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smontanaro
July 22nd, 2008, 11:49 AM
I've switched strokes to use the lats more and it take a while to get used too but it's not hard to get...you'll feel a power surge I think too.

Of all the muscles that get sore from swimming, my lats never do. How do you make more use of your lats without a major elbow drop?

Skip

pwolf66
July 22nd, 2008, 11:51 AM
Of all the muscles that get sore from swimming, my lats never do. How do you make more use of your lats without a major elbow drop?

Skip

Over-emphasize the extension on your recovery and you will be engaging your lats a lot more.

scyfreestyler
July 22nd, 2008, 11:53 AM
For some reason, sprint sets seem to give my lats a good burn.

ourswimmer
July 22nd, 2008, 12:03 PM
How do you make more use of your lats without a major elbow drop?

The way I get my lats into the stroke is to keep my elbows high, and concentrate on getting a strong torso rotation to the pulling side. If I just reach over my head and mimic the "over the barrel" catch, I can feel the lats on the pulling side engage.

By the end of a 2-mile+ race, I am really feeling my lats and my hip flexors. Those also get sore after a hard training week.

funkyfish
July 22nd, 2008, 10:30 PM
Here are da lats.

SwimStud
July 23rd, 2008, 12:38 AM
The way I get my lats into the stroke is to keep my elbows high, and concentrate on getting a strong torso rotation to the pulling side. If I just reach over my head and mimic the "over the barrel" catch, I can feel the lats on the pulling side engage.

By the end of a 2-mile+ race, I am really feeling my lats and my hip flexors. Those also get sore after a hard training week.

Something like that is what I do now, I'm rotating and using the lats to throw the arm forward with the hand acting as a weight at the end of the line.

Drive the hand down for the EVF position, catch, hold, throw the recovering arm, as it reaches periphery, rotate. Something like that.
It's definitely not a high elbow, push the hand stroke. Doesn't mean drop your elbows but there's nt element of fingertip drag to it.

We'll see how this goes. It's new for me.

LindsayNB
July 23rd, 2008, 10:31 AM
Perhaps I have my muscle actions mixed up but I have a hard time picturing using one's lats to throw the arm forward. The lats are generally used to move the arm from an elevated (when standing) position toward an arm at the side position as in a lat pulldown. This would be from the catch to the point where the elbow reaches maximum backward position and the triceps take over for the finish (push backwards). No? I would expect the arm to be recovered using the traps and deltoids. Please correct me if I've got it wrong!

SwimStud
July 23rd, 2008, 10:40 AM
Perhaps I have my muscle actions mixed up but I have a hard time picturing using one's lats to throw the arm forward. The lats are generally used to move the arm from an elevated (when standing) position toward an arm at the side position as in a lat pulldown. No? I would expect the arm to be recovered using the traps and deltoids. Please correct me if I'm mixed up!

I'll be seeing my coach again tonight with luck I'll get him to walk us through it. There was a dfferent feel involving the rear delt/trap/lats in the motion, it could be something you need to just consciously feel and try out. It's not marionette style lift and push though.

The arm is coming up from the side to overhead in an arc on the recovery, there is no elbow bend.

pwolf66
July 23rd, 2008, 10:50 AM
Lindsay,

You are right, the lats are not primary movers in extending the arm forward but if you get your arm fully extended, they are DEFINATELY primary movers in the pulling motion.

Paul

LindsayNB
July 23rd, 2008, 11:11 AM
You are right, the lats are not primary movers in extending the arm forward but if you get your arm fully extended, they are DEFINATELY primary movers in the pulling motion.

Thanks Paul, that's what I thought.

Stud, I found this page and the links on it quite informative:
http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/LatissimusDorsi.html

SwimStud
July 23rd, 2008, 11:25 AM
Thanks Paul, that's what I thought.

Stud, I found this page and the links on it quite informative:
http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/LatissimusDorsi.html

Good link but too many big words for me. ;)

Swimming with your lats is not a euphemism for the intiantion of the stroke, you'll engage them on the hold (and pull as Hulk said) as you throw of the other arm. I probably just rushed my description earlier, and it was late. Coach said something about engaging all those muscles in the back, so maybe I just included lats for good measure.

Though in doing the motion here I can feel them engaged at the end of the pull (obviously) and start of the recovery.

LindsayNB
July 23rd, 2008, 05:21 PM
Good link but too many big words for me. ;)

I agree, it has a lot of jargon, but on the plus side most of the jargon words are links that take you to the definition, and most of the definitions actually have video illustrations.

david.margrave
July 24th, 2008, 01:08 AM
This is how I try to do it. You can feel it when you get it right.


The way I get my lats into the stroke is to keep my elbows high, and concentrate on getting a strong torso rotation to the pulling side. If I just reach over my head and mimic the "over the barrel" catch, I can feel the lats on the pulling side engage.

By the end of a 2-mile+ race, I am really feeling my lats and my hip flexors. Those also get sore after a hard training week.

Big AL
July 24th, 2008, 02:02 PM
Work the technique in the front quadrant often and you'll feel it... find the golf balls in the back of the armpits after a solid workout.

ndecker
July 24th, 2008, 03:26 PM
You can vary your pull quite a bit to emphasize different muscle groups. For example, you can pull one way to get your lats to do most of the work. You can do this by keeping your pulling arm relatively stiff - that is to say don't flex much at the elbow. When you're pulling, imagine your arm being anchored in the water and using your lats to roll your body and pull you forward.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can bend your elbows a lot and throw a lot of emphasis onto the triceps. In that case you'll get most of your forward motion from the latter half of the underwater stroke. It's basically a glorified triceps extension at that point, as you're really "pushing" yourself forward instead of "pulling" yourself forward.

I find it useful to vary my pull like this during sets. Not all of the time, of course, but on some days focus on lats and on others focus on triceps. It's the same train of thought as doing pulling and kicking drills instead of just swimming 100% of the time.

SwimStud
July 24th, 2008, 09:22 PM
You can vary your pull quite a bit to emphasize different muscle groups. For example, you can pull one way to get your lats to do most of the work. You can do this by keeping your pulling arm relatively stiff - that is to say don't flex much at the elbow. When you're pulling, imagine your arm being anchored in the water and using your lats to roll your body and pull you forward.


This sounds like the style I have switched too. Instantly I am rolling far more than I was able to do before.
I keep the arm naturally straight (not locked straight) throw the hand forward over the water as you roll and drive the entry down. Basically the lats and the core do it all. It's working for me--that's all that matters I guess. Still a bit splashy but it's a work in progress.

taruky
July 24th, 2008, 10:04 PM
The subtleties of the freestyle stroke never cease to amaze me. Small differences in timing, pitch, etc. have profound effects on which muscles I'm feeling. Another weird thing I've noticed...although I really make an effort to have an EVF amd feel the resistance with my forearm, I've noticed that when I make sure to keep my thumb separated from the other fingers on the catch and pull my propulsion is much better. Can anyone explain that? Does that mean I'm using too much hand and not enough forearm?

RFBG
July 25th, 2008, 03:24 AM
If you look directly at your palm with your thumb in the "traditional" position and then separate it to achieve the "Roland Schoeman" position, you will probably see the total surface of your palm growing 5-8 %.
At least that is my perception.

taruky
July 25th, 2008, 12:58 PM
If you look directly at your palm with your thumb in the "traditional" position and then separate it to achieve the "Roland Schoeman" position, you will probably see the total surface of your palm growing 5-8 %.
At least that is my perception.
That makes sense, but let me ask this. I have been pushing myself to feel the forearm pull rather than the hand (the whole point of the EVF I guess), which makes sense as the forearm has a much larger surface area. Should I be feeling much difference when I open my palm more, i.e. is this a sign that perhaps I am using too much hand on the pulls? Or do most people here feel a huge difference as well.

RFBG
July 27th, 2008, 01:10 PM
There is no such thing as "too much hand" or "too much forearm".
The larger the surface area you use to pull/push yourself forward, the better. It is an addition, not a proportion/ratio.
An EVF with hand paddles will always be better than an EVF without the paddles. This is not to encourage paddles since they may dissimulate your need for a better EVF.