Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

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woody
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Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby woody » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:25 pm

I am 59 and decided to learn freestyle a couple of years ago bought th TI book and easy Freestyle and taught myself for a year then had a few lessons with Ian Smith who sadly died late last year.
I went from struggling to do a length to being able to swim 2k in a 20m pool but with what i know now is poor style my lead arm dropping and coming to a stop as I took a breath to my left side only. Took me 1hr sometimes bit less often bit more so 3mins per 100 ish and not out of breath I guess I had an age to breathe in as I stopped.lots of head lifting and scissor kicks etc.
This year I have discovered a new coach with an endlesspool had 3 lessons and of course swim smooth (I guess I fit into the over analytical type all over the net finding stuff about swimming but also most likely a bambino)
The problem is though whilst my stroke has improved this year and I can bilaterally breathe I now cant do more than 2 lengths without being out of breath.Sometimes i push myself to 4 or 5 but my style goes to pieces and the breathing to one side.
My new coach says it is a fitness issue but I disagree (not that i am extremely fit far from it) but I was doing 2k with relative ease albeit slowly.I think it is my breathing hence I bought the book (plus it also had land based exercises in case he is right).

Today I went to the pool and did the sinking down drill, the pool is only 1.5 deep so did it into sit downs and after a lot of failures finally breathed out enough to sit on the bottom and then continue breathing as I stood up. I then tried a swim and felt a lot calmer and this time i got to 3 lengths but on the fourth I think I caught myself taking short breaths an less exhaling.(I also did the bubble bubble breath)

After all that long winded stuff my question is should I be breathing out the same amount of air between strokes whilst swimming as it took to make me sink in my sinking exercises ? cos that sure seemed like a lot it really surprised me how much I had to do to sink even a little.

I will do my best to be the 11yr old too>
My goal is to be able to swim my 2k again in 40mins so 2mins per 100 flip turns would be great too if only i had the air left to do them!

Woody

Don Wright
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:40 pm

Hi Woody"

I got my copy today too! Have just replied to Pablo's post in his topic "Front Crawl Help.... Need Really Good Advice" - am not sure if my little bit helped him, but as I constructed the post, I think I may have stumbled on an answer to my breathing problem, and which may help you if you haven't already tried it. Rather than repeat myself, have a read of my post especially (*) bit leading to the footnote in red font colour! Worth a try perhaps!?

Bye / Don

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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby woody » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:52 pm

Thanks Don
I have just seen Pablos thread and your posts sems we are both having same problem.
will read your post properly
thanks
Woody
Everything is won or lost inside your own head.

The best time to learn to swim was a long time ago the second best time is today

woody
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby woody » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:10 pm

Hi Don
Have read your posts not sure about the puffing out but if it works for you why not give it atry.

I read the breathing section in the book before i went to the pool today the sink downs seem to be the way to check your exhalation.
there were only a couple of others in the pool so I warned them not to be too concerned if they saw me sink down!

It took me 10 mins or so before i could sit on the botom just by exhaling . The first few attempts I simply wouldnt sink,then I had to use my arms to push me what and finally what seemed a huge exhale and then exhale a bit more i sank gently down.
I then did a couple of easy lengths as the book suggests exhaling out the same way and it did feel calmer and somehow better.
But still lot more to do
Happy reading

Ps it also says best to find a pool where they allow flippers even if further to travel I am lucky mine does so long as there is no one swimming close by
Everything is won or lost inside your own head.

The best time to learn to swim was a long time ago the second best time is today

Don Wright
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:47 am

Hi woody!

It's puzzling really, to exhale gently so much that you think you're ready to inhale again - only to find things getting a bit fraught later on! I would love to be able to swim front crawl in a relaxed manner (never mind how slowly!) length after length. I occasionaly (just so as not to forget how to do things!), get to the end of a length and do a flip turn - but within a few seconds of surfacing, the breathing becomes a major issue. If I cut out the fancy turn and just wait a few seconds, clinging on to the gutter at the end wall, then start the next lap -things soon go awry - I can just about do that second lap, but it's getting a bit of a struggle.

Before my heart op, when I was determined to crack my breathing problem, I got behind a slow breast stroke swimmer and tagged on a body length behind - got through 2 lengths, but ended up floundering on the third, losing coordination due to oxygen deficit. So I've had this breathing problem ever since returning to swimming at 70, despite having no problems swimming a slow (through being unaware of correct technique!) mile in my 20s. Now I know more about technique, I can't seem to use that knowledge to get far!

That business of doing the flutter kick drill on my side, and just breathing out gently into the water for 6 or so kicks, then looking ceiling-ward to inhale meant that in a short while I had to stop for a real "breather". However, giving that quick "extra puff out of stale air" with the mouth above the water before immediately inhaling, meant that I could continue with the drill for as long as I wished (seldom do more than a single length of any drill!!!). Of course, doing that while on my side meant that I was under no "stroke timing pressure" to do that extra puff out/inhale action. Am hoping that idea will still work when doing the full stroke! It's a very old idea - this business of giving an extra quick final puff out of stale air (while the face is still in the water) has been around for a long time. It's just that sometimes "it takes a long time for the penny to drop" as we say (Well that seems to apply in my case!), before realization dawns that others advice might actually work for us! :o

Best wishes! Bye / Don

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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby cutawooda » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:06 am

PLEASE! tell me about this sink down drill. I have just learned to swim a month ago. Everyone, including instructors say that my stroke is fine. My breathing pattern is fine..But here is the catch: I cant do more than one lap. I am a runner. I can run 19 miles now. How could I possibly be having so much of an issue with getting my breath? After 2 lengths I am so exhausted that it is certain that if I try another length, I will surely drown. The reason I mention that is because some people have advised me that it is all in my head. That if I push through it I will come out ok. I beg to differ. I feel my pulse after a lap. It is ramped up.
I am sooo frustrated I just want to give up this idea. I breath out while my face is in the water, I breathe in as I go for a reach with my face up, but for some reason I am getting oxygen deprived. Remember, it is confirmed that my stroke is not the problem,..I so so so so want to swim many laps. Please Help me figure out what the hell I am doing wrong! PLEASE!!

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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:08 am

Hi fellowstruggler!

cutawooda wrote:PLEASE! tell me about this sink down drill.


The answer is on the main website under the "drop-down" list for beginner's tips under "Exhalation" - to save you looking for it, use the link : -

http://www.swimsmooth.com/exhalation_beg.html

When you get that on screen, "scroll down" to the section "Learn to sink"!

I don't remember where I read it on the site, but seem to recall seeing the comment that when doing the "sink-down" drill, one can go on exhaling until one sinks and then can wait another 5 seconds or so, before needing to come up for fresh air. I find that in my rather unfit 76 y.o. state, I can only last about 2 seconds before desperately needing air.

I wish I knew the right answer in my case to overcome my breathing problem. I need to swim bilateral style 'cos really need a longish time for exhalation - breathing on alternate strokes is too rushed for me! Despite a lot of encouragement from fellow members on the forum - I still can't get beyond the 2 lengths of 25m continuous swimming. Am not sure where the trouble lies - my heart rate quickly rises with only a small amount of exercise, so that means my heart muscle is craving more oxygenated blood than I can easily supply with my lungs - quickly resulting in exhaustion. The crazy thing is, that I can continuously swim old English backstroke without stopping for as many laps as I wish. I wondered if I was to try to copy my breathing pattern with that stroke, as much as feasible - that might help me with front crawl breathing. Perhaps the time taken for my lungs to invigorate the blood stream with fresh oxygen, is a bit longer than with the average person, or it's just degradation of lung function with increasing age!

During the E.B. I exhale steadily as both arms do their semi-circular outsweep, then suck air in quickly as I lower the lower legs to do the leg swirl, then hold my breath while my arms recover overhead and possibly into a very short glide. Translating that idea across to front crawl would mean holding my breath for the first arm stroke of my bilateral breathing (after an inhalation stroke), then exhaling strongly for the second arm stroke, just before the next inhalation arm stroke. I have yet to seriously try this idea!!!

Another very naughty idea (in SS eyes!), is to introduce a bit of delay into my stroke at the very moment I turn my head to inhale - and "if needs be" give a final puff to get rid of stale air, with the mouth above the surface, before quickly sucking in fresh air. I'm sure SS team would jump on this idea like a ton of bricks, but in my circumstances, I can't see much of an alternative. I'm not concerned about speed, I just want continuity, so that I can swim lap after lap! The problem is, that this will result in a "stop-go-stop-go" style stroke.

Except for E.B., my efforts using other strokes suffer from the same problem! One length of back crawl or breast stroke, leaves me breathless and with heart trying to pound through my ribs!

Bye / Don

cottmiler
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby cottmiler » Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:41 pm

I sympathise deeply with you Don and others that can't seem to master the breathing for more than a few laps.

It is true that making a lot of effort will demand a lot of air that you don't seem able to find. And the answer is of course that you have to slow things down even more!

Sorry if I bore you with my tales, but when I started swimming with the ankle band 2 months ago, I had to exert such huge amounts of arm effort to keep moving that I arrived at the end of 30m ready to die for lack of air. Gasping and honking like a mule. Yet I could swim a mile non-stop distance quite happily without the ankle band!

Now, after much hard work, I can swim about 500 m non-stop with the ankle band. How can that be possible when I couldn't do 30 m 2 months ago? Answer: I have built muscles in my arms and shoulders after only 2 months which makes the job easier. I need less air!

Every bit of arm or leg movement needs air. You have to breathe OUT really HARD when you feel stressed. You have to cut down the leg movement to almost nothing. Bilateral breathing will deprive you of air. Don't even try it until you can swim a mile non-stop. I can't swim a mile bilateral breathing and I don't know anyone who can.

The bottom of the pool is only just below you so if you need to stop, then you can.
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Don Wright
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:22 am

Hi "cottmiler"!

cottmiler wrote:I sympathise deeply with you Don and others that can't seem to master the breathing for more than a few laps.

It is true that making a lot of effort will demand a lot of air that you don't seem able to find. And the answer is of course that you have to slow things down even more!

Every bit of arm or leg movement needs air. You have to breathe OUT really HARD when you feel stressed. You have to cut down the leg movement to almost nothing. Bilateral breathing will deprive you of air. Don't even try it until you can swim a mile non-stop. I can't swim a mile bilateral breathing and I don't know anyone who can.


"SolarEnergy" also tried to persuade me to keep to unilateral breathing. "Not on" in my case, 'cos the continual turning of my arthritic neck causes a me a lot of grief. It's a problem that's got worse recently with shooting nerve pain at times across my shoulders, originating from the vertebra where neck bending starts. Osteophytes (outgrowths at the extremities of bones) can reduce the gap in the vertebra through which nerves pass - and that can be painful! So I try to minimize neck movement, consistent with getting access to air, by opting for bilateral breathing. (Not allowed to use training snorkels in the pool I use, that would have enabled me to get on better I reckon.)

On the leg flutter, as I have said elsewhere in various posts, I opt for a shallow "pitter-patter" action because of lack of ankle flexibility which can lead to "hooking" water forward (and if the kick is deep, the result is backward motion! :lol: ). Doing flutter kicking drill on the side enables me to look sideways in the water (down relative to me) to monitor the kick. That shows up that my left foot does not yield to water pressure - no "flap" at all - due to arthritic problems in the bones nearer the toes of that foot. Ah well!, at least my right foot shows a bit of "flap"! :) A pity, that right leg has a very "grotty" knee with a "Baker's" cyst behind it the size of a chicken egg - rather uncomfortable when kicking - never mind, the left knee isn't quite so bad! ;)

I can still get a lot of enjoyment from my swimming despite the need for frequent "pit-stops", so I just potter on. Unfortunately, it's all downhill as the years roll on!

On the "sink-down" business - before I came accross the SwimSmooth ideas, I noticed a chap at my pool used to enter the water by "stepping forward" from the deck at the deep end, immediately sink to the bottom, crouch there for a few seconds as he pulled his goggles into position, then rise up to empty them of water and take a breath and start swimming! (Of course I could see all this business while having one of my "pit-stops" at the deep end!) So he must have been exhaling quite strongly before "stepping forward", for him to plummet to the bottom so quickly, 'cos I never saw a trail of bubbles as he sank! In a passing coversation in the showers after the session, the chap mentioned he had worked in Australia for a while, and now I come to think of it, his "descent to the catch" (noticed as he "whizzed" past me!) was definitely in the "SwimSmooth" style - so he must have taken the SS ideas "on-board" while in Oz.

Bye / Don

cottmiler
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby cottmiler » Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:37 am

Don; I acknowledge your challenges with the breathing but have you ever tried to breathe EACH side?

That means you wouldn't be twisting your neck at all because your head should be moving with your body.

I worked on this a while ago with catchup and I found it helped me get the body rolling from side to side. At first it was difficult, I admit.

Although this seems to be the "natural" way that youngsters start doing the crawl.
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Don Wright
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:45 pm

Hi "cottmiler"!

cottmiler wrote:Don; I acknowledge your challenges with the breathing but have you ever tried to breathe EACH side?
That means you wouldn't be twisting your neck at all because your head should be moving with your body.
I worked on this a while ago with catchup and I found it helped me get the body rolling from side to side. At first it was difficult, I admit.
Although this seems to be the "natural" way that youngsters start doing the crawl.


Yes I've seen kids doing that, with their heads above the water! With some modifications (e.g. head in line with body, and 90 degree body rolls etc,) I can try something like that at the next session - might be hilarious!

Doing a body roll of almost 90 degrees for each arm stroke reminds me of the "hip-driven" front crawl described in "The Swim Coaching Bible" (I mentioned before in a recent post, that I was amazed to see the photos showing the underwater action - the stroking arm although bent was in general parallel with the water surface while the body was on it's side - the ultimate in "cross-over"! I would have liked a fuller description, but all it gives is the following : -

"Each stroke of a hip-driven freestyle begins with one arm extended, the hand out in front with the palm facing downward, and the body on it's side. The hand of that extended arm slides outward slightly as the hip skates on its side. In this position the arm is prepared to put itself into a position where it can create propulsive force. To do this the fingertips are brought down to point to the bottom of the pool as the elbow stays high and the shoulder rolls upward. At the same time, the leg on that same side of the body kicks, and the strength from the kick causes the hips to move around and face the bottom of the pool. This is the beginning of the rotation the body must go through in order to position itself for the next stroke. The swimmer then repeats the process. During the pull, the body is moved forward and ultimately beyond the hand until the hand reaches the hip, where it then releases the water and exits during the recovery phase."

(So it seems from the description that it's a 2-beat kick style!)

That description is followed by 3 photos showing the overwater sequence (right arm recovery, left arm recovery and right arm again - that one shows the usual "front quadrant swimming" arm positions), and 4 photos of the underwater sequence (which I think are badly chosen - right arm entry with head looking forwards and body rolled slightly towards that arm, right arm descending but body now on its right side with head turned for inhalation, right arm into what is probably a "push" phase with body on its side, and lastly a photo of the swimmer on right side stretched out with right arm outstretched and fingers beginning to point to the bottom.).

Frankly, I found this stuff a bit lacking in detail, and poorly illustrated in the case of the underwater sequence. Maybe I'll get the hang of it - somewhen!!!

Bye / Don

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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby cottmiler » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:30 am

Very intriguing description Don, but which I find a bit hard to understand, like you. It reminds me a bit of this:

Studying my Mark Forster/Sandra Voelker video yesterday for the millionth time, at 1/16 normal speed, I saw that she enters the right hand right across the front of her body, like really bad cross-over BUT immediately slinks the hand over to the right while she rolls onto that arm and then makes the catch etc.. Repeats with left arm.

The video says enter the hand on the centreline, whilst we are now told to enter at shoulder width apart.

She only swam 100m sprints in competition.

Also as some of the video was of her in a flume (endless pool), I think her swimming action was slightly different from when she was in a normal pool.

I am keen to hear of your "double-lateral" breathing experiments.
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:14 pm

Hi "cottmiler"!

Being a bit "lost" over that "hip-driven freestyle" description included in my previous post, I had a look around on Google, but only found one drill that was helpful. That one didn't get down to the demo until 53 secs into the clip, was only an above water view, and the swimmer was using a training snorkel (wish I could!). It reminded me of the SS "broken arrow" drill, the chap was doing a normal flutter kick but when he hesitated the recovering arm at mid-recovery you could see the extra strong kick that helped quickly turn his hips/body across to the other side. Well here's the link if you're interested : -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMQJrmkrrm4

Wish I could find an underwater clip of the action, to really clarify things!

Bye / Don

P,S. was going to add "citadelseo123" to the "Scam alert thread" but you beat me to it ;). Yesterday Adam answered my email to the SS "feedback" about the previous scammer, with the message "He's a 'gonner'!". We really need to keep the admin lads "on the ball" - so they all know - then it's a case of who's "quicker on the trigger"! I think Adam mentioned that they were thinking about training up one of their staff to do the "chopping" if other admin chaps not available, But perhaps the idea changed and "SolarEnergy" was enlisted to do the necessary!

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SolarEnergy
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby SolarEnergy » Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:34 pm

The sink down drill is strongly inspired from some random games kids like to discover and perform for themselves.

It was, at one point in my young swimmer's career, my favorite drill. I would spend a lot of time, often 20-30min in one session to do this. No one had never told me to even work on it, it was just a game you know.

It can indeed be performed in a shallow section of the pool, or at least I certainly used to be able to perform it in this environment. I'd simply use the Frog version of it. Now I'm not entirely sure that adults could actually enjoy this variation, which really involves sinking down to the bottom of the pool to adopt a Frog position. Exhaling occurs during this sink down. Then you leap up like a frog, inhale then sink back down to the bottom like a Frog.

Ask kids to perform this, they will not want to stop. It's been a long whilst since I've prescribed it to an adult (last occurrence was in 2010). And in this particular case, we used the Frog drill (as we begun in the shallow section) and it worked well.

@Don, my main point to you is that you got to lower your energy expenditure so that the volume of O2 you breathe in be sufficient to buffer all this lactate buildup. The recommendation of trying the unilateral breathing comes last, if you can not lower this energy expenditure.

Neck Nevraliga are extremely painful. I've started experiencing this recently and it had brought me some of the worst pains I've ever experienced. That said bare in mind that if your body rotation is sufficient (I hope it is), your head and torso should rotate to inhale *in one single block*. The option of letting the head returning back to exhaling position *alone*, ie before the body rotates back in this position is recommended, but it remains an option (at least in my opinion). For example, the same can not be said about fly. At fly, the head leads (or should lead) the show. In freestyle, in order to avoid neck pain, one should rotate both head and torso in a block.

@About Spam, at the moment we estimate that spam records are being killed within a 24h delay, which is quite decent. When I logon here, the first thing I do is to read all new posts and kill the spams.
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

cottmiler
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby cottmiler » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:00 am

Don, I hope you've not hurt yourself trying double-lateral breathing!

I tried it today with the ankle band and couldn't do it. It obviously needs very good leg action.
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:50 am

Hi "cottmiler"!

Am due to go for my "lunchtime" swim in a couple of hours time, and have sorted out in my mind what I hope 8-) to do. I shall soon find out what the reality is! I hope to merge the ideas from that poor description I mentioned earlier of hip-friven freestyle from "The Swim Coaching Bible", with what I can usefully incorporate from the YouTube video clip of the hip-driven freestyle drill indicated in my previous post.

As I am familiar with being on the side for part of a stroke from my earlier efforts with Combat Side Stroke (which I have since dis-continued due to neck strain!), I intend to follow the book description pretty much, except keeping a flutter kick going all the time until I need that extra stronger kick to switch the body round to the other side (so I've taken that idea from the video clip!). While my stroking arm is doing it's bit with that fantastic "cross-ocver", while still on my side, I hope to get enough motion to get my mouth above the water to inhale (I used to do that easily with the C.S. stroke!). Am not sure when it's best to start the recovery of the rear arm, probably before the stroking arm has passed shoulder level. Then comes the big decision before the mighty kick - to hesitate the recovering arm, or not. I think I'll skip the hesitation, and do the big kick to vigorously roll the hips/shoulders across to swim on the other side., with increasing recovering arm momentum as part of the action. Presumably the strong rolling action will push the stroking arm vigorously into it's upsweep - ending up lying by the hip - like the starting position of the stroke but lead/rear arms switched.

Well that's what I hope to do - hope I dont come back dejected 'cos it didn't work! Will let you know the outcome later.

Bye / Don

P.S. That extra strong kick to switch the body around, reminds me about tucking the upper leg behind the bottom leg, momentarily, as one completes a flip turn after pushing off the wall (with feet which were planted at 45 'ish degree angle from the upright). That action helps quickly turn the body into a prone position!

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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:40 pm

Hi "cottmiler"!

Here's the "run-down" on my efforts to do a hip-driven freestyle stroke - merging ideas from the book and video clip I mentioned earlier. What I immediately realized is that this is NOT front crawl, it is most definitely a form of FREEstyle!

Spent some 40 minutes trying things out - awful to start with, but that's not surprising with something new. I tried to break it down to smaller chunks, by concentrating on doing the flutter kick while on my side together with a more vigorous kick (with quite a bit of knee bend) when I wanted to switch sides - hopefully rotating through 180 degrees! Well I couldn't manage that, 90 degrees was the most I could manage, so my hips ended up parallel with the pool bottom. But the book indicated that at the start of each stroke, one had to be on the side, the lower lead arm outstretched, and upper rear arm lying along the side by the hip. So I decided to forget about the extra deep kick, just keep on with an unbroken steady leg flutter and rotate my body, when I wanted, and the amount I wanted. That worked OK - don't ask me if it was a hip-driven or shoulder-driven rotation - I just did it - 180 degree switch-over!

Next I concentrated on the underwater arm action. My stroking arm action started as mentioned above, with the lower arm outstretched, head looking down towards my shoulder, then I gently moved the arm down to the "catch" position (as normal), but then began to get the arm into a "boomerang" attitude, in order to start a sort of sideways "scoop" (elbow bent a bit with forearm/hand pointing up slightly above the horizontal - this is in accordance with the photo I saw in the book doing what I called the ultimate "cross-over"). As I started the "scoop" I turned my neck sidways and could easily do an inhalation.

But what about the timing of recovering the rear arm from the hip, while doing the "scoop" with the underwater arm? I decided to start the rear arm recovery so that, as my underwater "scoop" arm was about to come level with my shoulder, the other arm would be approx at mid-recovery. It felt as if momentarily I was trying to clutch a big beach ball about 4 or 5 foot in diameter, to my chest. The underwater "scooping arm on one side of the notional ball, and the forearm/hand of the recovering arm on the above water side (a rather curious sensation - but then most drill have that quality of doing something a bit strange - e.g. UNCO!).

As the recovering arm reached that mid-point, I accelerated the recovery and started my vigorous roll to switch sides. That body roll changed my underwater arm action from the "scoop". into a conventional front crawl upsweep after altering the orientation of hand and forearm, and crossing the body central axis in a "push back and up" to reach the hip, where it rests until time for recovery. Meanwhile the recovered arm is stretched out ahead, and am now kicking with my body on the side opposite to how I began. Another "downsweep" to a catch, another "scoop" and inhalation, etc etc! So I can breathe to the right on one underwater arm action, and breathe to the left on the other underwater arm action. Just what you were suggesting "cottmiler"!!!

OK - that probably reads easier than doing it! I had lots of abortive attempts - and finally, before deciding to give it a rest till next time - I managed to cover about 12m in a vaguely decent manner. So let's call it a "work in progress"!

Bye / Don

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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby cottmiler » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:00 am

That's great Don!

I discovered some time ago and reported in quite a few posts that the body switching is initiated from the hips. I called it hip switching. I had tried to get things moving with the leg kick but it is wasn't effective since I needed to take the foot back too far to get a real kick going and that makes drag. It is much better to drive the body from the hips and that is the source of power in lots of other sports.

It seems to me that a two beat kick is just moving the legs swiftly into a more streamlined position as the body switches from side to side. A six beat kick must be timed scrupulously correctly or else it just just making more drag.

In all cases I believe the body position must always be correct regardless of what the legs are doing and that's why I continue working with the ankle band. 43k completed now and still getting better at it. Swim times for 400-500m swims are similar to several months ago without the band. Even Mrs Cottmiler feels she is improving with it too.
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Don Wright
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Don Wright » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:36 am

Hi "cottmiler"!

That "P.S." I put in an earlier post : -

Don Wright wrote:P.S. That extra strong kick to switch the body around, reminds me about tucking the upper leg behind the bottom leg, momentarily, as one completes a flip turn after pushing off the wall (with feet which were planted at 45 'ish degree angle from the upright). That action helps quickly turn the body into a prone position!


...was not quite the "full story"! I go back to that point because it may throw some light on why my extra strong kick only switched my hips around 90 degrees instead of the full 180 I aimed for. The business of momentarily tucking one lower leg behind the other in order to facilitate a rotation, may indeed help if done properly.. I checked back on M(you know who)'s tome, and I see he writes : -

"Swimmers should complete the rotation to a prone position while travelling away from the wall. The legs should be crossed with the top leg (the one closest to the surface) over the bottom leg as the feet leave the wall. During the glide they will uncross the legs, [here comes the bit I forgot...] and bring the top leg down and the bottom leg up to help rotate the body to a prone position" [Obviously, it's just using water resistance as a "momentary anchor" for the legs to push against in a twisting action.]

What does this mean for my need to do a 180 degree rotation, while I am already in the process of doing my flutter kicking? If I deliberately angle the direction of flutter kick upbeats and downbeats, at the right time when I want to switch sides - I may be able to get the same effect as "M" describes, and that will augment the rotation generated from the hips - without any need to do an extra strong kick! So more experimentation needed :)

Bye / Don

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Mike A
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Re: Just gotThe swim smooth book breathing advice needed

Postby Mike A » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:34 am

cottmiler wrote:It seems to me that a two beat kick is just moving the legs swiftly into a more streamlined position as the body switches from side to side.

I think the two-beat kick does assist in rotation. The downwards kick (which should be snappy but not deep) helps raise the hip on the same side, as you consciously thrust down the hip on the opposite side. The legs, as you say, must remain streamlined (overkicking can easily turn into scissor kicking), and the shape of the hips and legs in between kicks should help to maintain balance in the rotated position. 2bk is more about weight-shifting than propulsion. The Catch Masterclass DVD has some excellent footage of Shelley Taylor-Smith and Mel Benson performing two beat kick.

For my money, hip-driven freestyle just means that the hip movement complements the upper-back rotation, whereas in shoulder-driven freestyle it lags behind it slightly. In hip-driven, the torso moves as a rigid unit, whereas in shoulder-driven it twists somewhat.
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