a "mixed" fly drill?

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a "mixed" fly drill?

Post by Don Wright on Sun May 13, 2018 10:08 am

When I get to the "fly efforts"(!!!) part of my swim routine, am currently starting with a few metres of "body dolphin" on my back with arms at the sides (so my head is above the water all the time for breathing) then stand up  (uniform depth pool - about 4.5ft deep) and switch across to on-the-side body dolphin with one arm out-stretched and the other by the side, just for a few metres again (inhaling as the lower legs do their kick forwards which gives a bit of upthrust to clear the mouth above the water line) - then repeat the sequence to reach the end wall.  Not keen on doing body dolphin on the back with arms outstretched in line with the body 'cos a significant time is spent UW, until the upward thrust of the lower legs brings the head up for an inhalation - so quite a bit of water goes up the nose despite using a nose-clip (have never found one that was 100% effective!).

It suddenly struck me (Doh!!!) that it would be "nicer" (cutting out the "stand up" connecting bit of the sequence) when on the back, with arms at the sides body-dolphining, to bring one arm up/over like a back crawl arm recovery, as I roll to my side and do the on-the side body-dolphin with head UW for a short while during a few kicks, (exhaling a little bit on each forward thrust of the lower legs).  I seem to make better progress doing that (head UW) than when I try to keep my head in a position ready to inhale. Um! - Must check this out at my next session!

Yonks ago, I experimented doing a faster hybrid "on the back" body dolphin (a fly version of back crawl!? Rolling Eyes ) - moving both arms from an initial "stroke cycle" position of overhead "in line with the body", then sweeping them out to the sides and round to the hips (as in the old English back stroke) - then recovering the arms out of the water as the lower legs kick upwards, to grab a quick inhalation as the head momentarily breaks the surface - the arms make water entry again outstretched in line with the body.  Snag - water up the nose despite nose-clip - so wasn't keen to pursue the idea!  I think it's has been tried by various bods, dating back to the time when the dolphin action was first introduced circa the mid 1950s?

Re-played my old SWIM FAST  Butterfly DVD of maestro Phelps doing his stuff  - (Oh for the vigour of youth!) - It reminded me of one of the drills that I have never really "explored" viz what Bob Bowman calls the "Balance and Distance" drill using 3 dolphin kicks/stroke - doing a normal full stroke but doing an extra kick when the arms have recovered/entered and are still up close to the surface.  The idea being to make sure that the hips are high in the water before doing the next full stroke. The body just "ripples along" between the entry kick and the extra one!

For an "oldie" like me - that entails a rather long time before getting the chance of another inhalation, but I could try making a much slower exhalation, to see if that makes it a viable proposition.   When watching the DVD (dates back back to the early 2000s) I was struck by the fact that Phelps did not use any deep knee bands at all - the greatest angle between thigh and lower leg seemed to be less than 30 degrees - yet there is on YouTube, a clip showing Phelps apparently doing a quite deep knee bend as the lower legs are prepared for the thrust down to complete the major kick downbeat (almost as deep a knee bend as used by breast-strokers in preparation for their "froggy" kick).   Am thinking of his leg action circa 0:13 and 0:18 etc, in the clip, although the effect might be due to camera angle , or Phelps has modified his action over time! : -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd67PMryIT0

I like his "head nod" action - pushing it down below the level of the just entered arms, in order to initiate the start of the major kick upbeat - sending an upward ripple along the back, so as to bring the feet up near the surface - out of the way while the "scoop" is done!

F


Last edited by Don Wright on Mon May 21, 2018 9:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: a "mixed" fly drill?

Post by Sprinter on Sat May 19, 2018 7:22 pm

All kind of big actions (arms or legs, whatever stroke) are always a big problem for the amateur, and are better avoided.

For the butterfly, there is this long-distance slow stroke with big undulation. For example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N1YhymdqGE looks reasonable.

But otherwise I would go flat. With the arm entry, there should be some effort to push the chest down, but for most of us that doesn't go far, and the arms should quickly rise and start the catch. I also believe that for most of us any bigger leg movement makes us slower. (Completely irrelevant for us what the trained athlete does.) Flat under the water, flat over the water, with a reasonable rhythm and speed, that seems to me a reasonable recipe.

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Re: a "mixed" fly drill?

Post by Don Wright on Mon May 21, 2018 10:44 am

Just been re-reading the fly portion of Sheila Taormina's "Swim Speed Strokes" - interesting to see where one goes wrong!  Although the proper action of elites is beyond most of us - it is still a good guide - to help us do whatever we can, to make our efforts look at least recognizable! Laughing


Think I got stuck on the idea too much of the "translation" of the FS EVF catch across to fly stroke. We went through this business with SS and FS, of ensuring we had a high elbow and hand vertical with forearm at least 45 degrees below the level of the surface - so that any subsequent pulling action would initially have it's major effect backwards.  So although I "clucked" about doing a "double EVF" for a fly catch - it is very far from being a strict one (with the forearm hanging at 90 degrees below the surface).  In fly stroke the difference in path length from the catch to start of up-sweep is a bit less than in FS - "the mandatory passing the elbow business" shortening that distance. So this makes it necessary to obtain a "quicker" catch than in FS I think, in order not to loose path length between those stages!).  Lets face it, even in early competitive swimming days some FS swimmers were pleased to initially get a hand catch (Something muggins is happy to do when doing a few lengths of FS using "arm catch-up" action.) - i.e. rolling the hand over to grab a handful of water - rather than waiting till the forearm can add it's underside surface area to that catch, to provide better backward propulsion in the pull.

The "head nod" just below the level of the out-stretched arms at the end of the minor kick downbeat, is IMO just "pressing the buoy" in an effort to start the "upward curl" of the spine for the major kick upbeat.  I see that Phelps - (re: my earlier post's clip link) - seems to enter his arms quite wide of the shoulders - so he has already completed his arms out-sweep - and very quickly gets into a catch attitude!  Think that goes against the idea that one should keep the arms outstretched in line with the body until the minor kick downbeat has finished - so as to reduce the drag that may be caused as momentum pushes the body forwards with arms initially spread wide.)  On my DVD of Phelps doing his fly stuff there is an overhead view of his arm action - and not only does he enter his arms quite wide, but also sweeps them out quite wide of the hips.  Wonder if this is so as to minimize the length of time the arms are above the water recovering, and not doing useful propulsive work UW?

It seems to me that a lot of fly swimmers make a catch more shallowly below the surface than in FS,  and that the subsequent in-sweep involves initially quite a bit of "pushing water aside", until the underside of the forearms can augment the action as the arms do the early part of the in-sweep.  Then there is that awkward transition from moving the arms "out and around" in the in-sweep, to a position ready to "press back and up" for the up-sweep!

Do you remember the early controversy about whether it was better to do a semi-circular arc with the arm when doing the FS in-sweep  - or do a "straighter" pull-through from the catch.  I think it was proved that despite the larger path length traversed by the arm traversing a circular arc, it was better to do a "straighter" pull-through.  (Didn't SS complain that ASA was still teaching/advocating the old circular-arc method?)  Have this little niggly doubt about whether same comments apply to fly with it's semi-circular arc, early part of the  in-sweep!

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Re: a "mixed" fly drill?

Post by Don Wright on Wed May 23, 2018 9:56 am

Moan of the day!  Getting a lot of right shoulder trouble - had rotator cuff injury before, but swum gently through the problem.  It's back again Sad - niggly pain while trying to sleep even.  Think am in a bit of a skeletal mess with spine and neck etc - plus arthritic graunchy joints. Will be swimming very "gingerly" over the next few sessions so as not to aggravate things. The main cause of the shoulder problem is putting too much pressure on the right shoulder when using my walking stick (essential now unfortunately 'cos of balance problems - otherwise I lurch and stagger a bit because of grotty hips and knees. Without the stick I would fail the police test for drunks of walking a straight line).  Usually am a different bloke when I get in the water and it supports the achey bits! Smile

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