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  #1  
Old 10-02-2012
mimalik mimalik is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
mimalik
Default Novice Swimmer Issues

Hi,

I apologize if this issue has been raised before. I was unable to find the solution in other forums.

A little background about myself: I took up swimming as a tool to become physically active. I have a been a lazy slob in past 10 years. This has resulted in stocky build on my 5"8" frame with 210 lbs, mostly in my torso region. I have got heavy muscular legs due years of playing soccer and gym work out while in university (again over 10 years ago). I cant bring myself up to going to gym to run treadmills and lift weights. However I love being in water. Till a month ago I had never swum in my life. I am taking a swimming class near my residence but they are useless so far. I understand the mechanics and theory of swimming, but my execution is horrible.


My biggest issue is I cant breathe during strokes in freestyle. Naturally I googled and found TI. I am currently going through some free pdf on the site and youtube videos (I want to make sure that it has potential before I invest in it). In past two days, I have discovered my Sweet Spot and can be on my back comfortably. However, I dont move at all. I have tried slow, medium and fast kicks, made sure my feet extends to max and toes are bent. I have tried to extend one arm to be taller in water ....... bubkis so far. I even tried to use flutter board to develop kick as told by my swimming instructor but I dont move at all.

Any ideas?

Sincerely,
Imran
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  #2  
Old 10-03-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 551
Mike from NS
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Hi there Imran,

I'm sure you will see many replies to your questions because the people here want to help others share in the joy they have found in the water.

I started at 54 with a rec dept program and found like you ... it was useless.
Did a library search and found the TI books and related video. Now the library has the DVD versions. Highly recommend you track some down. It has taken me 5 years to become comfortable in the water but most of these years didn't see any more than weekly pool visit and usually more seldom than that (winters were reserved for skiing!). This past summer had daily visits and sometimes twice a day visits. I found this helped progression hugely. So if you are able to get in the water daily, your progression will be faster. My theory is the more you play in the water the more quickly you will become comfortable in the water and learn to relax. This hastens learning to breathe. By reading the fourm pages and studying You-tube clips all that is left to do is study the TI DVD's and patiently work through the drills. Learn balance, and work on the drills .... but play lots too. Your kick doesn't work? Just another thing to work on ... the 2 beat kick is what you will eventually use. And beyond that, one day when least expected (when you have lessened drag and have become balanced) suddenly you will find a gentle flutter will in fact "work". Set reasonable goals for each day at the pool. Try something different every day. People here will insist you relax; but until you are comfortable enough to relax it can be a frustrating road ... However, eventually you will find it was completely worth every effort. Good luck. Stay tuned for many more helpful replies ! Bring on specific questions.

One last thing --- my first questions here brought the suggestion that I bob, bob and then bob some more. It just helps to get used to the water and helps set a breathing pattern or method.

Mike
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2012
kalinma kalinma is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 32
kalinma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimalik View Post
. . . I dont move at all. I have tried slow, medium and fast kicks, made sure my feet extends to max and toes are bent. I have tried to extend one arm to be taller in water ....... bubkis so far. I even tried to use flutter board to develop kick as told by my swimming instructor but I dont move at all.
Hi Imran,
I wouldn't say this necessarily holds true for everyone, but in my experience, I needed to learn better balance and a proper arm stroke before focusing on my kick. My kick for quite some time was very erratic. Now that I am better balanced in the water, I am able to do a two-beat kick. I'm just getting the hang of it, but it's a huge improvement from when I started swimming six months ago. Breathing, obviously, is VERY important, but I cannot remember what it was that helped. I did have a great deal of trouble with breathing as well when I first started. I think I just learned to relax and rotate my whole body to air. I also found that as my swimming became easier through more relaxation, better balance and a better arm stroke, I did not get out of breath.
Hope that helps.
Mary
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2012
fpb fpb is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3
fpb
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Imran,

I have had a similar experience, and I am 80 lbs lighter than you, so I don't think it is body shape. I was trying the underskate drill today, and the book says "you'll probably fit in three cycles in each 25 yards". After 3 cycles I had gone maybe 5 yards, and that probably all came from my initial push off the wall. I was so pleased to be rolling back and forth successfully that I wasn't too worried about not moving, but now that you mention it, why wasn't I moving?

Frank
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012
yearn2swim yearn2swim is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 32
yearn2swim
Default Ankle flexibility and balance

Hi Imran,

Welcome to TI. It sounds like you're just getting started and have several issues to work on.

The weak kick is likely a combination of balance and stiff ankles. If you can not do a superman glide, meaning your back half is dragging, AND your ankles can not flex back, you are effectively not applying forward propulsion. Folks on here have even posted about going backwards when they kick!

Work on your SG so you are balanced and streamline.

Stretch your ankles daily to improve flexibility. Google for some stretch examples.

Mike
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2012
mimalik mimalik is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
mimalik
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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your of suggestions. I tried them all and each of your pointers helped along the way, and I feel proud to announce that I can now move the 25m pool length in sweet spot position. Took me 4 weeks to finally get it. What helped most was feeling comfortable in water. I bobbed for days in deep end to find my comfort zone in water, I looked like an idiot for couple of weeks at pool but it worked. Once I was relaxed I kept tweaking my body position, legs/ankle and roll till I was able to move body/head to catch breath. It just clicked few days ago, I was able to move 6 m, then 12 now 25. Feels great to overcome a plateau. I can only thank you all for assistance.

Currently I get a bit tired and need to relax a bit after a pool length, but I guess its only natural given my out of shape body, hopefully more practice will fix it. Here to another few weeks of laser lead flutter and core balance practice.

Once again thank you everyone.

Sincerely,
Imran
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