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View Full Version : Correcting My Freestyle: Going from an S-Pull to an I-Pull



LonghornbackinTX
February 6th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Can you all recommend drills? This is going to be a big change to make!

ande
February 6th, 2009, 03:57 PM
changing is difficult is really it worth it?
only do it if you'll swim faster or avoid injury

The only way to change is by
Concentrating and correctly doing the new technique until it sticks
when ever your concentration lapses
you stop doing the the new technique and revert back to your old imbedded habit


Can you all recommend drills? This is going to be a big change to make!

LonghornbackinTX
February 6th, 2009, 04:17 PM
Yeah, it is definitely going to be tough. I am just trying to go faster!

LonghornbackinTX
February 7th, 2009, 04:17 PM
And today was MUCH better than yesterday. I rarely slippped and went faster with not as much effort!

Ande, the concentration tip was spot on. :bliss:

chaos
February 7th, 2009, 04:38 PM
this past week i spent between 3 and 5 hours a day swimming in salt water. first time ever i have had zero chaffing of the armpits without the application of bag balm or body glide. i have made a conscious effort to keep space in my pits (high elbow, EVF or whatever you might call it) over prolonged periods.

rtodd
February 7th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Maybe alternating slow sets of repeat 100's with paddles and then faster 100's without paddles will help imprint the catch and pull you are looking for.

carlos_fernandez
February 7th, 2009, 06:13 PM
Point about semantics...

You're not "correcting" your freestyle technique by going to an I-pull. You're adopting a new technique.

There's nothing "wrong" w/ the S-pull, per se.

Like I said... semantics. But it's important in this issue b/c of what Ande said: is there really a need to change? I would think that this technique is not recommend for novices b/c I think it's important to swim a variety of distances and variety of strokes.

Isn't the I-pull technique only good for 50 free and *maybe* 100?? I'm not a sprinter, so I do not know.

LonghornbackinTX
February 7th, 2009, 06:23 PM
WOW. I just got called a swimming novice.

Not quite, but thanks for playing.

orca1946
February 7th, 2009, 07:04 PM
OK. I'll bite . How much difference is the I over the S? I would think that you would want more water that ids not moving than a more of a straight line pull. Am I incorrect?

KEWebb18
February 7th, 2009, 07:27 PM
Good luck with changing your stroke. For me, the hardest part was my catch. I had to do a lot of one-arm drills while kicking on my side to really work on keeping my elbows high during the catch. What part of the change are you having the most difficulty with?

LonghornbackinTX
February 7th, 2009, 11:24 PM
OK. I'll bite . How much difference is the I over the S? I would think that you would want more water that ids not moving than a more of a straight line pull. Am I incorrect?

That is definitely part of it. I find that by concentrating on the I, I am catching and moving more water. It might just be concentrating on the stroke and making the appropriate adjustments.

LonghornbackinTX
February 7th, 2009, 11:27 PM
Good luck with changing your stroke. For me, the hardest part was my catch. I had to do a lot of one-arm drills while kicking on my side to really work on keeping my elbows high during the catch. What part of the change are you having the most difficulty with?

I have been doing a lot of drills. I have tried it with keeping my elbow high, but also letting it hang a little lower on my pull. I have found that by letting my elbow drop slightly, I feel I am getting a much more powerful stroke.

taruky
February 8th, 2009, 04:14 AM
Can someone clear this I-pull/S-pull thing for me. When you do an I-pull with body rotation, my understanding is that there is some curving or at least change in pitch to maintain a hold on water. When people talk about the s-pull, are they talking about a conscious effort to make an S versus an unintentional curve?

SwimStud
February 8th, 2009, 10:16 AM
WOW. I just got called a swimming novice.

Not quite, but thanks for playing.

LOL

OK to the stroke. Well, I am a bit of a novice in USMS terms but I've gone from swimming how I did as kid to doing high elbow fingertip, hand touch catch-up, & mailslot drill which led to mild impingement pain, and crossing over (Books have their failings in analysing your stroke).

From there I went to a wide, almost over the barrel pull but lost a lot of rotation, and the last 6 months I have settled on a more body driven/momentum stroke which has worked for me, and got the rotation back. I got some pain in the front delt/rc from crossing my pull over too far in search of good rotation and have corrected that out mostly, and am now working of getting the right amount of arm bend in the "hold."

OK, now I'm not going to tell you what style stroke to pick. What makes you faster (pain and injury free) is the right one for you. I have though chopped and changed a few times in 2.5 years and to drill the changes in however, I used several techniques.


Flat swimming 50's and watching your arm entry width.
Using a snorkel to watch underwater.
Padles with finger loop only--this will magnify feel
DPS swimming
Using the line to guide your arm/hand (swimming off centre).
One arm pull with a board and without.
Slow swimming, smooth entry, let hand drop to catch and then recover...I guess it's catch up but not stictly as the book writes.

You know the things to do. Definitely recommend a snorkel though as you can see more and work at it. Admittedly without a 12-18 age group swimming career, my habits may not have been so deeply ingrained so unlearning may not have taken as long. Hope my input is helpful.


I have been doing a lot of drills. I have tried it with keeping my elbow high, but also letting it hang a little lower on my pull. I have found that by letting my elbow drop slightly, I feel I am getting a much more powerful stroke.

Kristi, just re-read this: again from my learning in recent weeks. I was pulling a lot with the arms and bypassing the body. It felt powerful because I am a stocky guy and the muscles liked engaging, rotating was being ignored and I've worked on that, and now I feel faster. I hold, throw the recovery arm and rotate with the momentum. Just ruminating that feeling the pull could be misleading.

smontanaro
February 8th, 2009, 10:16 AM
I'll ask a more basic question. What are S-pulls and I-pulls?

geochuck
February 8th, 2009, 10:36 AM
Let's keep it simple. Rt hand enters Rt hands thumb follows the right hand side of the black line on the bottom until you get to the finish. Repeat with the Lt hand on the left hand side of the line on the bottom. No stupid drills needed.

SwimStud
February 8th, 2009, 10:42 AM
Let's keep it simple. Rt hand enters Rt hands thumb follows the right hand side of the black line on the bottom until you get to the finish. Repeat with the Lt hand on the left hand side of the line on the bottom. No stupid drills needed.

...and swim as flat as a pancake? Well at least I know what to do on Monday at practice with the kids...been looking for the key for weeks.

George, you can't just label drills as stupid. What if there are no lines on the bottom? What if you are being forced to circle swim and can't use the line.

This isn't meant as a swipe, but with respect George, maybe you're so far past your basic learning experience as a younger person that you are assuming the basic stuff is absorbed, and or ever present in the mind.

I agree to a point about simplicity, I've gone a circle back to the way learned to swim as a kid, with the addition of more rotation. Drills have their place. It's not just dive in and swim until you've mastered something new--others will say it's never swim with you mind shut.

hofffam
February 8th, 2009, 10:46 AM
I'll ask a more basic question. What are S-pulls and I-pulls?

An S pull is a freestyle pull where the hand enters in front as usual, then moves outward, then inward, before finishing straight back before exiting the water. The hand travels in an approximate S shape. An I pull (I suppose since I never heard this description before) is simple - hand enters and pulls essentially straight back.

I think the S pull was specifically taught for many years, even decades because it was thought to be a more efficient/powerful technique. But Maglischo's book clearly states that modern research shows the straight pull is more efficient.

carlos_fernandez
February 8th, 2009, 11:22 AM
WOW. I just got called a swimming novice.
Relax. I was saying that in general, I wouldn't recommend this technique for a novice. Not that *you* were a novice.

Inigo Montoya
February 8th, 2009, 11:28 AM
Relax. I was saying that in general, I wouldn't recommend this technique for a novice. Not that *you* were a novice.

It's OK Carlito. We all realize we're novices next to your expertise, doc! You can't help being assumptive.

carlos_fernandez
February 8th, 2009, 11:32 AM
It's OK Carlito. We all realize we're novices next to your expertise, doc! You can't help being assumptive.
:rolleyes:

EDIT: I would ask you why you are being such a dick, but you're a sock puppet.

carlos_fernandez
February 8th, 2009, 11:34 AM
An S pull is a freestyle pull where the hand enters in front as usual, then moves outward, then inward, before finishing straight back before exiting the water. The hand travels in an approximate S shape. An I pull (I suppose since I never heard this description before) is simple - hand enters and pulls essentially straight back.

I think the S pull was specifically taught for many years, even decades because it was thought to be a more efficient/powerful technique. But Maglischo's book clearly states that modern research shows the straight pull is more efficient.
I'll ask again: I was under the assumption that the I-pull is a technique for sprinters. I haven't read Maglischo's book, so maybe I'm mistaking the I-pull w/ the new sprinting technique that some of the guys used in the Olympics.

LonghornbackinTX
February 8th, 2009, 11:43 AM
Can someone clear this I-pull/S-pull thing for me. When you do an I-pull with body rotation, my understanding is that there is some curving or at least change in pitch to maintain a hold on water. When people talk about the s-pull, are they talking about a conscious effort to make an S versus an unintentional curve?

An S-pull is the conscious effort. Not an unintentional curve.

LonghornbackinTX
February 8th, 2009, 11:52 AM
LOL

OK to the stroke. Well, I am a bit of a novice in USMS terms but I've gone from swimming how I did as kid to doing high elbow fingertip, hand touch catch-up, & mailslot drill which led to mild impingement pain, and crossing over (Books have their failings in analysing your stroke).

From there I went to a wide, almost over the barrel pull but lost a lot of rotation, and the last 6 months I have settled on a more body driven/momentum stroke which has worked for me, and got the rotation back. I got some pain in the front delt/rc from crossing my pull over too far in search of good rotation and have corrected that out mostly, and am now working of getting the right amount of arm bend in the "hold."

OK, now I'm not going to tell you what style stroke to pick. What makes you faster (pain and injury free) is the right one for you. I have though chopped and changed a few times in 2.5 years and to drill the changes in however, I used several techniques.


Flat swimming 50's and watching your arm entry width.
Using a snorkel to watch underwater.
Padles with finger loop only--this will magnify feel
DPS swimming
Using the line to guide your arm/hand (swimming off centre).
One arm pull with a board and without.
Slow swimming, smooth entry, let hand drop to catch and then recover...I guess it's catch up but not stictly as the book writes.
You know the things to do. Definitely recommend a snorkel though as you can see more and work at it. Admittedly without a 12-18 age group swimming career, my habits may not have been so deeply ingrained so unlearning may not have taken as long. Hope my input is helpful.



Kristi, just re-read this: again from my learning in recent weeks. I was pulling a lot with the arms and bypassing the body. It felt powerful because I am a stocky guy and the muscles liked engaging, rotating was being ignored and I've worked on that, and now I feel faster. I hold, throw the recovery arm and rotate with the momentum. Just ruminating that feeling the pull could be misleading.

I described that badly. It isn't just the stroke itself that feels more powerful. I can tell from my catch on out to my release that I am not slipping water. In addition, I feel less power driving from my shoulders (which drove my S-pull) and more from my lats (which are much bigger muscles and can produce more power). My rotation is another thing I have also been working on, and I feel that in the last couple of practices since I have started the change over, my rotation has actually gotten better than it was with the S (I had a VERY pronounced S which was causing me to slip a lot of water). So far so good. I will know Tomorrow or Tuesday (tomorrow if I wake up early enough! 5:30 is rough!).

SwimStud, I didn't swim age group either, which is why I went and swam at a college where walk ons were happily accepted. I did train, but it was privately. I had the benefit of training with the high school team when I was in junior high until they disbanded the team due to lack of interest. And wouldn't you know it, AFTER I left high school, within 2 years, they had another coach who came and started it back up. I am telling you, that is my luck!

LonghornbackinTX
February 8th, 2009, 11:53 AM
I'll ask again: I was under the assumption that the I-pull is a technique for sprinters. I haven't read Maglischo's book, so maybe I'm mistaking the I-pull w/ the new sprinting technique that some of the guys used in the Olympics.

Ian Thorpe has been doing a modified I-pull, as has Grant Hackett, so I do not think it is just for sprinters.

SwimStud
February 8th, 2009, 12:02 PM
One more thing I thought of: I got into habit of having a straightened arm and pulling down from the reach, and it brought pressure to the shoulder and also raised my body.

Try to keep the arm naturally bent and let the hand drop....again that's my stroke...see how it feels to you. It may not work. For sprints there is a bit of a shortening of the stroke and you might bend you arm a bit more. I'm working on that.

renie
February 8th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Let's keep it simple. Rt hand enters Rt hands thumb follows the right hand side of the black line on the bottom until you get to the finish. Repeat with the Lt hand on the left hand side of the line on the bottom. No stupid drills needed.

This is very helpful for me. But, when you say "Rt hand thum follows right hand side of black line..." is the hand FLAT during this, or is the hand vertical so that the thumb is the first finger following the line? Not sure if my question is clear--does that make sense?

geochuck
February 8th, 2009, 01:57 PM
Renie

I like my little finger down but as long as your arm is bent it is what is comfortable for you. The body must rotate in order to do the "I" pull. So contrary to what most believe all the action of the "S" pull still happens because of body roll when you do the "I" stroke. I have done an I pull for an awfully long time. I have done it since 1958 and maybe even longer.

Stud

It is too bad that some need a line to follow, there are no lines on the bottom of the pool I swim in. It is a matter of body, hand co-ordination. You just put the hand in let it drop to the catch and push straight back to the finish.

geochuck
February 8th, 2009, 06:53 PM
This is a nice clip here, maybeyou could watch this and tell me is it an "S" stroke or an "I" stroke??? YouTube - 萩原智*教游泳-自由式

You may enjoy this butterfly footage also YouTube - 萩原智*教游泳-蝶式

hofffam
February 8th, 2009, 07:16 PM
I'll ask again: I was under the assumption that the I-pull is a technique for sprinters. I haven't read Maglischo's book, so maybe I'm mistaking the I-pull w/ the new sprinting technique that some of the guys used in the Olympics.

Maglischo doesn't advocate a different stroke for sprinters vs. distance swimmers. He claims, with scientific evidence, that a straight pull is the most efficient way to generate thrust.

renie
February 9th, 2009, 06:02 PM
This is a nice clip here, maybeyou could watch this and tell me is it an "S" stroke or an "I" stroke??? YouTube - 萩原智*教游泳-自由式 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VGt_MCDkp8&feature=related)

You may enjoy this butterfly footage also YouTube - 萩原智*教游泳-蝶式 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW9DkCL6nfM&feature=channel_page)

I couldn't get the fly video. Loved the first one. If that isn't an "S" stroke, I am really shocked. Love the animation sections too. Do you have the link to this? I tried copying the above, but it didn't work.

geochuck
February 9th, 2009, 06:35 PM
Have a look here he has a few swim videos http://www.youtube.com/user/zkok

orca1946
February 9th, 2009, 06:42 PM
OK I am under the concept that you will want the water that is not moving to gain more of a pull of resistance than the water that is moving with an I pull.

geochuck
February 9th, 2009, 06:55 PM
The "S" stroke.

taruky
February 9th, 2009, 11:19 PM
Geochuck, your comment about just letting your hand drop into position got me thinking about something that has always confused me. In the interval between the horizontal, outstretched arm and the vertical forearm, is there any anchoring? In other words, are you feeling resistance against your hand and arm as your hand "drops" or is it a pretty resistance free motion? The reason I ask is that people often talk about extending the arm fully prior to the catch in order to have a farther catch point, but if the catch really begins when the hand and forearm have dropped below the elbow, what difference does the extension make except perhaps to make you longer and more streamlined. Maybe the idea is really to get the elbow as far forward as possible?

geochuck
February 10th, 2009, 08:17 AM
Extend, rotate and let the hand drop to the catch. If you force the hand to the catch when swimming distance your upper body rides higher I do not like that. Sprinting is another thing to me I do not let the hand just drop it is dropped with effort into the catch position. In a sprint most of my extension is above the water.

I never liked Terry's explanation of piercing the water on the entry and piercing forward during extention.

taruky
February 12th, 2009, 11:04 AM
Extend, rotate and let the hand drop to the catch. If you force the hand to the catch when swimming distance your upper body rides higher I do not like that. Sprinting is another thing to me I do not let the hand just drop it is dropped with effort into the catch position. In a sprint most of my extension is above the water.

I never liked Terry's explanation of piercing the water on the entry and piercing forward during extention.

So when you say with effort, do you mean that within that 90 degree shift you are feeling resistance and pulling yourself?

orca1946
February 12th, 2009, 05:55 PM
Last night at practice, I tried the I pull. It felt OK on 50 -100. On lnger distances, I felt rushed.