Pulling down the centre line

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Pulling down the centre line

Post by cottmiler on Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:32 pm

The Beginner's Champion is back!

Owing to inclement weather today, there was only me in the pool for my first proper swim in two months. Mrs Cott was supervising along with her ipad and managed to take a little video of me "swimming" straight towards her and also going.

Close examination later showed that my right arm was pulling nicely along the centre line under the body but the left arm was half a metre out left. It happened regardless of breathing side.

This explains a lot of the leg re-balancing flapping but this major arm pull failing can be cured now that I have so clearly identified it.

Studying Mr /Ms Smooth animations confirms how the arm pull must stay within a narrow tube and not stray outside the body contours.



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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by SA on Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:42 am

paddles and pull buoy (plus ankle band if you cant keep the legs together) is ideal to check if your pull isnt steering you  from a straight line. If you track straight with paddles you certainly track straight without them.
If you pull very far from the centerline your body will steer sideways at every stroke, just like a canoe with one paddle at the side.
The sliight S shape  pull sweeping almost past the belly button is simply the best.
Its used for decades for a reason.

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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by Sprinter on Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:16 am

cottmiler wrote:
Close examination later showed that my right arm was pulling nicely along the centre line under the body but the left arm was half a metre out left.  It happened regardless of breathing side.

This sounds like a very typical phenomenon, where the left arm, as the weaker arm, "falls down" quickly, often related with overrotation, which it tries to contain. As a result, the left arm has very little pulling-power.

Then I believe "paddles and pull buoy and ankle band" are of little help.
It took me years to repair this (I hope that I finally achieved that). Key seems to reduce drastically the rotation. The main problem with that perhaps, in my experience, is that the rotation is a kind of crutch to create body-tension (via the twisting), and if one reduces the rotation, then it seems one typically also reduces (falsely) the body-stability, and that leads to weak swimming. It seems not easy to create the right core-stability, when one got used to the rotation.

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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by Sprinter on Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:28 am

The thesis is that the rotation is a poor-man's solution to the central problem of swimming, having the stable trunk, with the arms and legs correctly mounted. Via the rotation, especially the acceleration of the rotation and then the need to stop it, and then to untwist again, one creates some form of core stability/tension. In itself the rotation is useless (and even disturbing), and it only provides a poor approximation of the right core-tensions at the right times, but it's better than nothing --- and perhaps adults have often special problems with that, and so they cling to the rotation.

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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by s.sciame on Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:01 pm

Sprinter wrote:
It took me years to repair this (I hope that I finally achieved that). Key seems to reduce drastically the rotation.

Hi Sprinter, have you ever had any shoulder problems during this process? I mean with less rotation the recovery arm has less way to recover "safely".

One thing I experience when swimming with a front snorkel (which reduces my rotation), is that after 200-300m of continuous swimming the shoulders sometimes start to feel a bit uncomfortable. Avoiding to cut short at the end of the stroke helps in this regard, but I often need to also rotate more to keep my shoulders from complaining.

Salvo

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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by Sprinter on Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:36 pm

s.sciame wrote:
Hi Sprinter, have you ever had any shoulder problems during this process? I mean with less rotation the recovery arm has less way to recover "safely".

One thing I experience when swimming with a front snorkel (which reduces my rotation), is that after 200-300m of continuous swimming the shoulders sometimes start to feel a bit uncomfortable. Avoiding to cut short at the end of the stroke helps in this regard, but I often need to also rotate more to keep my shoulders from complaining.

Salvo

I am not aware of problems arising from rotating less.
With the snorkel, I try to keep the snorkel as fixed as possible, and I think I achieve a rather still snorkel.
That still leaves enough space for the rotation.

Do you stretch enough? Directly after the swimming is the right time! I believe for us elderly gentlemen Cool stretching is very important.
Another aspect which comes into my mind here is the relaxation during the recovery: do you have a problem here?

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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by cottmiler on Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:20 pm

This reminds me of Oscar Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Grey" in that what I think I look like and what I actually do look like is mirrored so brutally here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6W4YEm1VJ0

Being self taught with no feed back is never going to correct this action. Neither is simply swimming more and harder going to help in my opinion.

(Clip is courtesy of zenturtle from T.I.)


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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by Sprinter on Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:47 pm

cottmiler wrote:This reminds me of Oscar Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Grey" in that what I think I look like and what I actually do look like is mirrored so brutally here:
In other words, this is you? (Just to be on the safe side Wink )

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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by s.sciame on Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:05 pm

Sprinter wrote:

I am not aware of problems arising from rotating less.
With the snorkel, I try to keep the snorkel as fixed as possible, and I think I achieve a rather still snorkel.
That still leaves enough space for the rotation.

Do you stretch enough? Directly after the swimming is the right time! I believe for us elderly gentlemen Cool stretching is very important.
Another aspect which comes into my mind here is the relaxation during the recovery: do you have a problem here?

When I swim without snorkel my shoulders feel always relaxed at any pace and any distance. They start complaining only when swimming with the snorkel for a while: still have to understand why, but the only reason I could find so far is that maybe I rotate too little when swimming with the snorkel. I'll post some videos soon.

Thanks,
Salvo


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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by Tom65 on Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:46 pm

s.sciame wrote:
Sprinter wrote:

I am not aware of problems arising from rotating less.
With the snorkel, I try to keep the snorkel as fixed as possible, and I think I achieve a rather still snorkel.
That still leaves enough space for the rotation.

Do you stretch enough? Directly after the swimming is the right time! I believe for us elderly gentlemen Cool stretching is very important.
Another aspect which comes into my mind here is the relaxation during the recovery: do you have a problem here?

When I swim without snorkel my shoulders feel always relaxed at any pace and any distance. They start complaining only when swimming with the snorkel for a while: still have to understand why, but the only reason I could find so far is that maybe I rotate too little when swimming with the snorkel. I'll post some videos soon.

Thanks,
Salvo


I definitely rotate less with the snorkel, have to stay aware, haven't used it for months.

I also have to focus on roll on non breatjing strokes to make sure my shouldets up for recovery. Probably need a decent coach to have a look at my stroke now.
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Re: Pulling down the centre line

Post by Sprinter on Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:59 am

Concerning the video cited by cottmiler: I fundamentaly disagree with the comments concerning the rotation --- it is part of the problem, not of the solution! Far too much rotation, and to control that seems very hard for adult learners (and you don't gain anything from that). Curb the rotation, and I think the wobble will improve.

Concerning the straight-arm pull: the point is not to *forbid* something (like engaging your shoulders), but to *activate* the lats --- they are not working! A very good exercise is hard, very hard water polo! Pull as hard and fast as you can -- then you have to bend the arms, and your lats have to work. Do this for 1-3 25m's --- and then swim normal --- your lats will feel sensational! You need to start feeling them, and this extreme exercises helps a lot.

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