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  #1  
Old 02-16-2014
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Default Hip Drive and the Speed of All that Follows

While we have some threads on hip-drive, I thought I'd add my own recent wondering. I'm finding is that it's hard to coordinate the speed at which the hips rotate with the speed of the switch, and the speed of the anchor. Some metaphors for example, which seem different than swimming, because everything happens at the same speed: fast.

In karate, the hip-drive rotates the trunk and shoulders, one arm-hand is forced forward, and another is pulled back in equal force. The two happen at basically the same speed and are balanced.

In tennis, the lead hand helps sight, the racket arm-hand is cocked behind. The force is generated by the hips, trunk, shoulders. The lead hand swings around and back at roughly the same speed as the racquet hand/arm move around and forward.

But in swimming, 1) the kick is a pretty quick flick 2) the hip drive is a little slower due to more mass but it's still pretty quick and 3) the switch of leading shoulders/hands follows at roughly the speed of the hips. The bummer in all of this (!) is anchoring hand. Ideally it seems like this needs/wants to be slower than all the other moving parts so that it doesn't slip.

Basically, I notice that if I focus on my hip drive, my anchoring hand pulls too fast (sorry for the dirty word) and slips. On the other hand, if I focus on tree-hugging a large mass of water, anchoring and moving past it, I seem to miss out on the power of the kick and hip-drive.

So that's my dilemma. I get the feeling there are gains to being able to have it all, but I seem to be trading one for the other. I also find that if I focus on the big slow anchor, my core muscle flex time is so long that it interferes with grabbing a quick bite of air. All timing issues. Curious if there's a right answer. Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2014
Danny Danny is offline
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Not sure if this will help, and I also posted a thread on this a while ago, but I would try the one-armed drills for help in this. In the thread I posted on this, there were 2 different versions that were discussed, one advocated by Charles and the other by Suzanne. I wound up focussing on Suzanne's because I think it is easier to learn and helps perhaps more with the kind of issues you are talking about. For more than a month now, I have been spending about half of my workouts doing one-armed drills, and I keep doing them, because I am still learning things from them and I think my technique is still benefitting from them. The question I keep asking myself is why they are so helpful, and this is a little hard to answer, which makes it all the more mysterious. Here are my thoughts on this, which are hopefully relevant to the question you are asking.

With two armed swimming, we can use the weight of our recovering arm to initiate body rotation, especially because it is out of the water and thus "weighs more". With one-armed swimming, you lose that help in body rotation on one side, and this means that you are going to have to work more with hip rotation to compensate for this loss. If you spend enough time doing this, it forces you to start concentrating more on initiating body rotation with your hips and how to coordinate it with your arms. An additional help is the fact that the one-armed drills seem to slow the whole process down. When I am doing these drills, I often feel as if I am watching my own swimming in slow motion. When you swim with two arms, you can slow the stroke rate down, but the weight shift (the critical point where coordination between the hips and the arms occurs) still seems to happen rather quickly. In contrast, I feel like this process happens more slowly with the one-armed drill, and this helps me with the coordination issues you raised. I slow the process down even further by doing the one-armed drill with my hand in a closed fist, which I recommend.

There is more discussion on how to do these drills in the thread I mentioned. Two key learnings for me were (1) How to coordinate body rotation with the bobbing motion caused by your recovering arm and (2) How to feel the kick and rotate as a sort of undulation, which powers the stroke.

I hope all of this is at least somewhat relevant! Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2014
Ken B Ken B is offline
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Tomoy, I have been on this TI trip for about 7 years. I have enjoyed easy swimming from early on but I've been aware that my speed was not good. I have worked on all the exercises and am happy with my execution of the separate parts.By that I mean things like relaxed recovery, quiet entry, patient hand, floating head, easy breathing, but speed eluded me. Recently I remembered Terry's story of discovering the power of diagonal kick and spear. I have only had 2 long swims in the estuary since I practised it and I admit that I have no metrics but the difference in feeling is miraculous. I have found if I wait till my recovering hand has quietly entered the water and then extend my body diagonally everything happens in perfect time. My downside leg has risen naturally, the diagonal stretch tightens my quad, my knee bends a little and my toes flick and my body rocks to skate. The feeling is of effortless power and almost no weight on my catch. One free extra is that the extended skate allows even more time for breathing. I am not saying don't do the exercises but in the end it is all about effortless swimming which is all about putting the separate parts together rythmically.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post
While we have some threads on hip-drive, I thought I'd add my own recent wondering. I'm finding is that it's hard to coordinate the speed at which the hips rotate with the speed of the switch, and the speed of the anchor. Some metaphors for example, which seem different than swimming, because everything happens at the same speed: fast.

In karate, the hip-drive rotates the trunk and shoulders, one arm-hand is forced forward, and another is pulled back in equal force. The two happen at basically the same speed and are balanced.

In tennis, the lead hand helps sight, the racket arm-hand is cocked behind. The force is generated by the hips, trunk, shoulders. The lead hand swings around and back at roughly the same speed as the racquet hand/arm move around and forward.

But in swimming, 1) the kick is a pretty quick flick 2) the hip drive is a little slower due to more mass but it's still pretty quick and 3) the switch of leading shoulders/hands follows at roughly the speed of the hips. The bummer in all of this (!) is anchoring hand. Ideally it seems like this needs/wants to be slower than all the other moving parts so that it doesn't slip.

Basically, I notice that if I focus on my hip drive, my anchoring hand pulls too fast (sorry for the dirty word) and slips. On the other hand, if I focus on tree-hugging a large mass of water, anchoring and moving past it, I seem to miss out on the power of the kick and hip-drive.

So that's my dilemma. I get the feeling there are gains to being able to have it all, but I seem to be trading one for the other. I also find that if I focus on the big slow anchor, my core muscle flex time is so long that it interferes with grabbing a quick bite of air. All timing issues. Curious if there's a right answer. Thanks!
I find it does all happen together, at least in two parts

part 1 is that the hand anchors on one side as the other side forms its momentum from water level to its top height pre spear. This I find quite a symmetrical movement since both arms start quite straight and end up bent (one in catch and the other in bent arm recovery).

part 2 is the streamlined rotation, the anchored hand moves naturally through the water as a (opposite forces) reaction to the spear and rotation on the other side so you shouldn't be feeling it as a separate movement ahead or behind the rest of the body.

You could try focusing on 'dancing' to position, this encourages and all in one snap movement which will create power and thrust and then take a still photo shot in your mind of each extended spear position on each side and try to be aware of the rotation, spear depth and head position.

This for me is the best time to use extended glide, to check body position consistency before starting the next stroke
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Great point Tomoy. Its a point that seems to go wrong a lot of times in my opinion.
How violent has your hip snap and spear need to be?
In my opinion the the body roll doesnt need a violent hipsnap, at least not at low strokerates.
Andynorway describes it pretty well. Is more a sequence of motions than a sudden everyting moves at one thing.
Take a look at Thorpes bodyroll from 0.24-0.40 sec when he comes swimming toward you.
Doesnt that roll look fluent and gradual?Swoooshhh-left, swooosssh-right-swoosh -left, shooosssh-right. The very start of the roll happens with a bit extra acceleration, but then the rest of the movement happens almost automatic.
Its more like the dampended unwinding of a rotated spring. The body is on stretch in the twisted extreme poition. The stretch is realeased during the roll, and then the body is on stretch again in the other extended position.
Stretchleft- let go, stretchright- let go, stretchleft- let go, whoooshh- right, swooshh-left, swooshh-right etc etc.
Important is to start the pull after the rotatation has ended and then accelerate and windup the spring again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDpxZyUYvqU

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-20-2014 at 06:58 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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This clip here shows the effect of weight shift. It also demonstrate anchoring correctly, deeply enough, before performing the shift. Otherwise, like you suggest, the shift may result into water slippery. You certainly don't need to subscribe to the drill which is being demonstrated. This is not the statement here. I chose this clip simply because you see very clearly this relationship between the passive side's overall weight which, by falling down, creates a snappy weight shift. What I'm focusing on the most, is ensuring that the pulling hand/arm gets into a perfect position before the switch occurs. I'm also focusing on maintaining the pendulum effect (as always).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7b-dgpUXhU

(cruising at a pace of 55sec/100y on single arm with a pull, takes contribution from body roll to do that).

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 04-20-2014 at 04:14 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Good demonstration of the weight shift charles. Note that in his clip before he "pulls" or strokes his arm is forming the catch. When the weight shift occurs he is already in an anchored position with his arm.

Some people won't be ale to form that good of an anchor with the forearm before rotation starts, and that's OK. What's important is not letting the "anchorage" part be rushed.

The speed of rotation doesn't need to be fast especially if your swimming pace or tempo is leisurely. The movements need to align with your forward speed.

Have you ever pushed one of these?
https://www.google.com/search?q=play...merry+go+round

From a standstill or slow speed, the speed of movement of your pushing is very slow as well. You cannot rush it or you'll hurt yourself, your hands will slip off or you'll waste energy. As the rotational speed increases you can increase your movement speed as well and the timing of seeing the approaching bar, placing your hands on it and pushing it with just enough force to either keep it going or speed it up changes. At some point you may have a "steady state" speed at which you can keep your timing and movements the same and keep it going at the same speed. YOu probabaly could find several "steady state" speeds as well. But with each different speed your timing would change. you'd approach the target area faster, meet the approaching bar with some already developed forward movement in the directin it's already traveling and then push with just enough force or for just long enough to keep it going. then you could either try to maintain a faster tempo or take twice as long between pushes adn let it slow a bit and have a more liesurely tempo.

Swimming is a lot like that. There is not just one speed of hip drive.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Very neat analogy, thank you.

I'm the model on the clip referred to earlier.

Some night I showed up at the sports center with the intent of training (cardio, not related to swimming) and demonstrating that a strong kick wasn't a prerequisite for achieving smooth single arm drill. I had never tried it with a pull before, but felt it could only work. As always, I didn't have much time. Had to rely on a lifeguard to shoot, so I had 3min max.

Worked immediately but never would I have expected this strange juggling between the massive weight shift which needed to be connected with a very carefully taken catch. I mean there was a very strong connection between arm forming itself into a catch position, and opposite side waiting to fall down to favor easy pulling. It's all there. What the clip also shows, is the clear difference between "moving to set up into catch position" and "actually pulling". What comes prior the weight shift isn't that propulsive. It's aimed at getting into optimal position. As soon as the opposite side falls down, "then" the pulling is occurring.

Game was to get the momentum going as much as possible. When I first saw the playback, I thought this passive arm exiting the water *that* much was ugly. So I took another attempt, pretty much the same result.

Anyway, fun game.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 04-21-2014 at 02:01 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post
While we have some threads on hip-drive, I thought I'd add my own recent wondering. I'm finding is that it's hard to coordinate the speed at which the hips rotate with the speed of the switch, and the speed of the anchor. Some metaphors for example, which seem different than swimming, because everything happens at the same speed: fast.

In karate, the hip-drive rotates the trunk and shoulders, one arm-hand is forced forward, and another is pulled back in equal force. The two happen at basically the same speed and are balanced.

In tennis, the lead hand helps sight, the racket arm-hand is cocked behind. The force is generated by the hips, trunk, shoulders. The lead hand swings around and back at roughly the same speed as the racquet hand/arm move around and forward.

But in swimming, 1) the kick is a pretty quick flick 2) the hip drive is a little slower due to more mass but it's still pretty quick and 3) the switch of leading shoulders/hands follows at roughly the speed of the hips. The bummer in all of this (!) is anchoring hand. Ideally it seems like this needs/wants to be slower than all the other moving parts so that it doesn't slip.

Basically, I notice that if I focus on my hip drive, my anchoring hand pulls too fast (sorry for the dirty word) and slips. On the other hand, if I focus on tree-hugging a large mass of water, anchoring and moving past it, I seem to miss out on the power of the kick and hip-drive.

So that's my dilemma. I get the feeling there are gains to being able to have it all, but I seem to be trading one for the other. I also find that if I focus on the big slow anchor, my core muscle flex time is so long that it interferes with grabbing a quick bite of air. All timing issues. Curious if there's a right answer. Thanks!
Consider yourself lucky to even feel these things. Keep going down this path.

One of the hardest things in regard to timing between both hands has to be that you should normally be going very gentle, like you mentioned, to anchor whilst going very hard with the opposite hand. I call this tapping your belly rubbing your head sort of business. People generally don't realize this. So what people generally do, is virtually nothing with the hand that's about to anchor until total disengagement of the hand that just finished her most important work. This creates an offset between the switch, and the anchoring.

I call this 2-dimentional approach. You either wait, or pull. 3-dimentional is wait, set up, then pull. Wait time is shorter, set up time allows for gradual grip, then you're ready to shift weight. Now this may, or may not apply to the TI Stroke that I'm not sure. And I would be pleased to be corrected here by a TI coach. You guys teach getting into catch position much faster, and so this changes the dynamics possibly in comparison to what I'm describing.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 04-23-2014 at 02:00 AM.
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