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  #1  
Old 02-08-2011
johnny.widen johnny.widen is offline
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Default What is the secret behind some peoples stroke power and glide?

I have studied one swimmer in our pool who has a fantastic stroke. He swims like he has an invisible rope that he grabs and pull himself forward. He just glides through the water. He will turn 43 this year and still holds many of the regional records that he set 20 years ago. He was also a medalist at 100m free at the World Masters Championships 2010.

This lead me to wonder what his secret was. Is there a Holy Graal of swimming technique that some people has found? Or is it just talent or some swimming gene that some people has. It was in searching for this I came across Total Immersion swimming and this awesome forum.

I recently found this YouTube clip where Ryan Lochte shows some drills and I saw that he also has this invisible rope in the water:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR4IgctibNg#t=4m43s
(should start at 4:43)

It is amazing how far he seems to travel at each stroke. Interesting is also that Ryan says that when they start a new season in late August they spend 1 - 2 months doing just strokes and technique drills. Nothing hard, nothing fast. When they then start the training the technique is just there for them. Well imprinted, as Terry puts it.

-- Johnny
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Old 02-09-2011
Janos Janos is offline
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Hi Johnny,

Very interesting videos. Thanks. In answer to the your question regarding the invisible rope, I think it has a lot to do with decreasing drag as you become more efficient. I have no video of when I was a thirty stroke a length swimmer, but I use half as many strokes now, so the difference would be remarkable if I could compare both styles now.
The first time I did a 25m length in 20 strokes, the thought of doing it in fifteen seemed impossible, but little things like having a stable head position, refining your balance position, taking seamless breaths etc have massive effects on what you get out of each stroke.
It is interesting to think, that when you get your stroke count below twenty and are looking for refinement, for further improvement, those little snippets of information on Terrys or Shinjis tutorials that you may of discounted, become so important.
Have you ever spent a rest period in the shallow end of the pool, laying your face on its side, mimicking a breath with just one goggle showing, and then trying for exactly the same feeling on your next length?. Or when at home, lying on the floor, and working out the optimum path for the recovery arm, and easing out any stiffness in the shoulder? I found the latter so important. For ages, I was spearing too close to my head, and then tried the Shinji method of shoulder articulation, and then spearing, and the difference (for me) was profound. Both in stroke length and power. The simplest way I can describe it is like being on your side and raising your elbow as if to lean on an imaginary high counter, then rotate your shoulder upward as if reaching for something above your head, and then extend the arm forward, with the elbow as the main point of focus, not the hand. There is a massive difference between a relaxed recovery and a lazy one.
There is also the big leap from passive training drills and actions to applying them dynamically. With the real test being lap time and SPL.

Regards

Janos
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2011
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CoachKris CoachKris is offline
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Holly grail of swimming - streamlined body position
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Old 02-09-2011
aerogramma aerogramma is offline
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Very interesting.

Sometimes it seems to me that I swim faster doing Terry's skate&glide drill.. and I wonder why... is it because I streamline better?

That also happens with Superman glide, I can often see myself travelling faster than whole stroke simmers next to me

Janos you're right! all those details from terry's and shinji start to make better sense after you go around 15 SL and you search for the next incremental step (bloody hard!)
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Old 02-09-2011
rcrawford2@verizon.net rcrawford2@verizon.net is offline
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Default Steamlined

In response to the video of Ryan Lochte.

As streamlined, straight, and as sleek a fuselage that I've ever seen.

Also, hips and pelvis up out of the water (Shinji) helping with propulsion ("stoneskipper"). His butterfly kick and pelvis postion and flexibility reveal this during breast stroke, his hip thrust is ridiculous.

I'm sure his kicking and pulling are strong too, but man what balance, and a streamlined fuselage. Drool, drool, drool.

Did you notice the way his left arm enters the water before every lap?

Is that an "air flipturn" (sans wall) for lack of a better term?

Rich
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2011
johnny.widen johnny.widen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrawford2@verizon.net View Post
In response to the video of Ryan Lochte.
Did you notice the way his left arm enters the water before every lap?
Yes, that really fascinates me. He just sneaks in his arm without the slightest splash.

-- Johnny
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2011
johnny.widen johnny.widen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
Have you ever spent a rest period in the shallow end of the pool, laying your face on its side, mimicking a breath with just one goggle showing, and then trying for exactly the same feeling on your next length?. Or when at home, lying on the floor, and working out the optimum path for the recovery arm, and easing out any stiffness in the shoulder?
I will try those two things.

One dry drill I use to do to imprint elbow lead and spearing long, is that every time I go to the bathroom (!) I take some 30-50 strokes with those focal points. ;-)

-- Johnny
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2011
johnny.widen johnny.widen is offline
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Default The invisible rope

So, what you all are saying is what Total Immersion swimming is preaching is that balance and streamlining will eventually give you that invisible rope for propulsion.

-- Johnny
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Old 02-09-2011
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no propulsion is completely different story

balance and streamline allows you to reduce drag - and thats most important thing in swimming,

and yes ti will teach you how to improve your propulsion as well
but remember propulsion is important but not half as much as balance and streamline ;)
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2011
johnny.widen johnny.widen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachKris View Post
balance and streamline allows you to reduce drag - and thats most important thing in swimming
Yes, I think that is true. Ryan's behavior in that video seems to prove that, since it is very much like the behavior of dolphins. Just effortless gliding through the water with minimum of drag.

-- Johnny
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