Visualizing and using the shoulders & arms as one single unit

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Visualizing and using the shoulders & arms as one single unit

Post by SharkTank on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:54 pm

I posted this on ST as well. I've been swimming a certain way to stretch out my stroke for the past week and it's pretty cool. I've come up with a bike analogy to explain it:

Your hands are the pedals
Your forearms are the cranks
Your upper arms are the axle (working as one unit)
Your shoulders are the BB (working as one unit)

So the idea is to visualize your front end working as a single drive apparatus vs independently left arm/right arm. Obviously the axle has to twist & articulate, forward and back for the stroking action, something that doesn't happen on a bike.

I did some video of this & really like what I see. My DPS is obviously up. I feel like I am challenging & extending my range of motion (ROM) and at the same time tapping some free energy by using the recovery arm to drive the pulling arm - as they are "linked" together by the "axle".

There are some other videos out there too we've seen posted here already loosely instructing on this subject.

The reason for this work is I find that over time, my stroke starts to tighten or shorten up. I did a video check with my son on the cam and it looked like I was pawing at the water with a really short DPS . So went back to the lab to work on loosening my shoulders and finding a way to increase range while I swim. Sort of stumbled on the above doing that.


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Re: Visualizing and using the shoulders & arms as one single unit

Post by SA on Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:35 am

hey we are walking more or less the same road. Your descriptions sound very familiar.
You can get a great sense of power from this style isnt it? The tricky part is how much glide and extension and alignment you can combine with it and still keep the momentum and flow.
Takes perfect timing and  flexibility and raw power in the end. I love the feeling when keeping the elbow high at entry and clawing/digging in the water, using the whole shoudercomplex to move forward from it.
Its pretty exhausting to keep it going with high strokerates and big strokes though.

What you are describing is very much like the float and paddle drill from the finding freestyle guys.
Its also close to sprint freestyle.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9emyWcqrLXY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLMLDEzFiKo

In my view the legs must be attatched to the action at least in a 2BK balancing way to get more out of it.

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Re: Visualizing and using the shoulders & arms as one single unit

Post by SharkTank on Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:56 am

For sure you understand what this is about. I suspect that all top swimmers swim this way, they just don't know anything else as they have done this since learning as kids (like my 12 year old there!). As he's monkeying around you can see he's actually using his whole body quite naturally with the stick stuck in his shoulders there.

I LOVE the feeling of grabbing nothing but SOLID water from the git-go. It's so addictive that you are right it can be a bit taxing but not in a bad way. I feel that it's like climbing a X% grade on a bike, "hurts good" type of thing. Swim practice I motored our last 400M - I had fins but was clawing solid water the whole way. Apparently I missed a motorboat coming through, I didn't even notice i was hammering pretty hard. I'll post a kick wars III video soon too.

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Re: Visualizing and using the shoulders & arms as one single unit

Post by SA on Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:32 am

lets face it, your kick will never be an effective swimmers kick. Best use most of this whole upperbody action and keep the legs streamlined, but involved.
Whats difficult for me  is combining a good high elbow catch with a continuous motion. The bending at the elbow causes some disturbance of the whole movement in some way.<
I find rotating the shoulders relative to hips a bit more makes this inherent hitch a bit smoother.
I agree the load shifts more from shoulder to body and getting that tired is not such a problem as wearing out the shoulder itself.

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Re: Visualizing and using the shoulders & arms as one single unit

Post by SharkTank Today at 12:39 am

Hey my kick ain't too shabby - but it's not sustainable. Plus my SI joint blows afterwards due to traumatized hip flexors from my career as a bungee jumper.

This is the shoulder "connected" stroke, locked & grooved over the past two weeks. Feels good & is fast I have say.
https://youtu.be/Hkd-dwIm__Y

Kick Wars: Lou Ferigno vs the kid
https://youtu.be/3iUqhZqPY6Q

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