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Old 03-21-2009
naj naj is offline
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naj
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Well for the last three days of practice I have devoted myself to getting bi-lateral breathing down. Each time I went to my weak side (left) I felt my back arching as if this was going to help. Subsequently, hips and legs went submarine style and -- as always -- it was a drag (ok stupid joke but you get the idea)

Anyway, this morning at the pool I noticed that every time i went to breathe on my left, I had one goggle in the water, my head followed my hips and my lead arm didn't drop (well most of the time it didn't.) I felt good knowing that I have the solid basics of bi-lateral which in turn is helping my over all rotation and glide in whole stroke.

Which, brings me to the actual reason for this post. When I was resting at the wall, a lifeguard at the pool told me I need to reach out more. I looked up and he said it again and then showed me what to do and what I was doing.

His way was to have my lead arm close to my ear and nearly in front of my head. Then I said (BTW I had on my TI swim cap) that I have my arms at shoulder width rather than in front of my head because your arms are like steering wheels; so go your arms so goes your body. Further, I explained that I am fully extended but that my recovery arm spears to a target just below the surface not right at it. He looked on with a, "you don't know jack look 'cause your not a lifeguard or swim instructor." and walked on to another area of the pool.

I've been having a number of folks say that I need to extend more. For me my recovery arm enters the water about six inches past my goggles. Is this correct or should it be a little further. In my opinion too far in front reduces the purpose of hip rotation and thus inefficient stroke. Thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Keep Swimming and bi-lateral breathing rules!

Naji

Last edited by naj : 03-21-2009 at 08:39 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2009
Jamwhite Jamwhite is offline
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I was a little confused about the question. Are you talking about extending the patient arm (the weighless one in the water) or the recovery arm?

It seems like you are talking extending on recovery. Recently, I have been doing an exercise where I get my freestyle very warmed up (around 20 minutes of drills, and fist gloves), so that I can get my stroke to 10-11 strokes consistently, then I try to maintain that stroke count a little faster, then a little bit faster.

This exercise has me work on ear hops and mailbox alot, because it gives me the leverage to get my strong pulls for each stroke. So I am very much in favor of a close entry into the water.

When I get warmed up enough that I can swim slowly with almost no bubbling on hand entry (which can only be done close to the head), it easily drops 1 to 1.5 strokes just being able to keep that up because of extra leverage.
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Old 03-21-2009
Folala Folala is offline
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Having my spearing hand enters the water at the same level as my extended arm's elbow, as recommended by Terry, has worked well for me. I found that it is particulary effective when combined with the body weight shift and rotation. Terry did mentioned that over-reaching is one of the most common error in freestyle swimming.

Some people have longer arms than others, so entering six inches past the goggles may not work so well for some.

I started bi-lateral about five months ago, what helped me initially was a modified 'fish drill' you may want to try: Keep both hands in 'jeans' pocket, lying on your back, rotate all 360 degree one way returning to sweet spot to relax and get air, then rotate 360 degree the other way. By keeping the arms/hands out the equation, I found that I had to keep my head in line with my spine to get back to air easily, and I also had to initiate the rotation with my body and be more patient with the head.

The other thing that's really helped me with bi-lateral was the skate-breathe-skate drill, which I still do on a regular basis.

Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2009
terry terry is offline
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My best guess for correcting the back arch is to keep the leading hand wide and angled down with that elbow near the surface, with very light pressure on the arm.
It's hard to guess whether your hand is going in too close or too far and similarly difficult to estimate how far forward your own entry is. To simplify think about slicing the forearm through the "slot" your hand makes on entry -- but move that slot as far forward as you can.
Let me know if these suggestions help.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2009
naj naj is offline
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Thank you everyone for the prompt responses. The bi-lateral was experiencing the arch and all, but when I kept noticing how I do things on the right side it all came together today. Sorry for the confusion Jamwhite. In fact, I am talking about recovery arm re-entry. Terry what you just explained -- visually -- helps me a great deal my mail slot entry is about six inches ahead of my goggles and I do reach out as far as I can, with a relaxed arm, as I can get.
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Old 03-22-2009
CoachBrian CoachBrian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
my head followed my hips Naji
Well, there's your problem! That's backwards!
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2009
Lloyd Lloyd is offline
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Just purchased the fist gloves I'm still a little confused about how they help Does anyone have a youtube clip that might help me understand "the underwater dropped elbow" and as I swim about halfway across the pool when I roll to breath I am 1 to 3 inches below the surface. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
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