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  #21  
Old 07-06-2016
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ZT:

I think you're missing the point or changing the narrative given your own filters of pulling and kicking.

Although this article could have been posted in "The Propulsion Paradox", it seemed best to post on this thread since it contradicts Clay's summary (with props) on high head position makes you more stable/balanced (like a boat in the marina), as well as characterizing the neutral, head-spine aligned posture as just "a myth". It's not a myth, just physics. The spine will follow the head wherever it happens to point - up, down, left, or right.

The following paragraph says it best - and is not coming from or influenced by Total Immersion:

"The idea of swimming the line treats the body as a very stable platform, from which all four swim strokes emanate. This line follows the natural line of the spine that extends through the body from the toes to the top of the head. The body remains straight and horizontal for as much of the stroke as possible. This contradicts common thinking, where the body is treated as a speed boat, where the front end rides higher in the water. In reality this orientation pushes the legs and hips lower in the water, creating more drag. The body moves more easily through water if it stays in a single line.

Faster swimming has more to do with body position than how much training a swimmer undertakes."

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 07-06-2016 at 07:30 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-06-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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yeah, ok that was a bit offtopic.

But for people with a desk top posture,(most of us) bringing the head in line with the spine usually means lifting the head, because their normal head position is in front of the spine.
For them its lifting the head while still looking down to get inline.
Personally I dont like looking too much forward either, because it makes the breathing movement more complicated if you want to keep one goggle in the water. In busy lanes you just have to look forward a bit to avoid problems.
Dont know how much head tilt Clay had in mind, but I think most people will say the max is about 30-45 degrees.
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  #23  
Old 07-07-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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It seems to me that the article focuses on two different ideas, although he phrases it in a way that intertwines the two, and I don't see that they have to be that intertwined.

The first idea is that the speedboat concept with a high bow (head) hydroplaning the water just doesn't work in human swimming, and the fastest position is with an axis as horizontal as possible. I think everyone in TI accepts this without question, although there may be some minor tuning issues between individual practitioners as to how much face forwardness is acceptable before increased drag becomes an issue.

The second idea is to think of the hands and arms anchoring the water as a base for the trunk to move forward on, rather than pushing the water back. Before getting into this part, I think it's important to establish that discussion of this part does not change the full acceptance by all participants of the first part.

Now, how much acceptance of the second idea as more a conceptual notion rather than something that changes how you actually move is somewhat debatable to me. I sometimes see 2 people on either position of the conceptual divide hammering away at the other's point of view, and I get the idea that a large part of the debate is a waste of energy. Each side contains some usefulness in conceptualising the way a swimmer should form the stroke, and the difference is more a matter of viewpoint and relativity rather than absolute truth. And after all, isn't the final most efficient stroke the whole object of the exercise, rather than the rigid idea of what actually is happening?

The concept of light being particulate as well as being a wave form comes to mind as a useful parallel; both ideas yield useful descriptive methods and formulae for describing and predicting the behaviour of light. If we were forced to abandon one concept or the other because of our need for the absolute truth, physics would be that much poorer for it.
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  #24  
Old 07-07-2016
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A "neutral spine" means neutral or a neutral shape; no tension in neck, no lifting head (20, 35, 45 degs) or pushing head down, or tucking the chin. Much like resting the face on a pillow or looking straight down at the line on bottom of pool.

It really is that simple. But us humans want to look forward in the direction we travel, this instinct takes some time to reverse; moving eyes from looking forward, to looking down at the line on the bottom of the pool maintaining a neutral posture. We walk/run with a neutral spine, our eyes don't point to the sky either. But I suspect if we travelled vertically, our instinct would be to look skyward first.

Stuart
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
A "neutral spine" means neutral or a neutral shape; no tension in neck, no lifting head (20, 35, 45 degs) or pushing head down, or tucking the chin. Much like resting the face on a pillow or looking straight down at the line on bottom of pool.

It really is that simple. But us humans want to look forward in the direction we travel, this instinct takes some time to reverse; moving eyes from looking forward, to looking down at the line on the bottom of the pool maintaining a neutral posture. We walk/run with a neutral spine, our eyes don't point to the sky either. But I suspect if we travelled vertically, our instinct would be to look skyward first.

Stuart
I have always thought that if you fix the musculo-skeletal outline for nuetrality, then you've achieved your objective (i.e.streamlining).

But are we that easily thrown off? I think I am in neutral position, and habitually I look down at the pool bottom (90 degree angle) because it's easiest on my eye muscles. But I get a bit nervous when I know there's a new person joining the lane, and sometimes they don't know the ropes, and go down the opposite direction, i.e coming down my side of the lane towards me. Or I'm coming up behind someone slower. Or I'm drafting someone in open water competition. To avoid a collision in those situations, I angle my eyes up. In my mind I haven't altered my head/neck alignment. Now that you allude to the necessity of looking absolutely downwards, I realise with my moving my eyes upwards to include a wider angle of view forward, I suspect that my head/neck angulation gets altered away from the much desired neutral position. I guess there's no easy solution.
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  #26  
Old 07-13-2016
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Hi Sclim,

You can keep your head down while drafting in pool or open water. Looking at the feet is defeating the purpose of the draft since your hips will be much lower than the swimmer in front of you whom you are drafting. Just follow the turbulence and bubbles, occasionally you'll tap the feet of the swimmer in front of you. If you need to peek forward for reassurance, do it quickly, then return head to neutral. If you are worried about a head-on lane collision with another swimmer, find another lane. Your lead arm anchored in front acts as a bumper - but if you're windmilling, your head is exposed to collision on every stroke.

Stuart
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  #27  
Old 07-13-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Sclim,

You can keep your head down while drafting in pool or open water. Looking at the feet is defeating the purpose of the draft since your hips will be much lower than the swimmer in front of you whom you are drafting. Just follow the turbulence and bubbles, occasionally you'll tap the feet of the swimmer in front of you. If you need to peek forward for reassurance, do it quickly, then return head to neutral. If you are worried about a head-on lane collision with another swimmer, find another lane. Your lead arm anchored in front acts as a bumper - but if you're windmilling, your head is exposed to collision on every stroke.

Stuart
Haha, I never thought about it before, but that is a powerful, in-your-face, constant, real time incentive to keeping one or other hand patiently leading at all times!
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  #28  
Old 07-17-2016
scribe3 scribe3 is offline
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Default head position

I was having a problem, with my hips riding low in the water, during freestyle an my swimming instructor at the time, told me instead of looking straight down, look at a 45 degree angle(not at my feet not that far).
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  #29  
Old 07-17-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scribe3 View Post
I was having a problem, with my hips riding low in the water, during freestyle an my swimming instructor at the time, told me instead of looking straight down, look at a 45 degree angle(not at my feet not that far).
TI wouldn't suggest looking at your feet. When swimming, hopefully horizontally, looking "straight down" is intended to be at a 90 degree angle to the water surface, i.e. the line of sight is in theory, vertically downwards, to the pool bottom.
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  #30  
Old 07-25-2016
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Hey Sclim,

Contrary, in some extreme cases I've asked a swimmer to look back at their feet to line up the head and spine. Keep in mind this is not literal, but perception or proprioception. Perception vs. reality. Some that have been looking forward for many years, looking down or hanging head between shoulder to align spine often the swimmer is still looking forward 45 degs or more. So to help break that pattern, going extreme (perception-wise) looking at the feet, the reality swimmer ends up looking down 90 deg to pool bottom, head and spine aligned. Keep in mind any change, even subtle change in the water feels extreme and awkward - often we have to use extreme perceptions to correct.

Here's recent Video from GoSwim and it's pretty good. They call it "stable head", its more like "neutral posture", no tension in neck, head is just crowning the surface. https://www.facebook.com/GoSwim.tv/v...3939736069209/

Stuart
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