Fly topic - Still "agonizing" over timing!

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Fly topic - Still "agonizing" over timing!

Post by Don Wright on Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:30 pm

Rolling Eyes Thought I had tried most of the ideas to make my efforts look more recognizable - but still not satisfied.  With my last try of using a small quick scoop before the arms up-sweep - it annoyed me that it was so rushed, yet seemingly necessary in order to get the legs in position for the major kick downbeat.  Yes!, the quick little scoop could be crammed into the stroke pattern - but it wasn't good!

I delved into my fly instructional resources (Phelp's fantastic YouTube videos, Sheila Taormina's "Swim Speed Strokes" and my - now ancient - Maglischo's "Swimming. Fastest"). After much careful examination/thought, I saw something that I had noted years ago, but had long since  forgotten!  As the recovering arms enter the water and the downbeat of the minor kick is done to offset the pushing drag of the just entered arms - there seems to be a noticeable "lull" in the body action (apparently doing nothing much, during a gentle undulation!) as the hips rise slightly to the surface as a result of the legs kicking down.  This "lull" gives time for the arms to do a broader out-sweep and begin to move to a catch, while as this progresses the lower legs seem to be raised back above the body line (with the feet possibly breaking the surface).  The action of the forearms/hands moving into a more backward-facing attitude for the catch, is accompanied by lifting the head (think it might be helpful to think of the arm pull as pulling the head more upright) from its earlier attitude of looking down at the bottom, ready for inhalation a short while later when the lower legs thrash down and the arms do a vigorous up-sweep.  

That apparent "lull" in the body action, seems sufficient to do a nice broad effective scoop - something I had missed before!  It seems that the elbows need to be brought in/around just as the arms doing the end of the out-sweep/catch are in line with the shoulders, so as to change the orientation of forearms/hands from around/in (towards the ribs) - to down/back  (ready for the arms up-sweep).  At the same time, the raised lower legs are ready to do their "thrash downwards" to complete the major kick downbeat (without any apparent effort to throw the thighs forwards).  After careful examination of my "resources" it seems that the thighs are not brought in front of the torso-line much at all, during kick downbeats!  This is contrary to the idea of "throwing the thighs forwards" for such action but which would involve some bending of the knees - that would interfere with the smooth flow of water beneath the body.  This seems to tally with the leg action of some elite FS swimmers leg action - the kick downbeats seemingly to finish with a lower leg thrash down, the thigh barely coming in front of the torso-line!

So for my next try - have got to make the action after the minor kick downbeat much more relaxed/unhurried, as first the hips rise up to the surface, then in turn (as the undulation progresses), the lower legs continue the upward action - ending with the lower legs "curled back" about 30 degrees above the torso line, during what will be the major kick upbeat.  Most importantly I must avoid bringing the thighs much in front of that torso-line during any kick downbeats.  Will see what difference that makes Smile

Don Wright

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Re: Fly topic - Still "agonizing" over timing!

Post by cottmiler on Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:38 pm

Have you tried doing 'fly with fins?

It might make it really enjoyable.

We have recently had success with short training fins for the crawl - especially Bregor, who has made big progress yesterday with the crawl wearing his new fins. Also, today Mrs Cott has purchased some Aquaspere Alpha fins after hearing about Bregor.

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Re: Fly topic - Still "agonizing" over timing!

Post by Don Wright on Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:59 pm

Thanks for the idea "cottmiler" - am sure that something like a monofin would give a fantastic boost to fly body action.  However, no good for this "oldie" due to arthritis - it's painful on the bones of the insteps when  am doing flutter kicking in back crawl - it's the water pressure trying to bend the insteps on kick upbeats that causes the pain (so just 2 lengths of that, and don't want to do any more!).  The fact that I don't get that pain when flutter kicking in FS, or mucking about trying fly, English back stroke (with it's lower leg swirl), or breast stroke (which I don't enjoy, but presents the feet in different attitudes during the kick).  Indicates that my feet must be in an almost frozen "cranes foot"(?) attitude.  Never mind -  big sigh!  Sad   - it's all good exercise and keeps me mobile. In the words of the charlady in the old ITMA series on "steam radio" yonks ago (was it in the 40s?), delivered in a very mournful tone of voice  "It's be'in so cheerful wot keeps me go'in!" Smile

When younger I hadn't realized what debilitating problems old age can bring! The arthritis now affects my spine as well as hands, shoulders, hips, and knee joints etc,.  That coupled with "loss of balance" problems - means that even just walking is now more difficult.  Mercifully haven't reached the "Zimmer frame" state yet, and pain from the "grotty" joints is not constant!   However, don't mention "joint replacement" - it's too late to submit to that now - I might go into hospital on my feet - but come out on a trolley, headed for the funeral parlour!  Laughing
 
II's a pleasure to get into the water for a swim , 'cos it supports the "ropey" bits - and temporarily I can forget my age. The balance problem doesn't seem to affect me when prone in the water - only when trying to walk upright.  A major factor in that balance difficulty is of me "keeping my head up", when walking - it has some effect on the delicate balance mechanism in the inner ears, and being extremely short-sighted, I tend to walk focusing my eyes on the ground just a few yards in front - so my head is tilted down most of the time.

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Re: Fly topic - Still "agonizing" over timing!

Post by Don Wright on Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:21 am

Think at long last Rolling Eyes I've found the the answer to my timing problem - but that in turn has raised other things that need attention!  The "immediate" answer was quite simply to do the almost semi-circular "scoop" or in-sweep at the same time as throwing the thighs forwards (spatially down) leaving the knee joints completely relaxed so that the lower legs/feet are brought into the correct position, ready for their big thrust down - to complete the major kick downbeat - during the big up-sweep of the arms.

I should have gone back to that simple "simultaneous" action ages ago - but was mistakenly fussing over side-issues that weren't really important.

However!!! - my attention is now drawn to the fact that, unlike the elites almost "laying" their hands on the water at the end of arm recovery and water entry - my arms "plunge" into the water and end up at least some 6" below the surface - which is not good, too much "splosh"/turbulence! That might have been acceptable when I was aiming for a "double EVF" front-crawl style catch,  but not now am trying to follow best practice (so that it all looks more recognizable Smile ).  On water entry (with arms up close to the surface), I think we are supposed to simultaneously spread the arms apart (the out-sweep) ready for the catch and later "scoop" - ensuring that hands/forearms at the catch (which is achieved high-up near the surface), are oriented for later backward pressure on the water - and simultaneously, as the catch is reached, push the head down a bit (i.e. "pressing the buoy") to initiate the upward curl of the back for the start of the major kick upbeat.

So must now "explore" this business of "laying the hands on the water" instead of plunging them down at water entry!  Bob Bowman makes a big point of this issue on the old DVD I have of the maestro doing his stuff!

As I get older, I find it necessary to "adapt things" to get more air and economize on energy outlay. So am "playing around" repeating sequences of "one full fly stroke followed by a one-arm fly stroke"  - breathing to the side for the latter, as in freestyle - that is less-tiring and more sure of getting air, 'cos the head is not raised above the surface as in the full fly stroke!  Inhaling during the full stroke seems to necessarily be a more hasty action, due to gravity working against efforts to raise head, shoulders and arms, momentarily above the surface.

Have just been "Googling" to see what tips may be available on this business of "laying the hands on the water" at the end of fly arm recovery.  The article on "Swimming:-Butterfly coordination drills" on the NATASWIM website looks promising at a quick glance, since it mentions a drill for "Quiet Butterfly"  - that sounds the sort of thing I need! Viz:-

https://nataswim.info/swimming-online-coaching/6773-butterfly-coordination-drills

On the other hand, there seems to me to be some controversial elements to the entry phase described in : -

https://umanitoba.ca/faculties/kinrec/hlhpri/media/butterfly_checklist.pdf

The best method (at the mo!) seems to me to try the old SwimSmooth advocated method of arm water entry used in FS.  Viz , keep the, almost flat, hand at a slight angle to the water surface (definitely not turned for thumb first entry!) so that fingers enter first and the hand becomes parallel with the surface as the arm extends just beneath the surface.  If I use that style of entry in fly stroke - then the flat hands may momentarily help keep the arms up closer to the surface instead of plunging deeper! Whatever I do, the downbeat of the minor fly kick (started during arm recovery) needs to help off-set the "pushing drag" of the arms entry (which of course is double that experienced by FS swimmers!).

Most of the coaching info makes a point of bringing the hands in close beneath the "belly" at the end of the in-sweep.  But it's strange that there is no mention of "Passing the (flexed) elbow" as "SolarEnergy" told me, for the fly stroke "transition from in-sweep to up-sweep" in order to bring the head up higher during the up-sweep, so as to help clear the mouth above the water line for inhalation!

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