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  #1  
Old 04-18-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Default Body Rotation - Does it generate power in itself?

Question was recently asked to me on some other forum. People are often lost between various schools of thoughts. How can it be otherwise:

- Hip drive rotation
- Serape effect
- Use of gravity
- We should avoid rotating too much
- Being anchored, swimming can't be compared to pitching a ball
- Yeah but what about inside-out swimming
- etc...

These are often vaguely defined conflicting ideas. Therefore let me avoid using these concepts mentioned above, so that a definite answer be much more difficult to challenge.

For the purpose of the explanation, please allow me the assumption that there's no difference (in actual facts) between pulling yourself over the anchor point and pulling water backward. Just to simplify the explanation.

OK. There's a little dryland experiment that needs to be done to better feel/understand this explanation. It goes as follow:

1. Stand up facing a wall, wearing tight t-shirt ideally, or bare belly
2. Plant both feet at shoulder width, both parallel (so not one feet in front of the other)
3. Raise an arm/hand at shoulder height. Just one is fine. Let us take the right hand/arm. Point toward the wall. At this point, both shoulders are parallel.
4. Your hand is pointing toward the wall. Make sure you allow 6-8inches gap between finger tip, and the wall
5. Now, do rotate the whole body so that you can touch the wall with your finger tips, without moving your feet.
6. At this point, your body is rotated. One shoulder is closer to the wall than the other. Your fingers now touch the wall. Don't forget the hips, they too need to rotate in this exemple
7. Now, perform the opposite rotation. Bring the shoulder of the passive arm toward the wall, and the other shoulder (the one holding that arm/hand pointing at the all) back.


What do you notice? Your hand moved back, quite a lot.

The implications here is that your body rotation alone brought your hand from point B (touching the wall) to point C (much further back, a full foot away from the wall, maybe more depending on your arm span etc).

Now wait.. What's the goal in swimming the freestyle? Pulling water backward. Taking your hand, and by a muscular effort, bringing it back. As I said earlier, some prefer the *pull yourself over* mantra.

Well this demonstration - unless I'm missing a point (and I'm opened for debate) - confirms that the body alone, by rotating, can get the hand to travel backward.

Now where would this theory fit into actual freestyle swimming. Simply explained, your hand enters in the water (Point A) then spears then wait patiently (at Point B). It waits for what? In my humble opinion it waits for the body rotation to shorten it, to bring it back automatically. From there body takes over. Once the body finished rotating (your hand is not at Point C), arm (through muscles responsible for arm extension) take over to finish the stroke.

I'm not suggesting that this whole implication of the body is free of charge. As the body rotates, thus facilitating bringing the hand back, you still need to hold good arm/hand form, hold on to the anchor point, to propel yourself over. This is mainly achieved using powerful and strong upper back muscles.

I humbly believe that it's virtually impossible to swim fast without minimal mastery of this concept.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 04-18-2013 at 03:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2013
bx bx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
1. Stand up facing a wall, wearing tight t-shirt ideally, or bare belly
2. Plant both feet at shoulder width, both parallel (so not one feet in front of the other)
3. Raise an arm/hand at shoulder height. Just one is fine. Let us take the right hand/arm. Point toward the wall. At this point, both shoulders are parallel.
4. Your hand is pointing toward the wall. Make sure you allow 6-8inches gap between finger tip, and the wall
5. Now, do rotate the whole body so that you can touch the wall with your finger tips, without moving your feet.
6. At this point, your body is rotated. One shoulder is closer to the wall than the other. Your fingers now touch the wall. Don't forget the hips, they too need to rotate in this exemple
7. Now, perform the opposite rotation. Bring the shoulder of the passive arm toward the wall, and the other shoulder (the one holding that arm/hand pointing at the all) back.

What do you notice? Your hand moved back, quite a lot.
But in this exercise, the hand is moving towards the shoulder, perpendicular to the body. If I understood correctly?

There's another dryland exercise which I think Coach Distance Dave explained:-
1. Stand by a wardrobe (or similar tallish object)
2. Place hand flat on top.
3. Now rotate away from your hand side.
4. Feel the pressure on your hand pressing down on the surface.

So, this one demonstrates rotation causing pressure acting in a direction along your body axis.


On a related note Charles - I've been trying your inside-out kicking idea - and got my legs to kick and stay up just from body rotation. It's like a miracle, so thanks for that!

Ant
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bx View Post
But in this exercise, the hand is moving towards the shoulder, perpendicular to the body. If I understood correctly?
Yep, that's correct. Hand points toward the wall. Rotating *toward* the wall allows you to *reach* the wall, ie touching it with your finger tip. Performing the reverse takes the hand away from the wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bx View Post
There's another dryland exercise which I think Coach Distance Dave explained:-
1. Stand by a wardrobe (or similar tallish object)
2. Place hand flat on top.
3. Now rotate away from your hand side.
4. Feel the pressure on your hand pressing down on the surface.
In fact, this example/exercise described by Dave is much better than mine, as it allows you to actually feel your hand being anchored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bx View Post
On a related note Charles - I've been trying your inside-out kicking idea - and got my legs to kick and stay up just from body rotation. It's like a miracle, so thanks for that!
Ant
Thanks for this feedback, it's appreciated. Do not hesitate if you need further help on that.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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No argument. Except for semantics. I'll argue the point in swimming is to travel forward, not pull water backwards. :)

It's an important difference becuase when *most* average swimmers think of pulling the prematurely activate the lats which drops the elbow and leaves core rotation behind.

So I like to choose a different word, "anchor" Anchor and rotate...letting momentum forward bring you to the point where you can press water back (not pull).

But...same effect you are describing here CHarles.
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Agreed Sue, and I go as far as believing that this mantra can have a visible impact on one's stroke.

I just wanted to isolate the idea that the hand automatically travels backward as a result of BR.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2013
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Well said Charles, that's all you really needed say "hand travels back automatically"; the complexity unnecessary. It's really egaging the entire body, not just body roll. Coach Dave Cameron describes this nicely, breaking it into specific positions through roll engaging large muscle groups, not fatigue/injury prone shoulders. Those new to TI, this is more intermediate-advanced topic, don't worry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDmQiHQ8mW8

Stuart
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Default Interesting

Thanks for the analogies and comments; I'm pretty sure that this function (I try to visualize the "anchoring") is where I'm struggling to move effectively through the water.
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