Using a Pull Buoy and Hip Driven Stroke

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Post by cottmiler on Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:51 am

I hadn't used a pull buoy for years until a couple of weeks ago in Paul Newsome,s squad and I found it rather interesting. I probably never learnt to use one properly after the initial phase of learning to go in a straight line.

Another thing that Paul had us doing was reducing breaths to every 5 or 7.

These things made me realize that I needed the right arm to enter a bit wider and secondly that the body roll differed whether I was taking a breath or not. Both big errors. Thirdly, I was twisting the body between hips and chest which was another bad thing.

I located this video which reminded me what to do. Ian Thorpe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT1ojfBuFqw

The problem with using too much pull buoy according to PN is the tendency to swim flat and de-training.

I hope to get to Claremont pool later in February.

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Post by Sprinter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:14 pm

It appears more and more to me that the whole "hip thing" has nothing in stock, at any level.

What is the hip-thing supposed to deliver? The human body is not a propeller, and if you get just a centimetre per minute propulsion out of it, then I would guess that would already be a "good achievement".

Overreaching with your arms seems a doubtful and quite dangerous technique (for the shoulders), but even if you want to do that, you could do that without the hips.

"Skating on the side": obviously increases your drag, by increasing your effective diameter.
There is always that stuff about "swim like a fish": are you aware of any fish who flips from side to side??
Mammals swim on the stomach.

Just enough rotation to breath, that seems to be it.

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Post by Don Wright on Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:33 am

Sprinter wrote:...The human body is not a propeller... [ (  old Don's comments are in red between square brackets!  ) IMO we cannot rotate clock/anti-clockwise fast enough to have much effect as a propellor.  After all, we do have to snatch a breath somewhen!]

Overreaching with your arms seems a doubtful and quite dangerous technique (for the shoulders), but even if you want to do that, you could do that without the hips.  [I went through a phase of doing that yonks ago while swimming FS "flat" - to follow the advice of an expert - OK so you can gain maybe a few inches on each stroke's path length by reaching forward further - but the extra stretching forward does consume energy and detracts from body relaxation, also straight-line swimming, because of the body twisting as the hand tries to stretch further ahead]

"Skating on the side": obviously increases your drag, by increasing your effective diameter. [This "skating on the side" biz was, I think, started yonks ago by Full-Immersion, based on the analogy of the fast old sailing "tea clippers" having a "sharp" keel.  However, I think "Sprinter" is very right about the increase in diameter required to swim with a rapidly clock/anti-clock rotation through a "notional flexible tunnel" of concentric boundary water layers surrounding the body of an F.S. swimmer.  Causing extra disturbance to such concentric layers must add to drag. However as we all know, the final stroke for a competitive swimmer reaching out for the touch pad at the end of a race, is best swum by rolling onto the side, because the lead arm can stretch further ahead.]

There is always that stuff about "swim like a fish": are you aware of any fish who flips from side to side?? Mammals swim on the stomach. [I don't know about the physical attributes of a fishes spinal vertebrae - but am fairly certain they accommodate a greater range of movement than that of humans.  We are more limited to mainly movement up/down relative to the front of the body.]

Just enough rotation to breath, that seems to be it.


One of the little FS variants I still swim, is to deliberately thrust the hip down vigorously as the recovering arm on that side is about to make water entry - while leaving the legs close together free to "do their own thing".  So this is very similar to "cott..."'s  Hip-driven clip. I used to think it was one of my faster FS variants ('cos my awkward inflexible feet/ankles were " kept  out of the picture") - until that is, I was passed by a fairly good FS swimmer (using normal technique!) in the adjacent lane! Doh! Rolling Eyes


cottmiler wrote:Another thing that Paul had us doing was reducing breaths to every 5 or 7.


Eek - Gulp! it is difficult enough for me to manage inhaling on each 3rd arm stroke - extending it to every 4 is just about my limit - you must be very fit indeed to sustain 5 or 7 strokes on a single breath over a decent distance!!! Shocked (Am running out of breath and getting a bit fraught after just 15m without another inhalation!).  I do understand that going further between inhalations, does reduce the stroke disturbance caused by rolling to inhale periodically!

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Post by cottmiler on Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:48 pm

Thanks both.

Here is Chloe Sutton showing us what to do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6pLGPqN7aY


My swim today with the pull buoy confirmed that this is a really good way to swim.  She mentions involving the core which ensures the body stays straight and yet allows the hand to "paint a line" along the bottom of the pool.


Last edited by cottmiler on Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : wrong video put on)

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Post by Don Wright on Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:34 am

Hi "cott..."

  Have watched your embedded video clip twice now - and then "hung around" to watch what else was "coming up" - after a while there was a 35 minute clip by Auburn Univ swim coach on aspects of FS.  As with others apparently now, he was emphasizing dramatic rotation, to present an almost sideways on rotation, to "cut through the water" instead of "barging" though it "flat".  Think if I recall properly, he said one shouldn't be in a "flat" posture for long during a stroke cycle.

  So it's all a matter of opinion!

  On the business of doing more arm strokes before taking the next inhalation - I do like, when inhaling on every 4th arm stroke, "pressing the buoy" to bring the legs up higher, it seems to make my kicks more "effective". Because, at the start of each kick downbeat (re my wretched stiff ankle/instep problem), my insteps are then momentarily in a more horizontal attitude (at least I think they are! Laughing ) - with each foot breaking the surface for an instant on the kick upbeats.

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Post by Don Wright on Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:18 pm

In a desperate effort to improve my swim capability  - I had another look at my old TI DVD "Easy Freestyle - 21st Century Techniques for Beginners to Advanced Swimmers".  I had to suppress my disgust at the lack of attention to the importance of not applying effort until a limb, or a part thereof, was backward-facing - a basic tenet of Swim Smooth! During the DVD with Terry Laughlin going through his various drills - I was struck by his emphasis on a quick hip action when doing a TI "switch (e.g. "Zen switch" and all that stuff!) implying (if I remember rightly) that a vigorous "switch" could impart forward movement without expending much effort with the arms.  So here we are again, "polishing up" the supposed benefits of a quick hip flick!!!

I will be spending more time on his breathing tips -so that one could take in fresh air without waiting for the freestyle arm upsweep to get the mouth in a suitable position for inhalation. He warned about not "stacking the shoulders" (i.e. not completely rotated to face the side wall but just rotating the trunk sufficiently for the mouth to clear the water, and snatch a breath.  What he called the "sweet-spot"! Rolling Eyes  When I tried it - it seemed a very "iffy" business, with most of the head UW and just the mouth turned up to the surface - looking (hoping!) for a break-through!  Needless to say all the action had to be done gently so as not to create much disturbance.   Will persevere with his tips on the DVD - hopefully I will benefit!!!

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Post by Sprinter on Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:50 pm

Ha ha, the assertion that with any kind of rotating action one might add to propulsion -- ZERO!
Or to be more precise: just lay in the water, whatever position, and try to get any propulsion by any kind of crazy rotation you like, trunk, arms, legs, feet, ears ... if you get say 1m per minute out of it, that would likely be quite impressive ;-)

And in the context of "such guys", the kicking is always described as of "little efficiency" -- ha ha.

The rotation just hinders your swimming, by disturbing your feel for the water, and creating turbulences, increasing drag. So the rotation is just there for the breathing. Sure that's important, but one should know that it is just that, for the breathing.

Watching from time to time the slower swimmers, I am more and more convinced that the horizontal water position is only important for (really) fast swimming, while it might be actually hindering swimming for slower swimming: breathing is harder if you (artificially) try to impose a horizontal position (which on the other hand comes naturally if you swim really fast), and also pushing the water backward is hard, given that slower swimmers typically have restricted shoulder mobility.

I would think for speeds of say 25m in 30sec or slower, a body angle of 30 degrees (say) it quite natural, making breathing easier, and enabling for a reasonable range of motion a reasonable pushing backwards of the water.

My current understanding is that really nearly nothing of what applies to competitive swimming, applies to slower swimmers, who due to age restrictions can not hope anymore to develop of speed of say faster than 50m in 40s.

Swimming (really) fast is a very different kind of swimming, in a sense everything becomes much easier. The typical approach is to "muscle" your way into it, then you are "at it", feel the water etc., and then you can develop your swimming skills, always guided by the (strong!) flow of water.

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Post by Don Wright on Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:42 am

I had a chuckle too - at my own foolish ever-hopeful self!  There aint gonna be any "solution" for me, other than to enjoy what I can still do!  I'll bung the TI DVD in the next "charity bag" that comes along asking for general unwanted stuff!

Think the basic tenet holds - you get no forward motion until effort is applied to some backward-facing part of the body.  That "wishful-thinking" of getting some forward motion from a hip flick,  raises in my noddle, puzzling thoughts over how one can get forward movement from a UW body dolphin undulation - yet it does!

On cursory thought it seems that a body undulation only produces forward motion, 'cos towards the end of each undulation, the shins/insteps flick back/down on the water - the rest of the upper body movement just causes bobbing up/down if one is up at the surface.  I know with the UW action the idea is to expend some energy to raise a "more forward" part of the body, which then falls under gravity, but the next part of the body rises in succession - and so on, until the final part of an individual undulation, with the lower extremities being flicked down from a partly backward-facing position.  So that works nicely - but what goes on in the middle of the undulation seems to me just "bobbing up/down" - any displaced water from a "rise" of a body part (in turn the shoulders, then hips, then lower legs)  can flow in 2 "down-hill" directions - towards the feet and the head as well - without forward motion being achieved - i.e. it's that final mini-kick from the lower legs/feet that seems to produce motion forwards - and very gratifying too when done quickly.  However, are there hydrodynamic actions, that do, even in the intermediate stages of an undulation, produce movement forwards? Have just remembered that in Maglischo's old tome - on the subject of UW body dolphin -  he wrote that one should "reach forwards" with the outstretched arms during an undulation - I've checked on what he actually wrote - not what I think he did - at the end of this post.  The "stretch" is like a tight shrug of the shoulders, if I remember correctly from past efforts, with the arms always over-lapping one another for good stream-lining, in order to gain forward movement! As I no longer do such UW B.D. action, I've forgotten much of the "How-To" for that action - since the upward tug of buoyancy in my closed-cell neoprene shorts cancels out efforts to stay UW for more than a second or two.   But the B.S. help my poor buoyancy ("sinky" legs!) when swimming at the surface!  Can't have it both ways - sigh! Sad

One can raise the issue of "How does tidal wave action deposit flotsom on a beach?"  Like a partly immersed bottle up near the sea surface - that bottle presents a backward-facing attitude to a wave moving towards the shore - and the wave provides the "effort" by pushing the bottle forwards a bit - rising up/down with the swell!

Quote from M's tome in which he refers to the "now old-fashioned" style in fly UW body dolphin, of using a body shimmy with arms wavering slightly up/down : -

"Just as in full stroke swimming, some body undulation is necessary to translate the downward movement of the legs into forward propulsion.  This is accomplished through a mechanism termed a body shimmy.  In this case however, it is the arms and not the head, that are used as the locus of translation.  The shimmy, as the name implies, is a series of small alternating up and down movements of the arms that accompany the upbeats and downbeats of the dolphin kick.  These arm movements are timed precisely with the kicks to keep the body travelling forwards.  The sequence of the arm movements is as follows.

  The downbeat of the kick will push the trunk, head, and arms forward and down as it elevates the hips up and forward.  Gravity will cause the hips to travel down and forward during the next upbeat.
  Swimmers should raise the arms slightly and stretch them forward as the hips pass the peak of their upward undulation.  This will allow the subsequent  downward movement of the hips and trunk to push the body forward. The swimmers will then push slightly downwards with the arms as they execute the downbeat to keep the upper body travelling forward."


The more modern method exemplified by Phelps et al, keeps the outstretched arms in a more or less fixed attitude, so as to spear straight ahead without any wavering of arms.  I don't understand in this case, how forward motion is achieved - but it is probably a slight variation of M's description above!

Before returning to the post's original topic - well almost! Smile    ---On the process of getting forward movement when swimming body dolphin. When done UW, tum downwards, the body movement is in the vertical plane - our old pal Gravity helps!   But, it is a different story when swimming B.D. on the side at the surface. Gravity is of no help there in making progression, 'cos it's all done in the horizontal plane - so it can never be as fast as when swimming it UW - and for this reason I think the forward movement (as suggested earlier) comes principally from the flicking action that completes each dolphin kick.


Aha! now back to the Hip-driven FS!!!  As I am getting nearer the time when  the "popping of clogs" is an inevitable issue, I didn't want to leave a lot of old (mainly maths/programming) textbooks for my family to dispose of .  My list does also include books like, Vol 2 of The Swim Coaching Bible - which I only got in order to find out what the latest trends were, particularly for FS and fly.  The  section on FS (by coach Mike Bottom) refers to the 3 main styles - Hip-driven, Shoulder-driven, and Body-driven - with a bit of explanation on each, and when most useful. (with competitive swimmers changing from style to style, according to needs) The Hip-driven section makes it plain that it starts each stroke cycle "skating" on the side, with one arm outstretched out front - and then a vigorous kick is made on the same side as the outstretched arm - in order to help "switch" the hips around, so that the toes are pointing to the bottom.  So this means that the Hip-driven style is essentially a 2-beat kick one (Mmmm! - live and learn!).  The Shoulder-driven style is the one in which a fast shallow kick is used, so the book says, with much of the propulsion coming - not from the legs (surprise!) but from the body stability the kick affords for faster shoulder rotation. In the article, Mike gives the simile "It's like standing om a wobbly water bed and trying to reach up to put a heavy item on a shelf" - presumably the increased leg action (quick stamping on the wobbly water bed) gives a momentarily more stable base to lift the item up onto the shelf.  The Body-driven style - is an "anything goes" one, used in a desperate final rush to the touch-pad - so I guess that includes stroking with 2 arms in the water simultaneously, one pulling and the other pushing!  I never liked the book much anyway - it didn't show a follow-on sequence of pics for each of the styles - just different bods doing it!


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Post by Don Wright on Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:18 am

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