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Old 11-06-2009
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CoachDave CoachDave is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 249
Default Mock Pull

When my swimmers go to other practices and need to do pulling set, they usually do "mock pull" instead. It's another way of saying a gentle two-beat-kick, which for some of them is the only time they really get a good feeling over distance anyway.

Pulling with the buoy for many experienced swimmers feels horrible because it arches the back- Terry's talked a lot about how it gives a false impression of balance. But many who get used to a pull buoy are not just out of balance- they are sore in the shoulder. Why?

Pulling with a buoy takes the hip snap out of most people's stroke. If the hips aren't helping with the weight shift into rotation, the shoulders are forcing rotation with an early and awkward pull. It adds up quickly, and can lead to injury. If you want to get hurt faster, pull with some giant dinner-plate paddles. Orthopedic surgeons LOVE swimmers because most think it's about training and not technique, so they know they'll see them again. (I'm kidding-the surgeons I coach hate the fact that the swimmers don't fix the problem that caused the injury. They feel like they care more about the shoulders than the swimmers!)

So if you're trying to do a pull set, feel free to let the kick lighten up, but never to the point where you are taking the hips out of the stroke. You don't sit down to hit tennis balls, so why would you get rid of the hips sometimes in practicing a full body motion?
Dave Cameron
Total Immersion Master Coach
Head Coach- Minneapolis YWCA Otters and Masters and MN Tri Masters
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