PDA

View Full Version : 2 freestyle questions.



thewookiee
May 1st, 2008, 08:09 AM
I have 2 questions for the group. 1) has anyone ever experienced fatigue/tightness of one stroking arm, while the other side seems to be relaxed/loose? My left arm seems to get tight and my upper back muscles seem to tighten from time to time when I swim freestyle...not all the time but enough to make me wonder why.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

2) This has been a topic of debate with a friend of mine and myself. He believes that a person should slip their hand back into the water fairly soon as the recovering hand passes the head and drive it to the catch position through the water.
I use to be a believer in this until the last year or so, when I finally realized that it is more difficult to stay relaxed. I am starting to think the recovering arm should enter farther down the pool.

What do you all think? Soon as it passes the head or farther out over the water?

Thanks,
John

smontanaro
May 1st, 2008, 08:27 AM
I used to think the late entry was the way to go. Now I try to use an earlier entry. My take on it is this. During the brief extra time that your arm is out of the water the rest of your body has to sink a little to displace the volume of your arm. My guess is that your legs will ride slightly lower in the water on average with a later entry. During the underwater phase of the recovery your arm provides a better streamline than a slightly sagging back end.

Skip

LindsayNB
May 1st, 2008, 09:01 AM
Skip, I think your analysis neglects to take the center of buoyancy into account, when the arm is above the shoulder it is in front of the center of buoyancy so the weight of the arm will create a moment around the center of buoyancy that will lower the head and lift the legs. I would also guess that the buoyancy/weight effects would be smaller than the hydrodynamic effects of the hand moving through the water.

My guess would be that how you enter your arm affects how you rotate your body side to side more than how your body sits in the water. If you do a full extension before your hand enters the arm won't contribute as much to your body roll.

geochuck
May 1st, 2008, 09:18 AM
To TI or not to TI I think that is the question?

Very good Lindsay you answered for me.


An overly tired arm could be related to the in water technique or even above water technique.

It could be related to improper entry to the catch phase, or the action during the catch phase to the finish phase. It could be related to the exit from the finish phase.

It could be holding your thumb tight against the index finger and causing tension. It could be holding the fingers too tightly together causing tension.

So many things could be wrong.

tjburk
May 1st, 2008, 09:22 AM
On the reason your arm hurts on one side.....It could be something as simple as when you breathe......

I breathe to the right only.....so while I am breathing my left arm has a tendency to stretch further, and my right arm has a tendency to be a shorter reach.....since I messed my right arm up...I have had to really focus on balancing my stroke out.:2cents:

thewookiee
May 1st, 2008, 09:37 AM
I usually breath to my right and it is my left arm that seems to get tight. I have had different people tell me that they don't see a lot wrong with the underwater porition, so I am wondering if it had to do with muscles just being tight or not getting properly warmed up....

geochuck
May 1st, 2008, 01:30 PM
During the warmup try a little bilateral breathing to ballance your stroke. I usually do a 300 warmup and a 200 or 300 cool down swim.

imspoiled
May 1st, 2008, 02:18 PM
I usually breath to my right and it is my left arm that seems to get tight. I have had different people tell me that they don't see a lot wrong with the underwater porition, so I am wondering if it had to do with muscles just being tight or not getting properly warmed up....

In this case, my guess is that you're "laying" on your shoulder while you breathe. I used to do this. It's important that you keep your non breathing arm moving during that breathing stroke. Otherwise, you're shoulder goes into an unstable position and causes pain in the arm.

You may be doing this without realizing it, especially if you've been playing with your entry position.

Dana

Jeffy_101
May 1st, 2008, 02:39 PM
I have sortof the same problem. I breathe to my right and left shoulder gets a little sore. The right one never gets sore. I think it comes from pushing down with your left arm to get a little more lift of your head when taking a breath. Puts strains on the weaker muscles of the shoulder like trying to hold a bowling ball with one hand straight out in front of you.

Not sure how to correct this though other than trying not to do it...

aztimm
May 1st, 2008, 03:20 PM
I have the opposite problem, I breathe to my right and my right shoulder gets sore, especially after a weights session.

We were doing mostly drills today and working on entry. One drill had us take your stroke arm and pause for 3 sec when your elbow was straight up, with an entry between your head and full extention.

Otherwise, one of my coaches has been after me on making my stroke more efficient. It turns out that I was moving my head way too much to the left, even though I don't breath that direction. As you rotate your shoulders, your head should stay down (looking straight down), except to breathe of course.

A strong kick AND a strong core (especially abs) will help with this. I took 6+ months of somewhat easy swimming to focus on improving my core, and now my kick has improved significantly. When you swim, you should try to pull your stomach as tight as possible (the coach said pretend like you can pull your stomach through to your butt).

I know all this is quite a bit. Try to pick one piece to focus on at a time, then after you improve at that, add in something else. Of course if you have a coach or someone to observe and give feedback, that would be great.

thewookiee
May 1st, 2008, 08:57 PM
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate all the feedback. Lots to study to figure out the problem.

Another thought hit me, I wonder if the pool is too far outside the body, if that could be a cause. What are you opinions on where the pull should be...outside the body or more under the body?

geochuck
May 1st, 2008, 09:56 PM
I like the pull to follow the line on the bottom of the pool. Others will have it wider but I am in favor of an I stroke.

It is harder to do this if you are circle swimming. You can not get help from that black line.

thewookiee
May 1st, 2008, 09:59 PM
George,

Thanks. I appreciate your insights and sharing with them with the rest of us. I will give it a try.

Thanks!

3strokes
May 2nd, 2008, 10:51 AM
I have sortof the same problem. I breathe to my right and left shoulder gets a little sore. The right one never gets sore. I think it comes from pushing down with your left arm to get a little more lift of your head when taking a breath.
Not sure how to correct this though other than trying not to do it...

You should not be "lifting" your head to breathe but turning it along with your shoulders and torso. The faster you're going, the less you need to turn the head, since your head will be creating a trough where you can open your mouth to breathe in ---below the level of the pool water.

haffathot
May 5th, 2008, 03:41 PM
i agree with geochuck that the I-Pull is where you want to be, generally.

i also agree with geochuck that you should definitely make some effort at bilateral breathing. in fact, i think that you should try permanently altering your breathing pattern to breathe every third arm stroke, at least until you get comfortable with bilateral breathing. if you breathe on the open side (not the armpit side) every third arm stroke, then you will have the ability to introduce more balance, as geochuck said, to your stroke. when you force yourself to become a bilateral breather, you force yourself to re-evaluate parts of your stroke that had theretofore become intuitive.

--Sean

LindsayNB
May 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM
Swimming world has a morning show interview with Ernie Maglischo that mentions the S-pull. He said that for a while they thought it was about sculling, but then they thought it was about applying a force over a longer path. It's worth a listen.

Rykno
May 8th, 2008, 01:49 AM
1) has anyone ever experienced fatigue/tightness of one stroking arm, while the other side seems to be relaxed/loose? My left arm seems to get tight and my upper back muscles seem to tighten from time to time when I swim freestyle...not all the time but enough to make me wonder why.

Any thoughts/suggestions?



I agree with Tracy. since I have similar problems with my left arm. I breathe to the right, every stroke.

haffathot
May 8th, 2008, 10:22 AM
Swimming world has a morning show interview with Ernie Maglischo that mentions the S-pull. He said that for a while they thought it was about sculling, but then they thought it was about applying a force over a longer path. It's worth a listen.

that was excellent. thanks. for those that have trouble finding it, the site is here:

mms://208.106.250.220/MorningSwimShow/TheMorningSwimShowArchives/Monday(2008-05-05).wmv

Assuming Maglischo is right, then the current thinking on the S-Pull really erodes the distinctions between the S-Pull and the I-Pull quite a bit.

--Sean

geochuck
May 8th, 2008, 10:31 AM
My Idea of the I stroke is that because we roll our shoulders it is basically the same thing as an S stroke. The major difference is in the optical illusion that Councillman told every one about. What the eye saw above the water was a huge S then others exagerated the S.

If we stood on the floor and did not roll the body and shoulders you will see an extreme "S" if you demonstrate the pull from entry to catch to finish.

In 1954, 55, 56 Councillman and I had a few conversations regarding the bending of the arm from the catch to the finish. We met the first time in 1954 at Watertown NY.

3strokes
May 8th, 2008, 02:54 PM
Swimming world has a morning show interview with Ernie Maglischo that mentions the S-pull. He said that for a while they thought it was about sculling, but then they thought it was about applying a force over a longer path. It's worth a listen.

I'd say that most strokes (free) involve "some" sculling, even when they look like perfect EVFs and straight back pulls. As the body or torso rotates, the hand and forearm do a bit of sculling. Otherwise liners (and carriers) would be using paddlewheels ("Showboat" style) instead of screws.

LindsayNB
May 8th, 2008, 03:26 PM
I'd say that most strokes (free) involve "some" sculling, even when they look like perfect EVFs and straight back pulls. As the body or torso rotates, the hand and forearm do a bit of sculling. Otherwise liners (and carriers) would be using paddlewheels ("Showboat" style) instead of screws.

If humans had propellers we would no doubt use them. The science is now in and human hands make lousy propellers. One of the things that was overlooked for years is that human limbs and joints limit the movements we can make and that many movements are simply necessary to position body parts to where they can do some good. As you move your elbow from extended in front to extended behind it will follow an arc relative to your shoulder not a straight line, it's simple geometry. At full extension sideways is the only direction you can move.

Next time someone tells you that swimming propulsion comes primarily from sculls challenge them to a race, they scull and you swim, see who finishes a length first. If you really want to be picky both of you get on a surf board, one of you scull, the other paddle, the result will be similar.

geochuck
May 8th, 2008, 03:50 PM
Caterpillar action for sure Lindsay. But we do have to get the hand to the catch and out of the water at the finsh. The secret is in how we do these two things. It does give us lift if it is done right and it does help us move forward.