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  #1  
Old 03-17-2009
learninginisrael learninginisrael is offline
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Default wayward arms

I am having a heck of a time getting my forward arm to stay forward long enough for my recovery arm to make it into the water and stretch out. The forward arm just goes straight down as soon as I turn my head to breathe. It takes an almighty act of concentration to make it stay up -- I'm reciting whole paragraphs in my head about rotation and forward movement and maximizing stroke length -- but on the few occasions when I do manage to keep the arm up, my face sinks below the surface on the breath and I get a nice drink of pool water.

This is another case where my brain understands the principle, I can visualize what I'm supposed to be doing, but the bod ain't listening. I've only just started breathing this week, so I'm just getting the hang of coordinating the head turn with the body rotation and forward extension, but this dropping arm problem is really messing with my stroke (and my head). Tips, anyone?

Judy
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Old 03-17-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Maybe try holding something in your hand. Pass it from one hand to the other before you stroke. That's a catch-up drill variation. In full-stroke, you might begin your stroke after you inhale.
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Old 03-17-2009
asbarden asbarden is offline
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For me, whenever I find my arm is not "patient" it turns out that my head is not in the proper position. That is, I find it much easier to keep that lead arm in proper position when my "laser beam" is pointing straight at the wall and my nose is pointing straight down. When I forget about my head, my lead arm sinks. Of course, all this is really about balance, which is what the skating drills are all about.

When I find this happening to me, I return to skating, spear switching and zen switching. Also, I find it helps if, for 10-15 minutes, I drop rhythmic breathing altogether, concentrate on other aspects of the stroke (especially balance), and just breathe in sweet spot.

These things work for me, your mileage may vary.

Andrew
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2009
Jamwhite Jamwhite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by learninginisrael View Post
I am having a heck of a time getting my forward arm to stay forward long enough for my recovery arm to make it into the water and stretch out. The forward arm just goes straight down as soon as I turn my head to breathe. It takes an almighty act of concentration to make it stay up -- I'm reciting whole paragraphs in my head about rotation and forward movement and maximizing stroke length -- but on the few occasions when I do manage to keep the arm up, my face sinks below the surface on the breath and I get a nice drink of pool water.

This is another case where my brain understands the principle, I can visualize what I'm supposed to be doing, but the bod ain't listening. I've only just started breathing this week, so I'm just getting the hang of coordinating the head turn with the body rotation and forward extension, but this dropping arm problem is really messing with my stroke (and my head). Tips, anyone?

Judy
What drills are you doing? Can you breath in skating position without lowering the arm?
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2009
naj naj is offline
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One thing that works for me is when I go to breathe I act like I'm reaching out for something in front of me, but not looking at said thing. This helps me to keep my lead arm extended and thus making my head placement a lot better. After awhile, it just became second nature. Hope that helps you.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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Just remember the more you can work on balance the less "busy " your arms will have to be sculling or clawing down for support.


Dave
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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If you are lifting your head up to breathe, that can cause the leading arm to drop. Try practicing skating on that side, and turning the head frequently as if you were about to take a breath - but don't.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2009
AWP AWP is offline
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Default 'Lead' armpit

Hi Judy,

A couple of things that helped me with this aspect and ones I happen to be revisiting now are posture and leading/leaning with/on the armpit.

Practicing good aquatic posture (staying tall), especially while drilling, will not only make you more slippery but enable you to stay more balanced and therefore make things like switches and rolling to air more effortless.

What about that dang arm thing? This is were the armpit focus came in handy for me.
Keeping posture in mind, perhaps while drilling in Skate you have a focus on 'leading' with your armpit. When I did this I was able to 'lose' my arm so to speak, like I didn't have one (Caution: make sure arm is in line with shoulder not pointing outward or inward).
Staying tall, as if being measured for height, and rolling towards air 'lean' on your armpit instead of applying pressure to your lead arm or hand (oh yeah you don't have one remember?). Reflect in SwtSpt then continue, practicing until you develop a sense of a true weightless lead arm and until the feeling of keeping posture is more relaxed. One side at a time, one length at a time, alternate.

As a side note, after reflecting in SwtSpt, maybe roll back down pausing half way so that the side of your face/head is laying on the water (still leading with the armpit?) 1-1 1/2 goggle(s) showing then back to nose down. Likewise, when rolling to air maybe pause half way up (staying tall?) then SwtSpt. If you try this, when you are in a side lying position both going up to and down from SwtSpt be sure you are exhaling steadily lest water may go up thy nose.

Now I'm ramblin'. One thing at a time I guess. Much luck and keep us up.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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You call it a "dropping arm" but your arm won't drop by itself. If it is going down you are pushing it down -- simple as that. Well, learning how NOT to push it down is a LITTLE bit harder. Lots of great suggestions. I do a similar "armpit focus" letting that stay nice and long until my recovering hand gets past my shoulder.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2009
learninginisrael learninginisrael is offline
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Great suggestions everyone; thank you. This morning I focused on the laser beam and on turning my head to breathe as though it's lying on a pillow (my teacher's suggestion). I saw a little improvement, but the left arm in particular is still dropping like a stone if I think about anything else. (If I'm deliberately pushing it down, I'm honestly not aware of it). I guess I should go back to drills for a little while. (No problem skating with the arm extended.)

That armpit business is very interesting. I'll definitely start focusing on that, along with all these other good ideas.

Judy
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