Aligners and bodythrowers

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Aligners and bodythrowers

Post by SA on Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:05 am

You can devide swimmers in smooths and swingers.  2 other species that seem to swim in a different universe are aligners and bodythrowers.
A swinger can be an aligner, but thats not very common. Maybe 50 m sprinters are tamed and civilised bodythrowers. Alignment becomes important at high speeds.

Aligners: Mr smooth, Camille muffat, KPN, Nightcrawler, Ti folks.

Bodythrowers: Janet Evans, Katie Ledecky, Gianniotis, Harry Wiltshire, most elite triathlon swimmers.

It looks to me the bodythrowers feel very restricted if they have to squeeze their body through a tight tube all the time. The compromise between generating optimal (or better said maximal) propulsion  and achieving minimal drag is a little different for these swimmers.
Off course there are many in between styles, but if you are in the extreme corner of one of these styles i believe the percieved swim feeling is pretty different.
Thats where trouble starts; when one of these swimspecies gives advice to another Smile

All (most?) of the better bodythrowers can swim as an aligner when swimming relaxed, but when the power level goes up, the bodythrower emerges.

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Re: Aligners and bodythrowers

Post by Mike A on Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:10 pm

SA wrote:A swinger can be an aligner, but thats not very common.
Would you consider Shelley Taylor-Smith to be an example of an swinger-aligner?

Is it the momentum of the straight-arm recovery that encourages bodythrowing? In which case, it would be more common in those that throw the arm more "over" rather than "around".
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Re: Aligners and bodythrowers

Post by Don Wright on Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:50 am

SA wrote:...It looks to me the bodythrowers feel very restricted if they have to squeeze their body through a tight tube all the time...
Mike A wrote:...Is it the momentum of the straight-arm recovery that encourages bodythrowing?...
IMO a very interesting business - but at my own very much lower level! 

 I got thoroughly "slapped down" in the past, for daring to suggest that one could feel a definite surge in momentum by vigorously swinging a recovering arm back to to it's water entry when swimming back crawl.  It was pointed out to me that this idea was against Newton's first Law of Motion ("To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" etc!) - and hence was illusory!  But what an optimistic bod I am - I still feel there is something about this apparent increase in momentum.  This is where I like "SA"'s mention of body-throwers - it's the same momentum business. Is it a real advantage to aim to throw the body forwards as one vigorously recovers an arm (thinking of FS in particular now!) - or is it just an illusion???

I doubt very much that body-throwers worry about squeezing through the notional layers of concentric water tubing surrounding their bodies - unless it's an important factor  to keep the depth of insertion into the water of arms/feet to an optimal minimum, relative to the propulsive power they can obtain from those body parts! For instance,  are the "squeeze through a tube" FS swimmers more likely to use an EVF style catch which, more or less, "encourages" the rest of the pull to be just forearm/hand deep - instead of the longer lever of the full arm action, which will protrude deeper into the notional concentric water layers?

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Re: Aligners and bodythrowers

Post by SA on Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:02 am

I see the throwing recovery more as the end of the whiplike motion. Sort of a reverse butterfly where the arm is the end of the whip instead of the foot.
Like any throwing motion you want a kinetic chain from bottom to top. The bottom can only be a fihslike form instead of pushing off from firm ground, with bend knees like on dryland, but the action tries to do the same, only with the legs in a bag in a more corklike slightly bending action.The mass of the legs and the body is also partly used.

Shelly is too aligned to be a real bodythrower, everything is very symmetrical and controlled, but her recovery has a bit of the bodythrowing action. Most swimmers have a bit of both.
A lot of beginners look like bodythrowers, but their leg action cant find traction in the water and only creates drag while sinking the legs.They are used a s bad example of fishtailing, entering at the centerline etc.
The whole package looks like a mess, so coaches try to get them more aligned.
Sometimes they go to far and people loose all the basic power that is somewhere in the stroke but isnt applied in the right manner.

I do indeed think more aligned swimmers often also use a more perfect EVF straight backward action.
Ian  Thorpes 3 stage 2Bkick also has a quiet stage where he just pulls the body straight forward between arm entry and exit and holds the leg straight as a rudder. The arm entry and exit are the most disturbing parts of his stroke  and are balanced by kick actions.


Janet makes all the wild moves very aquatic under water
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K02I7GFwYuw

Muffat looks more like a straight tracking torpedo with arms and legs. Trying very hard to imitate a pencil.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVWofbptdVg

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Re: Aligners and bodythrowers

Post by Don Wright Yesterday at 11:05 am

SA wrote:...
Janet makes all the wild moves very aquatic under water
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K02I7GFwYuw
...
"javapapillon1" 3 years ago - wrote this comment on Janet's video, in the "YouTube comments portion" immediately after the clip - which quite interested me - thinking about non-conventional leg action : -
"... if you watch underwater shots, her kicking is completely unorthodox, with only one kick per arm cycle (or one kick of each leg per one complete two-arm rotation) - she does not flutter kick at all except off the turns. Sometimes she kicks with one leg and the other is dragged along doing these little twitches that are not even flutters. Back in the mid 1960s, the world's greatest distance swimmer, and the first swimmer ever to break 17 minutes for the 1,500 m., Roy Saari, also had this crazy stroke where he had an unconventional lopsided arm movement, and only one scissor kick per two-arms' rotation -- the rest of the time his legs kind of floated along in a serpentine side to side motion. The energy expenditure, and massive propulsion, was in the shoulders. Janet has one kick per each arm -- but there is something in the entirety of what she does that creates huge forward motion, not just buoyancy..."


(1) The red highlighted bit about Janet's "single leg kick while the other just twitches" reminded me very much of my FS variant in which I do a quick hip flick downwards as the arm on that side enters the water, and I vigorously roll towards it.  That sends a "ripple" down the relaxed leg on that side, but the other relaxed leg, vaguely waves around (to tell you the truth, I don't know exactly what that other leg does!)


(2) The "serpentine side to side motion" of Saari's legs as they just floated along - reminded me very much of something that lazy/unfit "muggins" does when swimming slow back crawl.  As an arm enters the water and descends to the catch, rolling towards that arm and bending the elbow to present the arm in a better attitude for the pull - I initiate a body waggle from the core, which ends with the topmost leg kicking a bit sideways (i.e. it's not just a conventional kicking up/down leg action - there's some torso action involved in it, an upward/sideways thrust of the midriff, leaving the legs to follow on, a bit out-of-phase).  That's me, hoping that my core waggle/undulation will help propulsion!  

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Re: Aligners and bodythrowers

Post by SharkTank Today at 12:44 am

Look at the hips of these swimmers and tell my they are "throwing" their body. Evans is actually doing that kayak paddle stroke.

Balls to wall swimming.

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Re: Aligners and bodythrowers

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