat strident in their approach to swimming. Although I have learned valuable insights from their website, I have always found that Terry and by extension TI's overall philosophy to be of far more value personally.

Every swimmer has their own personal goals. When I watch the beauty and grace of Shinji's videos, I am sure that most swimmers only wish that they could emulate his gracefulness. For most average swimmers, this effortless style will take years of mindful practice to attain.

The cynics from the other website it seems to me often take unfair potshots at TI. Of the 4 swimmers in your mentioned video, all have severe stroke flaws, and I would presume that all TI coaches would love to give them proper instruction on how to mindfully improve using TI methodology.

There is a big difference between gliding and over-gliding. Much of this also has to do with over-rotation, which most of the swimmers in that video suffer from, as well as improper breathing and crossing over the mid line.

Swimsmooth seems to miss the point regarding their discussion of gliding, I feel. Terry has often discussed the universal swimming formula that:
Velocity = distance per stroke (DPS) x stroke rate (SR).
Obviously when we look at Shinji's beautiful swimming, he is not trying to emulate the speed of an Olympian. His DPS is maximized while maintaining a leisurely SR. I would argue that for the average swimmer, this is a far more significant part of the equation to concern oneself with.

Again, it's all about goals. Given that less then 0.5% of all the great and fast swimmers who qualified for the USA Olympic trials will obtain 1 of the possible 52 spots available, most of us will be happy with more modest achievements.

Even within TI, however there is a large group of swimmers who do want to swim their fastest either in pool or open water races, or as part of a tri or bi-athlon. There are forums dedicated to neural and ninja pacing to develop gradual adaptation of improved stroke rate while maximizing distance per stroke. By necessity, maximizing that DPS requires some glide to maximum extension before starting the catch - just not overgliding.

So keep spreading the TI way and enjoy your glide.
Ian Mac
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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I think this statement from swimsmooth is an oversimplification that is not really helpful.

When someone stops all his activity during the stroke and pauses to glide then this might be a hilarious experience and anybody is free to do this, of course. In terms of a good and efficient stroke this is not recommended, in that respect you could say that 'glide is a dirty word' - but why damn it - this is a free world, isn't it.
When someone leaves his hand in front (spearing) for too long in order to glide longer in order to get a lower SPL (strokes per length) this is in terms of an efficient stroke not a good idea either. I still wouldn't call it dirty.
But when someone has a fluent and effective stroke, and always makes a pause with the spearing hand in front without interrupting his stroke, then I can't see what's wrong about it, you have to wait for the recovery of the other arm anyway. You either swim a windmill stroke or use front quadrant timing with glide, there is no other way.
I think those swimsmooth folks that appear to be slightly biased and obviously aim against TI should make up their mind. Or look at their fellow countryman Grant Hackett, watch the nice pause he's got in front - and go home and cry ;-)

PS god, so many answers while I wrote mine... you hit a 'sweatspot' there
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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In reading this thread I am reminded of the motto, often uttered by NRA members: "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

No, TI doesn't teach the profoundly flawed technique demonstrated in the "overglider" videos... but when you ask the subjects of these videos, "How did you learn to swim this way?", they invariably answer: "TI."
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2012
Butiki Butiki is offline
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Somewhere on the SS site (I didn't bookmark it), they talk about "time gap between strokes" to measure the amount of gliding a swimmer has, if any. According to them, if you had a stopwatch and clicked start when the stroking hand leaves the water near the hip (to start recovery), and then clicked stop when the opposite/leading hand starts to move/catch, the time you have is the "time delay or gap between strokes".

In addition, according to them, the smoothest swimmers (by their definition, most efficient, e.g. Thorpe, Hackett, Sun Yang) have a time gap between strokes somewhere between 0.1 and 0.2 seconds. Between 0.3 and 0.7 seconds are the "overgliders". And anything above a 0.7 gap is an extreme overglider. On the opposite end of the scale, there are the "churners" with a negative time gap - their leading hand starts stroking even when back hand has not started recovery.

As an experiment, I timed Shinji in his famous video (and assuming the playback is real-time), his gap is between 0.7 and 0.8 seconds which makes Shinji a borderline extreme over-glider. Made me smile and shake my head.

However, I don't think Shinji swims like that all the time. I also don't believe that it's as black and white as "TI=overgliding". If we take a TI swimmer and raise his stroke rate, he'd still be a TI swimmer, but his gap between strokes would decrease, and by SS definition, the gliding also decreases. The TI swimmer then becomes Mr. Smooth. Like Terry said, strawman.

Last edited by Butiki : 03-30-2012 at 04:05 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2012
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swim2Bfree View Post
... "How did you learn to swim this way?", they invariably answer: "TI."
They also state more than 70% (or was it 80%?) are overgliders. Wonderful how many were taught by TI, isn't it.

Regards
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