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misha680
February 3rd, 2008, 12:39 AM
Hi I have had fairly bad case of biceps tendonitis for quite some time now and have not been able to swim. I have been doing kick sets every day for several weeks now, but realized that I wasn't _really_ doing the flutter kick in order to get more propulsion (otherwise I really don't move very much at all).

In any case, after reading these forums I decided to buy some Zoomers fins and started doing all my kicking with them for the past week. Initially I was quite happy with them (except blisters but I think I have solved that problem now). However, I have a concomitant knee problem (I went to an orthopod some time ago for it and he said by the physical exam it might be a medial meniscus issue - pain on the inside of my right knee - but since it was still relatively mild he was hesitant to do an MRI as surgery would not be something that would be considered at this point, which sounds reasonable to me) and I have noticed this week it has gotten worse (I did also stupidly sprint for my bus on Monday which I immediately felt caused some knee upset, and that certainly contributed a lot to it, but I'm still wondering about the Zoomers).

I know initially I did not feel the Zoomers aggravate my knee pain but now I'm not sure (although today I seem to have had more knee pain in general throughout the day so I'm not really sure if working out with them really added anything to it or if its just that my knee pain was still there when I was using them). In any case, I was wondering people's opinions about whether my increasing knee pain this week might be related to the Zoomers or perhaps simply to using them too much too soon? Anyone with knee problems noticed that Zoomers aggravate them? Are any other short fins better for knees or am I just stuck ineffectively kicking with no fins since I can't swim cuz of the shoulder probs?

Oh yeah I'm only doing flutter kick and I'm fairly sure I'm doing it correctly with the Zoomers (my legs are certainly straight and I am not kicking from the knees although I wonder if maybe I am locking them more than I should be perhaps).

Thanks
Misha

Ripple
February 3rd, 2008, 08:49 AM
I think any kind of fin puts more stress on the knee. I still have knee problems from a car accident 10 years ago, and definitely have to limit my use of them. It's probably best to start out with very short sessions and build up gradually over time.
It's possible the Zoomers are worse for it than others, they are a bit more rigid than some. (That's what I've got as well, but I just don't feel like spending a small fortune trying out a bunch of other brands.)

smontanaro
February 3rd, 2008, 08:59 AM
... [ bought] some Zoomers fins and started doing all my kicking with them for the past week.

That might be the problem. I don't know anyone who advocates doing all your kicking with Zoomers (or any other kind of fin). Definitely mix things up and do a fair amount of kicking without them.

Skip Montanaro

nyswimmer
February 3rd, 2008, 11:08 AM
I've never had knee trouble, but I have had lower back pain and Zoomers definitely seem to aggravate that. :cane: So I can see how they could put strees on knees also.

geochuck
February 3rd, 2008, 11:16 AM
You must be bending the knees too much, and over doing the kick. You may also be forcing the legs to be too staight.

Your tendonitis is from incorrect technique. Better get some stroke tech help. For sure your biceps should not give you any trouble if you are swimming correctly. A little article here on tendonitis http://www.alexandriamasters.com/articles/shoulder.htm

misha680
February 3rd, 2008, 12:26 PM
Wow thanks guys for all the fast replies. Guess I'll have to lay off the Zoomers for a while and then if I decide to try them again just use them for a small amount of the kicking.

About stroke technique I've contacted a coach who'll do video analysis but it's $150 so I guess I am still debating b/c I am little hesitant with that cost. I guess ultimately if it fixed the problem it would be worth it, but I just don't know how happy I'll be if I spend $150 and end up with nothing that seems to be helping (I'm a student and my program is fully paid for with a fairly nice stipend but still an extra $150 is quite a bit as far as my budget goes; I mean I could do it, but it would really have to be worth it I guess).

Thanks
Misha

geochuck
February 3rd, 2008, 12:38 PM
I charge the same price but post your videos on You tube I know if you post them here you will get free analysis.

misha680
February 3rd, 2008, 03:43 PM
I charge the same price but post your videos on You tube I know if you post them here you will get free analysis.

Wow that sounds like a great idea. The only prob is I was actually going to get the videoing done with that coach too (I found a local one which would have worked well) but let me see if I can find a pool locally that I can do the video at and then at the very least I can initially see what everyone on here thinks and then if I feel like I really need to do a full analysis from that point I can always dig up the dough somewhere.

Misha

david.margrave
February 3rd, 2008, 05:57 PM
What color zoomers are you using? I forget which color (blue or red) is supposed to be more rigid. They recommend blue for weak kickers so that's what I have.

I've had my knees act up a little bit from changes in my routine such as adding a lot of kicking with fins or starting a weight training program 6 months ago. I just took it easy (decreased the amount of kicking or worked my legs less when lifting weights) and gave my body time to adapt.

Mc Yummy
February 4th, 2008, 01:23 PM
well i was just about to ask if buying the speedo fins would be okay, then i read this, it's a good thing i hesitated buying one today. i'll be going on a vacation and plan to go snorkling, i wanted to use fins in the pool to get acquainted with it 'coz i haven't used fins before and i wanted to learn how to use them....

Sylvia
February 4th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Tell me about your lower back pain. I'm having major problems with that. It seems to have coincided with some new fins I purchased (spent a lot of money on them). They are called Force Fins, but Slim Fins for swimming variety. I've had disc problems in the distant past, but my right gluteus maximus/low back/upper leg area have been aching badly. All I can think of was I got these new fins, and loved the feel of swimming with them, and didn't spend a lot of time breaking into them, but on the other hand was using them daily, but not a real long time either. Anyhow, have stopped the fins, started some physical therapy, and things don't seem to be improving. Have stopped breast stroke for awhile, but still am swimming almost daily, as I don't want to lose the fitness level I've achieved. I am not a competitive swimmer, just an older woman trying to stay in shape. Anyhow, what have you noticed about back pain?

mermaid
February 4th, 2008, 01:51 PM
REDare more rigid

If you do not use fins on a regular basis, watch that you don't "over-use" them when you first switch to using them. Over stretching the tendons in the foot and lower leg will leave you sore.

For blisters: use light socks. Kiefer sells a sock that is like bathing suit material.

Ripple
February 4th, 2008, 04:51 PM
Tell me about your lower back pain. I'm having major problems with that....I've had disc problems in the distant past, but my right gluteus maximus/low back/upper leg area have been aching badly. All I can think of was I got these new fins, and loved the feel of swimming with them, and didn't spend a lot of time breaking into them, but on the other hand was using them daily, but not a real long time either. ...Have stopped breast stroke for awhile, but still am swimming almost daily, as I don't want to lose the fitness level I've achieved....
I think fins make more use of the hamstring and gluteal muscles, at least that's what I feel when I use them. It's necessary to stretch the hamstrings afterwards. You also want to make sure you don't have a really wide kick when you use them, and I believe it's considered a bad idea to use them for breast stroke. It's probably best just to use them for drills, 5 or 10 minutes at most, and do the rest of your swimming without.

geochuck
February 4th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Well the old saying still goes if you ask me about fins. Very good in off season never during the swim season.

If you want a sore stomach and sore legs over use fins. If you want sore shoulders and sore arms use paddles.

nyswimmer
February 4th, 2008, 06:27 PM
Tell me about your lower back pain.

[snip]

Anyhow, what have you noticed about back pain?

I think this question was directed to me. I had some very severe, almost disabling, back spasms after working out very intensively with Zoomers for several weeks. I had some occasional mild back pain before that (and I still have occasional back pain now, also less severe), so I can't say the Zoomers *caused* the pain. But I think they aggravated the problem.

As Ripple said, fins put strain on the gluteal and hamtring muscles and, at least indirectly, on the spinal muscles (that's what my doctor said). I was also told by a coach, that Zoomers put more of a strain than long fins because they're 1) more rigid and 2)shorter, so they don't give any propulsion back.

SwimStud
February 4th, 2008, 11:19 PM
I use Zura Alpha fins...they are so flexible...you don't even get blisters and they hit the quads more on FR kick.

misha680
February 5th, 2008, 01:12 AM
Btw just to reply to everyone's comments I was using the blue zoomers and I think going from 0 to 100% fins prob did not help anything. Also, interestingly since back pains are mentioned I actually notice some back pains if I kick too hard _without_ fins (I have some back probs from crew in college although they are definitely on or off depending on specific activity I am doing) but hadn't noticed them with the fins at all. I think my tempo is so much higher without the fins that has something to do with it (not sure, maybe I am using slightly different muscles too).


I use Zura Alpha fins...they are so flexible...you don't even get blisters and they hit the quads more on FR kick.

So did you have any problems with the Zoomers or did you just start out with the Zura Alphas?

Misha

SwimStud
February 5th, 2008, 07:56 AM
So did you have any problems with the Zoomers or did you just start out with the Zura Alphas?

Misha

I just had personal reccomendations from guy at the pool using alphas. I used zoomers once or twice but they hurt like hell.

I don't do things like blister pain, knee scrapes or elbow boo-boos! ;)

FWIW I suffer from backs spasms but swimming has kept me out of trouble with it for a while, and any issues I get are relatively minor. I've been using the alphas twice a week or more an have had no ill effects. I also use a monofin once a week and that isn't bothering me either.

shark
February 5th, 2008, 05:36 PM
I am confused. Is everyone using the Zoomers just on kick sets or is everyone actually swimming with the fins on. The Zoomers were designed to be used while swimming. I read all of the posts, fairly quickly, so I might have missed something. It has been my experience that Zoomers are to be used while swimming to enhance the feel for fast swimming. Yes, they will work the legs and elevate your training level, but according to the designer, Dr. Marty Hull, they are to be used while swimming. If you are using Zoomers just during kick sets, you are using them for the wrong thing and that is possibly why your knees hurt. Overuse. Try using them while you swim. Find out more at Zoomers.net

smontanaro
February 5th, 2008, 09:38 PM
I am confused. Is everyone using the Zoomers just on kick sets or is everyone actually swimming with the fins on.

I use my Zoomers for kick sets only. I can't imagine using them during stroke work. I think they'd just throw off my timing. When I swam with the Evanston Masters a bit last summer lots of people used them all the time, I think mostly so they could swim in a faster lane than their finless ability would warrant.

Regarding knee (or other) pain, I carry all my toys with me and make a decision when changing which toys to take to the pool deck. If my knees are sore, I will leave the Zoomers in my locker and do little, if any, breaststroke kick that workout.

Skip Montanaro

orca1946
February 6th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Over compensating in one area for onother will do exactly what is happening now. Moderation my friend!

shark
February 6th, 2008, 03:32 PM
I use my Zoomers for kick sets only. I can't imagine using them during stroke work. I think they'd just throw off my timing. When I swam with the Evanston Masters a bit last summer lots of people used them all the time, I think mostly so they could swim in a faster lane than their finless ability would warrant.

Regarding knee (or other) pain, I carry all my toys with me and make a decision when changing which toys to take to the pool deck. If my knees are sore, I will leave the Zoomers in my locker and do little, if any, breaststroke kick that workout.

Skip Montanaro

If you go to the Zoomers website, you will find that they were designed to be used while swimming. When using them, you will swim faster, thus creating the sensation of swimming fast. If you start out slow and begin using them while swimming a little bit at a time, you will find that they will benefit your stroke and overall speed in races. While swimming fast in workout a little more each time you will find your times dropping in the long run. Too much of workouts are spent swimming slow, which in return gives you slow swimming. Use the Zoomers to swim fast and you will find that you will be faster. Your overall workout will benefit from using them while you swim. They will increase your muscle movement, increasing your breathing and heartrate. Can they be used for kick sets, yes, is that what they were designed for, no. I believe that if you are using them just for kick sets you are risking soreness or injury in the joints of the leg. Just my two cents.

misha680
February 7th, 2008, 12:04 AM
Thanks for all the valuable suggestions guys and the discussions about Zoomers for kicking vs swimming. Certainly overdoing it 0% fins to 100% fins I am sure aggravated my knee but I am also probably going to try a different fin route (I actually ordered some Zura Alphas and will return the Zoomers as I bought them local so I should not be in the hole too much; I didn't mention that the Zoomers did cause me quite a bit of blistering too even with gobs of vasoline on my feet and although I was willing to figure out how to deal with it I guess it's better if I don't have to).

Anyway, I am having a hard time figuring out a way to video tape my stroke without paying the coach $150 for the analysis as well. Should I be checking out pools or is it usually individual coaches that have these cameras? I am in the Houston area if it helps. I would just really like to not spend $150 right now (or at least get the videotapes, see what you guys think, and then if really you think it would be very very helpful then I can try to go for the $150). I really do miss swimming though and if I can fix my stroke that would be nice. That was the nice thing about the kicking with fins... it was actually kind of fun again (as opposed to kicking without fins, which for me is still quite an ordeal even though I am improving... there's just something about feeling like you're _traveling_ when kicking and not crawling at a slow-moderate pace that makes it more fun/exciting).

Thanks
Misha

geochuck
February 7th, 2008, 01:02 AM
Any digital camera will do as long as it has video mode. They all do, get some short 10 sec shots from three above water angles. Download to your picture file then to you tube and post. Underwater shots would help but you need something that is waterproof.

This is a video taken with a cheapy Kodak camera http://oregonmasters.ning.com/video/video/show?id=545489%3AVideo%3A6784&context=user

misha680
February 7th, 2008, 09:57 PM
Any digital camera will do as long as it has video mode. They all do, get some short 10 sec shots from three above water angles. Download to your picture file then to you tube and post. Underwater shots would help but you need something that is waterproof.

This is a video taken with a cheapy Kodak camera http://oregonmasters.ning.com/video/video/show?id=545489%3AVideo%3A6784&context=user


Thanks, I will try to do this on Saturday. We have a pretty nice camera in the lab, as long as no one needs it for the microscope (I still have to ask one person).

Misha

misha680
February 10th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Alright as promised here are my videos. They are all in slow motion (half speed). Now that I have learned how to edit the videos (to slow them down for example or at normal speed) if anything else would be helpful (slower, different part, etc.) I can upload that. I can see if I can up the quality too (not sure but in the conversion/editing/upload process it seems a little worse quality than the files I started with). Thanks ahead of time for all your suggestions on my stroke and particularly how it might be aggravating my biceps tendonitis! :)

Swimming from front (slow motion)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hrWJtl8xxA

Swimming from side (slow motion)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdGfUDZxzAA

Swimming from 70 degree angle from front (slow motion)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRWYJNn1CyU

Swimming from side then camera following me as I pass (didn't mean to do this but person filming me misunderstood my instructions so I hope it might be helpful too)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr8s44oCSWo

Thanks a lot!
Misha

geochuck
February 10th, 2008, 08:32 PM
First vid swimming head on the body is fishtailing. Keep the body strait.
Sorry can't do more today off for the evening.

misha680
February 11th, 2008, 12:04 AM
First vid swimming head on the body is fishtailing. Keep the body strait.
Sorry can't do more today off for the evening.

No prob thanks a lot for comment already. I think I see what you mean I think my head is moving back and forth somewhat instead of going perfectly straight and the body follows it.

Somewhat higher res:
Front:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3132796450741139735&hl=en
Side:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1126765452156186605&hl=en
70 degrees from Front:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8991847294816443368&hl=en
Side/Camera Follows:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=934638280924250700&hl=en

Actual AVIs (highest res, takes longer to load)
Front
http://blip.tv/file/660892?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFromFrontHighResSlowMo809.avi
Side
http://blip.tv/file/660901?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFromSideHighResSlowMo260.avi
70 degrees
http://misha680.blip.tv/file/660902?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFrom70DegreeAngleHighResSlowMo203.avi
Side Follow
http://blip.tv/file/663745?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFromSideCameraFollowsFixed318.avi

geochuck
February 11th, 2008, 03:33 AM
On the fourth vid your left elbow drops midway through the catch phase.
It's 12:30am goodnight see you tomorrow.

geochuck
February 11th, 2008, 09:24 PM
Re head on video.

I would like both hands to follow the black lane line on the bottom of the pool. Your left arm really goes out wide and changes your head and legs into a fishtale side to side motion. Your right arm is a little better. The "S" motion is very exagerated and I think if you watch other swimmers you will see that their "S" motion almost looks like an "I" stroke that follows the lane marker line on the bottom of the pool.

misha680
February 11th, 2008, 09:52 PM
Re head on video.

I would like both hands to follow the black lane line on the bottom of the pool. Your left arm really goes out wide and changes your head and legs into a fishtale side to side motion. Your right arm is a little better. The "S" motion is very exagerated and I think if you watch other swimmers you will see that their "S" motion almost looks like an "I" stroke that follows the lane marker line on the bottom of the pool.

Thanks. I was just trying to figure out the elbow drop in the fourth vid and I think it is related to this as well somewhat. Interestingly it is in fact the _left_ arm where I have the biceps tendonitis; the right one is just fine (had supraspinatus tendonitis quite mild when I was only breathing on one side quite some time ago; wasn't serious enough to keep me from swimming though and I fixed this by turning my palms out when I enter water and breathing on both sides).

I found a video that was helpful to look at someone's freestyle where they keep both arms close to the center line and don't drop their elbows:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TbpB-1WjcU

Thanks a lot for your comments! :)

Misha

EDIT/UPDATE: So I tried doing some swimming in the pool with a finis swimmer's snorkel and focus on keeping my hands at the black line in the middle of the pool. I think I was doing a pretty good job but it's hard to change something so ingrained I guess. Also I feel like I was dropping my left elbow sometimes (don't know if I really was or not but I felt that I was). Anyways, any drills you recommend would be great too if you feel they could be helpful. Will keep trying it and will see how my shoulder is feeling tomorrow too

geochuck
February 13th, 2008, 09:09 AM
Is there no one willing to help. He has posted some good videos and no one has commented???

I have done a little by personal messaging.


No prob thanks a lot for comment already. I think I see what you mean I think my head is moving back and forth somewhat instead of going perfectly straight and the body follows it.

Somewhat higher res:
Front:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3132796450741139735&hl=en
Side:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1126765452156186605&hl=en
70 degrees from Front:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8991847294816443368&hl=en
Side/Camera Follows:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=934638280924250700&hl=en

Actual AVIs (highest res, takes longer to load)
Front
http://blip.tv/file/660892?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFromFrontHighResSlowMo809.avi
Side
http://blip.tv/file/660901?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFromSideHighResSlowMo260.avi
70 degrees
http://misha680.blip.tv/file/660902?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFrom70DegreeAngleHighResSlowMo203.avi
Side Follow
http://blip.tv/file/663745?filename=Misha680-SwimmingFromSideCameraFollowsFixed318.avi

JMiller
February 13th, 2008, 09:22 AM
Thanks ahead of time for all your suggestions on my stroke and particularly how it might be aggravating my biceps tendonitis! :)

The video looks pretty good. I'm not sure that technical analysis will improve your tendonitis condition??! How about going to a nutritionist, and perhaps getting some massage or accupuncture. Rest until you heal.

geochuck
February 13th, 2008, 09:31 AM
In this video you drop the elbow during the catch phase, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1126765452156186605&hl=en

Most problems with the body are caused by improper technique. Go see the doctor maybe a good idea but as my doctor told me don't swim. It did not cure anything what I did was change how I swam. The secret is to prevent the injury. I see many reasons why he has problems. Eliminate stress in the stroke it will eliminate pain.

The video looks pretty good. I'm not sure that technical analysis will improve your tendonitis condition??! How about going to a nutritionist, and perhaps getting some massage or accupuncture. Rest until you heal.

misha680
February 13th, 2008, 10:29 AM
The video looks pretty good. I'm not sure that technical analysis will improve your tendonitis condition??! How about going to a nutritionist, and perhaps getting some massage or accupuncture. Rest until you heal.

And if you look at my posts earlier I have been to the orthopedist several times (doctor), was in PT for 6 weeks which I still do daily at home (resistive bands/light weights and ice daily) and about 2 months ago my ortho gave me a steroid shot since PT was not helping and the shot seemed to help quite a bit.

Now I _only_ get pain the day after I swim (even as little as 6 laps) hence why I think the stroke correction might help. When I tried keeping my hands on the black line two days ago and swam a littleeeeeee bit (under 10 laps I believe) also with the swimmers snorkel to focus completely on the stroke my arm seemed better the next day than had I done my usual stroke.

Misha

EDIT: Sorry JMiller I actually never mentioned this stuff before. Luckily my school gives excellent insurance so I have ortho/PT for $25 copay (which still added up but this is still relatively cheap compared to how much they charge and it is a PPO not HMO so no referral).

LindsayNB
February 13th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Perhaps the slow motion is throwing me off and I am completely off base but my guess at what you should work on is smoother integration of your arms, roll, and kick. The relative timing of your arms and roll varies somewhat from one stroke to the next. I could be totally wrong but the impression I get is that you are concentrating on moving your arms through the S pull pattern, which I think George is correct is too exaggerated.

What I would suggest you try is working on integrating your arm recovery and pull with your body roll. One way to do that is to do a drill where you add a short glide phase to each arm pull and really concentrate on arm extension in front - don't just extend the arm forward but push the whole shoulder forward as if you are reaching for something on a high shelf just out of reach. Concentrate on extending out front at the same time you are finishing with the other arm and glide for about a second with one arm fully extended and the other remaining at your hip - this should give you a good feel for how the arms and body roll can integrate together smoothly. After the glide start your catch and the recovery of the other arm at the same time. To go to full stroke just eliminate the glide.

Don't think about following an S pattern, think about moving your arm into a position where your whole forearm is perpendicular to the direction you are traveling in, sometimes called Early Vertical Forearm but the forearm doesn't have to be vertical just perpendicular to the direction you are swimming. Think about getting your elbow out to the side early, the S component is just part of this action.

See http://youtube.com/watch?v=CIzBaSiWdRA

Anyway, just something to try, see if it works for you.

LizGoldsmith
February 13th, 2008, 09:10 PM
I am by no means an expert. But on the video, it looks to me like your flutter kick may be too wide and that you are not kicking from your hips. If you think of narrowing the range of your kick and think of kicking from your hip (as opposed to straightening your knee), maybe that would help?

FYI, I have been doing a lot of kick sets lately as I'm just coming back after several months away from the pool. I also have a problematic knee. Kicking with zoomers shouldn't hurt. I only kick with them and sometimes will do several sets of 500 . . . I kick on my back and use the zoomers to help me feel the kick from my hip and to help stretch my ankles. It's amazing how much flexibility you can lose when you stop swimming for awhile.

misha680
February 14th, 2008, 12:10 AM
Thanks guys for all your suggestions. I will try some tomorrow night and let you know how it goes.

Misha

P.S. Btw would someone mind explaining not "dropping the elbow" to me? Does it literally refer to keeping the elbow _in front of_ the hand (in the direction in which the swimmer is travelling) during the stroke (like "reaching over a barrel" I guess)? Just want to make sure I have this concept right as it seems something that can lead to shoulder probs. Thanks.

LindsayNB
February 14th, 2008, 01:06 PM
A dropped elbow during the pull phase refers to a failure to keep your forearm perpendicular to the water during the pull. The most extreme example is a dog-paddle-like arm position where the elbow is leading the hand. If you are standing on deck demonstrating the pull movement and drop your elbow so that your forearm is not parallel to the ground you are demonstrating a dropped elbow.

misha680
February 14th, 2008, 06:11 PM
A dropped elbow during the pull phase refers to a failure to keep your forearm perpendicular to the water during the pull. The most extreme example is a dog-paddle-like arm position where the elbow is leading the hand. If you are standing on deck demonstrating the pull movement and drop your elbow so that your forearm is not parallel to the ground you are demonstrating a dropped elbow.

Wow, I clearly did not understand this concept at all then. I think this might be a clue (among others) as to why I developed shoulder problems. Thanks a lot for the clarification.

Misha

p.s. here are some full speed videos btw. I can very very clearly see the weaving back & forth here:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6628342130052808998&hl=en
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4592779343474176007&hl=en
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3092200668630895864&hl=en
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4893471324519757427&hl=en

misha680
February 22nd, 2008, 11:01 PM
So I've still been trying to work on modifying my technique, although I have a hard time doing it with so little yardage but have made the plunge and paid to hire an instructor for a few lessons hopefully they can help.

Meanwhile I noticed something interesting about my kicking (besides the interesting fact that the moment I start my arm stroke I almost stop kicking entirely which I have been working to correct as well; my "flutter kick" by itself I believe is actually quite different from the swimming videos as I don't really propulsively kick in full swimming at all).

In any case, what I noticed is that when I flutter kick on my back it seems to take almost 1.5 times as long to do 25 yd (won't post the horrible time) vs when I do it on my stomach. I was wondering is there a common flutter technique flaw that could explain this (maybe splashing is giving me propulsion), or is it simply that my hamstrings are weaker than my quads?

Thanks
Misha

p.s. And interestingly contrary to what seems to be true for everyone else the Zura Alphas _do_ give me blisters (and I have been very careful about working them in and currently only do slow-medium kicking in Zuras and all my sprint work finless). Just fyi. Although I think in all fairness it is _fewer_ blisters than the Zoomers did.

LindsayNB
February 23rd, 2008, 10:24 PM
In the short side clip it looks like you weren't keeping your ankles/feet/toes pointed, at some points the feet were in a standing-like right angle to the lower leg.

It is hard to tell from the videos but it looks like you might be kicking predominantly from the knee, it looks like most of the movement is occurring below the knee, with little bend at the hip and little visible movement of the upper leg. Have your new instructor check if this is the case. Look at the videos Ande posted in his SDK thread, the motion should be similar in flutter kick, just with alternating legs.

Do your knees break the surface when you kick on your back?

The propulsion in kicking comes from the forward movement much more than the backward motion regardless of whether you are on your front or back so I don't think the quad vs ham strength is the issue. Generally it is easier to kick water up into the air than it is to kick it down into the depths, so there is less resistance for your leg to push against. I don't know if 1.5 times slower is normal though.

I usually wear a sock when I wear fins because otherwise the skin rubs off my foot in one place or another, not blisters really but a problem. I like the short somewhat thick ones used for running for example. That's solved my problem unless I go kick crazy. I also find dolphin kicking causes less abrasion than flutter kicking and do more of the former.

With a good instructor you should make quick progress, good luck!

misha680
February 24th, 2008, 01:05 AM
In the short side clip it looks like you weren't keeping your ankles/feet/toes pointed, at some points the feet were in a standing-like right angle to the lower leg.

It is hard to tell from the videos but it looks like you might be kicking predominantly from the knee, it looks like most of the movement is occurring below the knee, with little bend at the hip and little visible movement of the upper leg. Have your new instructor check if this is the case. Look at the videos Ande posted in his SDK thread, the motion should be similar in flutter kick, just with alternating legs.

Do your knees break the surface when you kick on your back?

The propulsion in kicking comes from the forward movement much more than the backward motion regardless of whether you are on your front or back so I don't think the quad vs ham strength is the issue. Generally it is easier to kick water up into the air than it is to kick it down into the depths, so there is less resistance for your leg to push against. I don't know if 1.5 times slower is normal though.

I usually wear a sock when I wear fins because otherwise the skin rubs off my foot in one place or another, not blisters really but a problem. I like the short somewhat thick ones used for running for example. That's solved my problem unless I go kick crazy. I also find dolphin kicking causes less abrasion than flutter kicking and do more of the former.

With a good instructor you should make quick progress, good luck!

See it's interesting b/c I'm sure you are right about my full stroke kick (although honestly in full stroke I really don't think there's much of a "kick" for me I move my legs but they don't propulse; the other day I noticed when I was trying to do full stroke with fins I realized the moment I stopped the stroke I actually just stopped kicking period) and the knees, but interestingly when I "flutter kick" just by itself I don't bend the knees at all (basically keep my legs straight).

I see in the SDK videos this is not the case, and I know that in this thread too I was told that locking knees is bad so I've been trying to not "lock them" lock them but then I guess I am either tempted to kick from the knee or just am not getting any sort of propulsion... I can't seem to figure out how to _both_ not keeping my legs absolutely straight and not kick from the knee.

I'll have to make sure when I kick on the back but I'm pretty sure no part of my legs including my knees breaks the surface when I kick on my back. Should something be?

Thanks
Misha

geochuck
February 24th, 2008, 01:24 AM
Of course the knees bend when you kick. The whole leg is involved, the ankles and the foot. From the hip down everthing is moving in a whipping action. Look at the flex in Klims foot action. Nothing is locked. http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-1085204115022871176

LindsayNB
February 24th, 2008, 09:37 AM
You might try practicing dolphin kicking, that might give you better feedback on how to achieve propulsion and it's easier to think about and feel what you are doing when moving both legs in unison.

As George said, a proper kick is a sort of whipping action, you kick down with your knee first and then the foot, and the knee actually starts up again while the foot is going down (otherwise you will end up with a very deep kick). Think of the bend in the knee coming mostly from the downward movement of the knee rather than an upward movement of the foot. Your leg should be pretty much straight during the upward movement.

misha680
March 28th, 2008, 12:49 AM
Hi guys,

long time no post I know. I had a quick question - I've been working with one swim instructor but have also tried another while one was on vacation and I have a question. The first instructor advised me to not do a full reach out with my arm when I enter the water as this can cause shoulder probs, but the second instructor said I _should_ do a full reach and that as long as my body rolls while I am reaching it is better to do a full reach. I feel like the second instructor is incorrect, but I'm not sure. Any comments/opinions? There are other factors influencing my decision b/w the instructors (pool, availability) but I don't want to get taught the wrong thing.

Thank you
Misha

LindsayNB
March 28th, 2008, 01:58 PM
My understanding is that shoulder problems are not caused by fully extending but rather by attempting to catch and apply force at or near full extension. You may want to think about full extension as a streamlining strategy rather than as a way to extend the range of your pull.

Shoulder issues can be very swimmer-specific, does full extension cause shoulder issues for you?

misha680
March 29th, 2008, 05:11 PM
My understanding is that shoulder problems are not caused by fully extending but rather by attempting to catch and apply force at or near full extension. You may want to think about full extension as a streamlining strategy rather than as a way to extend the range of your pull.

Shoulder issues can be very swimmer-specific, does full extension cause shoulder issues for you?

I guess for me it felt like it did at least on Thursday. Anyway I think the issue is I trust one of the swim instructors more than the other prob because that one has had shoulder probs herself and seems a bit more qualified I don't know I guess that's important too. Thanks for your feedback.

Misha