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  #1  
Old 05-21-2014
katypfarmgirl katypfarmgirl is offline
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Default High elbow catch vs Deep armed

I wanted to put this out on the forum for a response. I have studied TI for about 4 years. I have used a deep arm/straight arm catch. New research says this is faster but harder. The conventional wisdom teaches a high elbow catch. I know TI uses some unique ideas in regards to the arm entry and catch. Curious different camps aside, what do the TI folks think about this....is it bent, high elbow, or straight arm on the pull? Thanks!!
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by katypfarmgirl View Post
I wanted to put this out on the forum for a response. I have studied TI for about 4 years. I have used a deep arm/straight arm catch. New research says this is faster but harder. The conventional wisdom teaches a high elbow catch. I know TI uses some unique ideas in regards to the arm entry and catch. Curious different camps aside, what do the TI folks think about this....is it bent, high elbow, or straight arm on the pull? Thanks!!
None of the above. See my reply to to Talvi in this thread:

http://totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=7185
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2014
katypfarmgirl katypfarmgirl is offline
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Suzanne,
I have followed you comments over the last few years and always appreciated them. After reading your response, it sounds to me EVF/high elbow to the degree one's shoulder can do that is what you described. I have been through countless forums, you tube, recently about the deep arm vs EVF (which i realized i was doing when i filmed myself). I have been striving to unweight the strain that style causes and can only arrive at some degree of EVF is the other way to bring the arm back. That being said there was a study saying that the deep arm is more powerful given a physics analysis. The reviewer concluded most could not stand that much shoulder strain over distances which is what i have been noticing with my own swimming training. Having studied Terry for a number of years he has a small elbow flexion , far from High elbow which is more like 90 degrees. When i swim open water i have time to bend the elbow at different angles and see what it does for power, strain, sustainability and its funny, the more the elbow angles the less the strain. So in feeling for thick water the extreme is straight arm, and the least with the elbow parallel to the water. The question gets to be power vs speed and what is really the best position...its really probably individual in the end. I would add of course this is only part of a very complicated neuromuscular formula which I have gleaned much skill from studying TI. Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by katypfarmgirl View Post
Suzanne,
I have followed you comments over the last few years and always appreciated them. After reading your response, it sounds to me EVF/high elbow to the degree one's shoulder can do that is what you described. I have been through countless forums, you tube, recently about the deep arm vs EVF (which i realized i was doing when i filmed myself). I have been striving to unweight the strain that style causes and can only arrive at some degree of EVF is the other way to bring the arm back. That being said there was a study saying that the deep arm is more powerful given a physics analysis. The reviewer concluded most could not stand that much shoulder strain over distances which is what i have been noticing with my own swimming training. Having studied Terry for a number of years he has a small elbow flexion , far from High elbow which is more like 90 degrees. When i swim open water i have time to bend the elbow at different angles and see what it does for power, strain, sustainability and its funny, the more the elbow angles the less the strain. So in feeling for thick water the extreme is straight arm, and the least with the elbow parallel to the water. The question gets to be power vs speed and what is really the best position...its really probably individual in the end. I would add of course this is only part of a very complicated neuromuscular formula which I have gleaned much skill from studying TI. Thanks!
I'm afraid that the "Deep Catch" description used in the study is misleading. THe study is really looking at sculling vs. not sculling and the propulsive forces in each. You seem to be describing a straight arm pull perhaps?

Sculling relieves pressure on the arm, while being less effective. When I get tired I start to scull without realizing it since that's what I was taught as a kid.

The weird part about these studies is that elite swimmers naturally do what's most efficient and scientists (who may not have swimming background) are trying to reverse engineer the results.

I understand why so many people are confused about this,b ut again to me, when biomechanics are taken into considertion, finding the "ideal" stroke for each swimmer objectively is a piece of cake as a coahc. Getting the swimmer to feel how their movements do or don't result in forward motion is difficult for the less water aware.

As a kid I spent 4-6 hours a day in the water during the summer until my lips were blue, and competed on swim team from the time I was 7...this is kind of like cheating I suppose. While my freestyle left a lot of room for improvement (and still does) as a kid I did as I was instructed to do...move your arm here, put your forehead here, point your fingers there. This instruction didn't get me very far.

yet as an adult, with the prior years experiece playing in teh water, doing tumbles, turns, playing sharks & minnows, catchign goldfish in teh swimmign pool, diving for coins, etc etc...I've learned to "feel" what moves me forward and sense how much energy it takes.

That's why simplistic words like "Early vertical forearm" I find frustrating because few people can actually relate physically even if visually they can identify it when they see it.

Anyway, what's yoru question ?
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
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Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #5  
Old 05-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katypfarmgirl View Post
Suzanne,
I have followed you comments over the last few years and always appreciated them.
And thank you!
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #6  
Old 05-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by katypfarmgirl View Post
. So in feeling for thick water the extreme is straight arm, and the least with the elbow parallel to the water.
What do you mean here...you feel more thickness with a straight arm?

And "eblow parallel to the water" ... can you describe where hte upper arm and forearm are ? The elbow is a joint so it can be flexed or extended but that's about it....I'm guessing you mean upper arm parallel to the water, elbow flexed to 90 degrees and forearm perpendicular? And that in that position you feel the least thickness?
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #7  
Old 05-22-2014
Jellybean Jellybean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
What do you mean here...you feel more thickness with a straight arm?

And "eblow parallel to the water" ... can you describe where hte upper arm and forearm are ? The elbow is a joint so it can be flexed or extended but that's about it....I'm guessing you mean upper arm parallel to the water, elbow flexed to 90 degrees and forearm perpendicular? And that in that position you feel the least thickness?
My take on the water feeling thicker with straight arm is that it feels more resistant to the pull. Further, I suspect this is simply to do with the length of the lever (your shoulder to hand distance). With your arm at full length even a small pressure will feel hard. With a bent elbow, your hand is closer to your shoulder (shorter lever) and the same pressure on your hand feels less. Try lifting yourself up on the pool deck with straight arms vs. bent arms. It also loads the shoulder joint less as long as you don't go extreme with your angles.

Cheers
Tony
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by Jellybean View Post
My take on the water feeling thicker with straight arm is that it feels more resistant to the pull. Further, I suspect this is simply to do with the length of the lever (your shoulder to hand distance). With your arm at full length even a small pressure will feel hard. With a bent elbow, your hand is closer to your shoulder (shorter lever) and the same pressure on your hand feels less. Try lifting yourself up on the pool deck with straight arms vs. bent arms. It also loads the shoulder joint less as long as you don't go extreme with your angles.

Cheers
Tony
That's what I was afraid of. That's not the thickness that Terry is describing. it has little to do with the length of the lever and everything to do with the speed of initiation and developing sensory input on the propulsive surfaces.

You shouldn't be pushing down at all with any force at any time...the force is directed towards the feet. if one has a straight arm, then the force isn't directed towards the feet until at least 45 degrees down and in most folks, they still keep pushing down until about 60 degrees.

The palm should "fall" through the water as it arrives at a catch position. keeping or allowing the elbow to bend increases the distance that the propulsive surface can then push water back as opposed to using a straight arm. So the thickness of the water is felt as the palm begins moving backwards. Rushing the stroke slips the water past the palm and most people can't feel the water at all. They feel their arm moving through the water, but the water just spills away in turbulent eddies.

Remember the body is moving forward so simply tipping the fingertips down starts pushing the hand back (if you let it) and the catch falls into place with little pressure.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #9  
Old 05-22-2014
katypfarmgirl katypfarmgirl is offline
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Thanks for all the discussion...I will continue to work on feeling the water and pushing it to my feet. I think this gives me some clarification. None of this was that obvious to me until i have take a series of videos and went huh, that's how I swim. I have always had very strong shoulders and lats and felt swimming was suppose to be strain, push harder get stronger. Not to mentioin that giant frothing kick. But after this quo vadis over the last 3 years i have gotten back in the lake 55 degrees i might add, and been coming out first again. My swim buddies essentially refuse to work on technique just push harder. At this point I can adjust my head, my roll, my 2 beat. The final frontier in this journey is cadance , hand entry, wrist bend and trying to swim over the imaginary barrel. I am humbled at how my daughters who grew up on the lake on swim team are such naturals. I will never get over how much of a challenge it is to make the jump from yeah i swim, to yes i am a swimmer!
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Sculling drills?
Gradually going from a front scull to rear sculling for a few lengths and a normal full stroke length in between?
Feel what angle works best and is comfortable for you.
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