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serpico
August 23rd, 2009, 11:06 PM
I learned to swim as an adult a couple of years ago. When I started the front crawl, I would focus on being "long" in the water - i.e., really reaching with the forward hand on each stroke, and not pulling until the trailing hand entered the water (the TI front quadrant swimming concept).

But over time, my shoulders would bother me. And I recently learned that swimming with high elbows (envisioning your arm going over a barrel) is better for your shoulders. I was definitely dropping my elbows before.

The problem I'm having is that when I swim with high elbows, I feel like I'm not as "long" in the water, that I get less glide, and that generally, I have to work a lot harder (though my shoulders feel better). One obvious thing I've noticed is that with a high elbow stroke, I can't seem to keep my leading arm out in front until my trailing arm catches up.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Edit: I should add that I'm a recreational swimmer, so technique that is easier on the shoulder is preferred to a technique that may be better for competitive swimmers but is more stressful to the shoulder joint.

Muppet
August 24th, 2009, 12:31 AM
When I started the front crawl, I would focus on being "long" in the water - i.e., really reaching with the forward hand on each stroke, and not pulling until the trailing hand entered the water (the TI front quadrant swimming concept).

Just so I am picturing this correctly... when you swim freestyle/front crawl, there is a point in your stroke where both your hands are out in front of you?

serpico
August 24th, 2009, 07:29 AM
Just so I am picturing this correctly... when you swim freestyle/front crawl, there is a point in your stroke where both your hands are out in front of you?
Yes. I learned to swim from the Total Immersion book, which had a lot of focus on keeping your body long in the water, which is accomplished by what they call front quadrant swimming. Here's a diagram from the book, on p37: link (http://books.google.com/books?id=d_Eot0PEKpcC&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=total+immersion+%22front+quadrant%22&source=bl&ots=2f8C8Ofs1H&sig=vcM0z0INqUXFIGmBeO7Vv2r71jg&hl=en&ei=TneSSs2eEs67lAe8trGYDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=total%20immersion%20%22front%20quadrant%22&f=false) (you may have to scroll down a bit on p37). And if you scroll down to p38, the first paragraph describes the technique.

Now that I look at it, I guess my pulling arm looks a lot like the diagram, with the elbow low.

serpico
August 26th, 2009, 09:39 AM
I read up on early vertical forearm, and was trying to apply this last pool session. For someone who is used to dropping their elbow, is there a particular cue that is helpful in becoming consistent at keeping the elbow up?

Also, from looking at some pics of Thorpe and Hackett (http://www.svl.ch/ElbowsHigh/), it seems that the forearm stays vertical (i.e., perpendicular to the water) through the pull, rather than rather than sweeping horizontally under the torso. Though it doesn't stay perpendicular to the torso because the torso is rotating toward the pulling arm.

Does this sound about right?

SolarEnergy
August 26th, 2009, 11:08 AM
The problem I'm having is that when I swim with high elbows, I feel like I'm not as "long" in the water, that I get less glide, and that generally In this particular case, what you feel is of no interest compared to the actual result of this change.

And this actual result can easily be monitored with distance per stroke. This should therefore be your main point of focus while modifying this particular aspect of stroke mechanics.

For what it's worth, most of the time when I fall in an endless argument with any TI representative (including the guru himself), this is my main complain, and they don't seem to understand it, hence the fact that I am not keen to recommend this approach to swimming.

Swimming long, by over focusing on front quadrant often has a detrimental impact on articulations (elbows and shoulders). This is due to the fact that in swimming the freestyle, the catch phase should be made with less pressure than the propulsive phase that follows the catch (catch isn't supposed to be seen as a propulsive phase).

Listening and reading Total Immersion, front quadrant/longest possible distance per stroke is supposed to make swimming feel easy. Well I have news for them, performing a 1500 race is not easy, has never been and will never be (if beating your personal best is the goal). And over the years, I found out that finding your best *gear ratio* that is the optimal DPS (distance per stroke) / Stroke Rate combination can make it feel little easier by unloading the huge stress put on articulations as a result of wanting to swim tooooooooooooooooooo looooooooooooooooooooong.

I don't totally disagree with this way of swimming, because some have success with it. But I don't think that the majority of swimmers can tolerate this (I certainly can not).

If you want a more balanced approach to freestyle, regarding this distance per stroke / Stroke rate paradigm, just switch to SwimSmooth (www.swimsmooth.com)

Charles

bud
August 26th, 2009, 01:19 PM
...The problem I'm having is that when I swim with high elbows, I feel like I'm not as "long" in the water, that I get less glide, and that generally, I have to work a lot harder (though my shoulders feel better). One obvious thing I've noticed is that with a high elbow stroke, I can't seem to keep my leading arm out in front until my trailing arm catches up.

Any thoughts? Thanks....
I get confused by the term "high elbows"... but from what I know based on my own experience you can be long in the water, and still have your elbow travel high, especially in the recovery. As for the pull I suggest whatever is the best combination of comfort and "getting a good grip" on the water.

My philosophy is that you have to find your own stroke. Get as much information as you can. put it to practice, and find what works for you. Sure, if someone wants to break records, you pretty much need to follow that crowd. But since you are a "recreational swimmer", only seeking general improvement, you have a lot more freedom on what you can choose to do. And you can do this while still looking and feeling great in the water.

Understanding the "why" for a lot of things can be really helpful. Just doing it and getting a feel for it ("be the water") can go a long way too.

The main reason for front quadrant swimming is balance. If you've not already tried it, do this:
Float on your back with your arms at your side... try and get your toes out of the water. I've never seen anyone be able to do this.
Now put your arms over your head and try and float with your toes out of the water. You probably won't be in an ideal streamlined position, but most folks can do this (even if it takes a few tries).
For most everyone I've had do this exercise, the light-bulb comes on.

My suggestions are as follows:

Finish the pull with the arm fully extended by your side. For practice you can brush your thigh with your thumb, testing how far down you can reach without throwing off your streamline.

On the recovery exit the water elbow first. Keep the arm relaxed... the wrist should be limp. Make a streamlined entry just before the arm reaches full extension... the arm should still be relaxed. This elbow first recovery by itself tends to naturally incorporate such things as "zipper" and "fingertip drag" drills.

Except when breathing, the head should be fairly still. You want body roll however. Gently rotating the shoulders to easily accommodate this elbow first recovery. This is a "long axis" stroke... so the rotation is along the length of the body.

For practice, long distance swims, swimming with a slower turnover rate, or simple experimentation, let the arm stretch out in front of you. The position you are looking for is similar to that of an eager student with their hand up high to answer a question. This will allow you to engage more core muscles, especially "lats", and allow you to "bear down" more during the pull. At this point you can engage in EVF (early vertical forearm), which I personally find brutally uncomfortable, so I don't do it (there are plenty of treatments on the topic however, if you want to pursue it.)

This arm in front, long body position point is a good place to try and incorporate a brief glide in your stroke, and make adjustments in your body position to improve streamlining. In particular, try swimming with the pelvic tilt at different points (forward, back, neutral), and try and notice the differences as you move through the water. You will hear a lot about pelvic positioning in Yoga, so you may want to consider that for some supplementary training. There are a LOT of crossover points between Swimming and Yoga.

As for the catch, the basic concept is pretty simple. Many people imagine themselves pushing the water behind them, in more of a propeller concept. But really what you are wanting to do is "anchor" your hand in the water as best you can, with the least "slippage", and pull yourself forward. More like climbing a ladder. In a perfect "no hand slippage" world, your hand will exit the water at the end of the stroke, at the same point it went in at the beginning of the stroke. Capiche?

This introduces the concept I like to refer to as "finding the path of most and least resistance". You want the most resistance (least slippage) for your pull, and the least resistance (best slippage) for everything else. (Mastering this balance of slippage with a good kick is another lesson.)

The best way to get good slippage for your body is to keep it long and narrow, like a racing boat (as opposed to a barge). This long and narrow "vessel shape" is best achieved by keeping your body flat and straight in the water. From the floating exercise above, you know that flat is more easy to accomplish with your arms out in front, hence the popularity of FQS (front quadrant swimming). Another good thing to keep in mind is keeping your hips up. This all helps you to stay well streamlined and balanced in the water... and swimming efficiency is ALL ABOUT good streamlining and balance.

:)

serpico
August 26th, 2009, 02:12 PM
In this particular case, what you feel is of no interest compared to the actual result of this change.

And this actual result can easily be monitored with distance per stroke. This should therefore be your main point of focus while modifying this particular aspect of stroke mechanics.

For what it's worth, most of the time when I fall in an endless argument with any TI representative (including the guru himself), this is my main complain, and they don't seem to understand it, hence the fact that I am not keen to recommend this approach to swimming.

Swimming long, by over focusing on front quadrant often has a detrimental impact on articulations (elbows and shoulders). This is due to the fact that in swimming the freestyle, the catch phase should be made with less pressure than the propulsive phase that follows the catch (catch isn't supposed to be seen as a propulsive phase).

Listening and reading Total Immersion, front quadrant/longest possible distance per stroke is supposed to make swimming feel easy. Well I have news for them, performing a 1500 race is not easy, has never been and will never be (if beating your personal best is the goal). And over the years, I found out that finding your best *gear ratio* that is the optimal DPS (distance per stroke) / Stroke Rate combination can make it feel little easier by unloading the huge stress put on articulations as a result of wanting to swim tooooooooooooooooooo looooooooooooooooooooong.

I don't totally disagree with this way of swimming, because some have success with it. But I don't think that the majority of swimmers can tolerate this (I certainly can not).
I'm not an adherent to TI or anything like that. It just happened that I wanted to learn how to swim, so I went to the bookstore, and the TI book looked like a good way to learn.

I hadn't counted strokes, but yeah, that's a good point - it's way more objective than how much glide I feel I'm getting.

After trying EVF for the first time, my shoulders didn't seem as sore as they usually do, but I also did much less volume. But I can see how dropping the elbow during the pull phase can put a lot of stress on the shoulder.

geochuck
August 26th, 2009, 03:26 PM
I can not understand how being long in the water and high elbows, are a contradiction.

serpico
August 26th, 2009, 03:56 PM
I can not understand how being long in the water and high elbows, are a contradiction.
When I look at swimmers doing EVF (like Thorpe), they are not doing front quadrant swimming as taught by the TI school. Since I learned to swim doing FQS, trying to do EVF felt strange, and I didn't feel as 'long' in the water b/c there are times in the stroke when neither hand is outstretched in front of me.

ehoch
August 26th, 2009, 06:39 PM
Serpico -

Thorpe almost swims catch-up Free AND has the high elbow. Many good Freestylers have one arm close to catch free and one that pulls a little earlier.

The extreme EVF is not for Rec swimmers since most people simply do not have the shoulder flexibility.

I can always spot a TI swimmer from the far - they swim in slow motion :applaud:

You should swim long - allow your leading arm to glide - but keep hand / elbow / shoulder in a straight line and ease into the early catch when ready.

SolarEnergy
August 26th, 2009, 07:56 PM
The extreme EVF is not for Rec swimmers since most people simply do not have the shoulder flexibility. Agree with pretty much everything you wrote, especially the comment about most swimmer's asymmetry in term of arm action.

Also agree that EVF isn't for most swimmers although some simple exercises exist to improve shoulder (rotator's cuff) flexibility and in fact. EVF is something that should be practiced outside the water in front of a mirror. Exercises can (and should) be made dryland. Final integration in the water with freestyle one arm etc... Over the years I found out that it is much easier to teach this way, getting rid of any proprioception issue in front of a mirror first.

I think that a lot of rec swimmers can add this flavor to their stroke, to the extent allowed by their flexibility and mechanics.

However and I do want to insist. Combination of extra-long wait time and glide in the front (so typical to rec swimmers) and attempt to perform EVF can be quite damaging on the rotator's cuff (like you probably know).

So to me, the bottom line is that you need to start catching little earlier if you want to integrate EVF, in order to unload some of the pressure put on the catch. And as soon as the arm is getting closer from underneath the body, THEN significant amount of pressure (power) can safely be applied since the elbow is no longer in a vulnerable position.

World class swimmers are World class because they typically have bullet proof bodies. They have swam so many millions of meters than they can put a huge amount of pressure on their EVF catch if need be, but this behavior should not be replicate at the recreational level I strongly agree with you.

I am a master level competitive swimmer (half rec so to speak) and me? It's either the shoulder or the elbow that complain if I put too much pressure on high elbow catch.

__steve__
August 26th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Just a beginner's recommendation: if it is irritating your shoulder's, wether or not it's more efficient, it should be avoided or scaled back until comfortable. I'm in the same boat, learned to swim recently and practiced this stroke as I learned, but it also strains my shoulders. I just use it on long swims if I need to briefly recover from accidentially going too anerobic.

It's probably better to sacrafice a little efficiency to avoid injury. For instance, I only breath on the left because my left should dislocates easy and breathing to the right seems to place it in a vulnerable position.

rtodd
August 26th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Thorpe is a case study in front quadrant, EVF, catch up stroke mechanics. It's awesome to watch hin swim.

__steve__
August 26th, 2009, 09:27 PM
Here's some slow-motion underwater clips of Mr. Thorpe:

http://www.nyhoff.net/swimcity/Crawl-SwimcityMediaCentre-IanThorpeSloMo.mpg

http://www.nyhoff.net/swimcity/Crawl-SwimcityMediaCentre-IanThorpe400mFinalGoldWRSydney2000.mpg

serpico
August 26th, 2009, 11:39 PM
However and I do want to insist. Combination of extra-long wait time and glide in the front (so typical to rec swimmers) and attempt to perform EVF can be quite damaging on the rotator's cuff (like you probably know).

So to me, the bottom line is that you need to start catching little earlier if you want to integrate EVF, in order to unload some of the pressure put on the catch. And as soon as the arm is getting closer from underneath the body, THEN significant amount of pressure (power) can safely be applied since the elbow is no longer in a vulnerable position.
Can you elaborate please? Are you saying I shouldn't reach too far forward before letting the forearm drop into the catch?

Why does a long wait time before starting the catch stressful to the rotator cuff? Is it that your shoulder is in a different position with the extra long glide before starting the catch?

Just a beginner's recommendation: if it is irritating your shoulder's, wether or not it's more efficient, it should be avoided or scaled back until comfortable.
You misunderstood. My shoulders bother me with my current technique, which is more of a dropped elbow catch and pull. Trying EVF as I understand it to be superior technique and may be easier on my shoulders.

chaos
August 26th, 2009, 11:45 PM
I can always spot a TI swimmer from the far - they swim in slow motion

dumbest thing i've ever read here.... congrats!

thewookiee
August 27th, 2009, 08:27 AM
dumbest thing i've ever read here.... congrats!


Not sure it is the dumbest thing but who knows.


Back to the subject at hand. I hate the term "evf" Not everyone has the shoulder flexibilty required to really achieve that position. Most of us don't have the range of motion for a thorpe, phelps, addlington.
I like to think of just "catching" or "anchoring" the arm like Solar mentioned in a previous post. I think those terms allow each person to find their right spot and time in the water to "catch/anchor" into the water. evf comes across as there is one and only spot to place the arm. When I have worked on developing a evf, it has killed my shoulders. When I just think about catching the water, I swim much easier and faster.

Solar, you mentioned swimming like a long vessel and not a barge. Then you mentioned to stay flatter in the water to achieve a longer boat. Wouldn't swimming flatter make one more like a barge than a longer vessel?

mikeh
August 27th, 2009, 08:30 PM
In this particular case, what you feel is of no interest compared to the actual result of this change.

And this actual result can easily be monitored with distance per stroke. This should therefore be your main point of focus while modifying this particular aspect of stroke mechanics.

For what it's worth, most of the time when I fall in an endless argument with any TI representative (including the guru himself), this is my main complain, and they don't seem to understand it, hence the fact that I am not keen to recommend this approach to swimming.

Swimming long, by over focusing on front quadrant often has a detrimental impact on articulations (elbows and shoulders). This is due to the fact that in swimming the freestyle, the catch phase should be made with less pressure than the propulsive phase that follows the catch (catch isn't supposed to be seen as a propulsive phase).

Listening and reading Total Immersion, front quadrant/longest possible distance per stroke is supposed to make swimming feel easy. Well I have news for them, performing a 1500 race is not easy, has never been and will never be (if beating your personal best is the goal). And over the years, I found out that finding your best *gear ratio* that is the optimal DPS (distance per stroke) / Stroke Rate combination can make it feel little easier by unloading the huge stress put on articulations as a result of wanting to swim tooooooooooooooooooo looooooooooooooooooooong.

I don't totally disagree with this way of swimming, because some have success with it. But I don't think that the majority of swimmers can tolerate this (I certainly can not).

If you want a more balanced approach to freestyle, regarding this distance per stroke / Stroke rate paradigm, just switch to SwimSmooth (www.swimsmooth.com)

Charles

I have tried to swim with the high elbow pull as well, and found it very difficult to sprint with it. While I get good distance per stroke, the stroke rate suffers too much.

SolarEnergy
August 27th, 2009, 09:06 PM
I have tried to swim with the high elbow pull as well, and found it very difficult to sprint with it. While I get good distance per stroke, the stroke rate suffers too much.
Ahhhhh finally. what a relief.

This equation is so simple but one has to actually count stroke while racing to realize this. Better, DPS/SR can be part of a racing strategy.

One of the weirdest monkey I've met in my short life so far was this little 15yo sprinter. 51.6 over 100 SCM. Listen to this. He'd tell me things like that by cutting his fingernails would somehow change feeling of the water. Anyway, this is the funny side.

Impressing side is that he could race a 100 SCM with no goggles, no need to see the wall!!! Distance per stroke count along with a fairly good knowledge of his own stroke rate along with a game plan (like I'll start at 15strokes high rate, short glides for 50min then since I'll increase to 14strokes while fireing the kick). All turns were perfect and so was the touch.

To me though, racing on a wrong gear ratio is even worst for longer distances. I can train at 13/14 stokes, even 11-12 if I cheat. Do you think for just one minute I'd start a 1500 at 13? Impact on rotator's cuff muscles get tired prematurely, then I loose water and even if I increase rate, since technique is blown out, nothing works. It's like starting a cycling long time trial on a gear you can only stand for few minutes.

I am not talking about swimming 5 strokes over your best. For me, I start a 1500 at 16strokes and I'm fine.

SolarEnergy
August 27th, 2009, 09:21 PM
However and I do want to insist. Combination of extra-long wait time and glide in the front (so typical to rec swimmers) and attempt to perform EVF can be quite damaging on the rotator's cuff (like you probably know).
[QUOTE=serpico;192121]Can you elaborate please? Are you saying I shouldn't reach too far forward before letting the forearm drop into the catch? You know without actually seeing you, it's becoming difficult to issue detailed recommendation.

But your question is actually crucial.

Say your right arm has 1 full second to complete a stroke (pull). Now please, let us split the full pulling path in 3 equal parts. This is then .33 sec per portion. The hand should accelerate from entry to exit with the biggest portion of power being applied by second third of the path.

Very early while the hand is up there, upon the entry, to keep elbow high you need to perform an internal rotation of the shoulder (even if you're lying on your side). That is how you get to bend forearm to pull high elbow.

Say you wait and wait in the front, say you end up spending .66sec in the front, that leaves you with only .33 to create this acceleration. Therefore, power has to be applied earlier in the pulling or else stroke rate will suffer. Combination of the stroke characteristic with wanting to keep high elbow may irritate the weakest links inside the shoulders and or elbows. Or put the other way around, having a pain in the shoulder may be related to this.

Often, those who *catch up* can't (afford) swimming high elbow. And the reason for this is that because they catch up. It's a vicious circle that needs to be broken if any attempt is to be made to pull high elbow.

Now at first, upon arm entry, you can wait a little that's not bad that gets ride of some bubbles if any and you gradually dig for deeper water to take a catch. You don't have to hurry up to do this. And this is why when you see these swimmers (Thorpe or most of his competitors), it looks as if they glide up front but it's just because the hand is slowly aiming for deeper water. Take a look at underwater footage and look at their fingers. Because this is how they think this movement. Fingers first then the hand slowly (at first) aim for deeper water then after this, things might unfold at a rapid pace. You take a catch you're already in a strong position hand accelerate more and more as soon as strong back are involved, full power is being applied ending up explosive then it's the exit, and a slow and progressive catch again.

It is the level of finesse you can express through this execution that allows you to loose as little water possible.

tomtopo
August 27th, 2009, 09:24 PM
Total Immersion, EVF, Front quadrant, Long stroke, are not contradictions like George said.

Here are two great video's that show you what the catch or EVF is.


YouTube - SwimTherapy - Frontcrawl Catch

YouTube - How to swim with a High Elbow Catch/EVF - Total Immersion Israel

Here's where I think people begin to disagree and they shouldn't. When the arm is extended in a straight position it serves the purpose of keeping the lower body from dropping. The catch or EVF should be synonymous for "setting-up" the stroke. The body type (short, tall, slim, not so slim) helps determine how deep and how defined the EVF is. Two swimmers who have different looking EVF's are Alain Bernard (straighter and deeper) and Rebecca Addlington (near 90 degrees and shallow).

Each competitive stroke can be separated into four different segments or quadrants. The front quadrant is where the catch (EVF) “sets-up” the stroke into an effective propulsive position after a full extension of the arm; the second quadrant is where power from a properly set up hand and forearm position occurs; the third quadrant where the release from the power phase and then recovery is initiated; and the fourth quadrant is where the recovery makes the transition to the entry. The all important EVF position or catch is located in the first quadrant and beginning of the second quadrant of each stroke. This above explaination should show you that every swimmer should use every quadrant and to say some is or is not a "front-quadrant" swimmer, is simply not necessary and/or silly!

SolarEnergy
August 27th, 2009, 09:49 PM
Then you mentioned to stay flatter in the water to achieve a longer boat. Wouldn't swimming flatter make one more like a barge than a longer vessel? It's good to read about warnings and caveats expressed against some technique displayed by world class swimmers.

It is often a good opportunity to advocate stretching.

But where did I mention that I'd favor swimming flat? On some butterfly thread maybe? :) (just kidding here, no offence).

The truth of the matter is that I strongly agree with descriptions made in TI literature on how the body should travel (cut) through the water. I also find that it is worth to spend considerable amount of time (years) in aiming at cutting drag and cut efficiently through the water, becoming more and more like a fish.

SolarEnergy
August 27th, 2009, 09:54 PM
This above explaination should show you that every swimmer should use every quadrant and to say some is or is not a "front-quadrant" swimmer, is simply not necessary and/or silly! I am having hard time with this explanation. I am not even sure where I am getting lost. But I am eager to understand your point, if you're patient ;-)

One thing is sure though, if you want to get me to understand anything, forget about your first clip. Just the look of it (outch) that hurts.

If everything evolves around the first clip, we may be on a dead lock.

geochuck
August 27th, 2009, 09:58 PM
Solar the old phrase swim like a fish is a very false statemnt. Fish do a fishtail movement. This action is not streamlined. It only would work if we had a fishes tail fins.

serpico
August 28th, 2009, 01:24 AM
SE, I can see what you're talking about with Thorpe - his fingers point forward and a little down even at entry.

You know without actually seeing you, it's becoming difficult to issue detailed recommendation.
Yeah, understood. I'll try to take a video of me attempting EVF. What angles should I get video from - underwater side and front views?

geochuck
August 28th, 2009, 07:05 AM
I would rather see your stroke before you attempt EVF, there may be a simple solution. Keep it simple.

thewookiee
August 28th, 2009, 08:00 AM
.
The best way to get good slippage for your body is to keep it long and narrow, like a racing boat (as opposed to a barge). This long and narrow "vessel shape" is best achieved by keeping your body flat and straight in the water. From the floating exercise above, you know that flat is more easy to accomplish with your arms out in front, hence the popularity of FQS (front quadrant swimming). Another good thing to keep in mind is keeping your hips up. This all helps you to stay well streamlined and balanced in the water... and swimming efficiency is ALL ABOUT good streamlining and balance.

:)

This is where you mentioned keeping the body flat in the water. That's why I was asking for clarification on this comment

SolarEnergy
August 28th, 2009, 08:00 AM
Solar the old phrase swim like a fish is a very false statemnt. Fish do a fishtail movement. This action is not streamlined. It only would work if we had a fishes tail fins. I kind of agree here. That's why I prefer (and used) the expression "becoming more and more like a fish".

- -
Serpico, I found this clip here which shows an interesting approach in the form of a drill (or so it looks to me) that seems to be a nice way to work on modulating the way you catch. What I mean by modulating is really about getting used to catch at various depth (this drill focuses on catching deeper while still swimming front quadrant).

I am not suggesting that you should use this technique in your full stroke, but I find this clip to be interesting for you since it is indirectly advocating catching in a way that is safe for shoulder articulation.

Moreover, I believe it may have been inspired by TI's approach. As far as I am concerned, that helps correcting a misconception (at least in my mind) that TI would be (wrongly) advocating longish glides at the front
YouTube - Patient Catch - Total Immersion clip

Without having seen you I'd say it would be safe to give this drill/approach a try.

__steve__
August 28th, 2009, 10:16 AM
Interesting the style differences between top swimmers. The goal should be to spot what's common and try to emulate that, like catching then pull with both hand and forearm.

Thorpe looks forward all the time but I read one should have head positioned neutral

geochuck
August 28th, 2009, 11:13 AM
Head position is regulated by an individuals bouyancy. The head position along with many other things vary to make a complete stroke. Distance swimmers will carry their heads lower then sprinters generally but there is no oneway catches all.

You will also notice that TI is an always changing theory based on new stuff that comes about. So you will find that TI is ever changing. What TI taught originally is not what they try to do now.

To me the patient catch in that video is not very practicle.

SolarEnergy
August 28th, 2009, 11:23 AM
To me the patient catch in that video is not very practicle. It's just a drill George, nothing more than a little harmless drill.

Drills should be specific to any issue one might need to solve. In other words, I agree with you that if you're not facing the same challenge that the op is facing, this patient catch drill is probably irrelevant for you.
- - - - - -

"Originally Posted by bud View Post"
... is best achieved by keeping your body flat and straight in the water."

This is where you mentioned keeping the body flat in the water. That's why I was asking for clarification on this comment right statement, wrong author though. I am Solar and he is Bud.

Charles

geochuck
August 28th, 2009, 11:38 AM
It's just a drill George, nothing more than a little harmless drill.

Drills should be specific to any issue one might need to solve. In other words, I agree with you that if you're not facing the same challenge that the op is facing, this patient catch drill is probably irrelevant for you.


Drills are not harmless if you incorporate it into your stroke. A drill if you do them should be specifically done to help incorporate the drll points into your stroke.

thewookiee
August 28th, 2009, 12:08 PM
It's just a drill George, nothing more than a little harmless drill.

Drills should be specific to any issue one might need to solve. In other words, I agree with you that if you're not facing the same challenge that the op is facing, this patient catch drill is probably irrelevant for you.
- - - - - -

"Originally Posted by bud View Post"
... is best achieved by keeping your body flat and straight in the water."
right statement, wrong author though. I am Solar and he is Bud.

Charles

My apologies Solar. I wasn't paying attention.

tomtopo
August 28th, 2009, 01:15 PM
If it hurts, don't do it - PERIOD! The entry and "setting-up" of the stroke is very important but when a certain entry and positioning of the forearm and hand hurts (at any angle, straight, bent or inbetween) don't try to conform to something your musculature is not prepared to handle. Like George said, an video of you swimming is important before more suggestions are to be given. Good luck, Coach T.

SolarEnergy
August 28th, 2009, 01:44 PM
My apologies Solar. I wasn't paying attention. no probs. Speaking about flat body and TI. I don't know if yourself are representing some branch of TI, but here...

Strangely enough, this clip here (referred to by CoachT earlier) is explicitly advocating perfectly flat body position for favoring high elbow, and it comes from TI Israel ... (reach out for minute 1:50) YouTube - How to swim with a High Elbow Catch/EVF - Total Immersion Israel

Has TI (head office) lost control over its branches?

- - -

Yeah, understood. I'll try to take a video of me attempting EVF. What angles should I get video from - underwater side and front views? Serpio, I think that we all forgot to ask you few important questions:
- Which one of your shoulders is getting painful?
- Do you breathe only on one side, if yes which one?

You seem to have read somewhere that the famous dropped elbow pulling (which typically occurs to those wanting to glide too much upon arm entry) can be the cause of shoulder pain. And I agree (to a large extent) with this statement. However, like many members participating to your thread have pointed out, EVF may be little too extreme as a solution to solve the dropped elbow flaw.

So if you're asking me what I would like to see, I'd like to see you swimming as naturally as possible. Say I show up during one of your swim session, say I have a camera but you didn't see me. I'd film you without you even noticing? It is this stroke I'd like to see.

thewookiee
August 28th, 2009, 03:08 PM
no probs. Speaking about flat body and TI. I don't know if yourself are representing some branch of TI, but here...

.

Nope, I am only representing myself in asking the question. I am only concerned with how to improve my freestyle, considering over the last few years that it has gone south faster than I did getting out of new jersey.

SolarEnergy
August 28th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Nope, I am only representing myself in asking the question. I am only concerned with how to improve my freestyle, considering over the last few years that it has gone south faster than I did getting out of new jersey. This confusion about flat body position is a shame.

Front crawl is swam from side to side. Of course, moving from one side to the other involves that at some point, the body is flat. If you pause any freestyle clip in the middle of this side-to-side action, then the body is flat.

This fact seems to have inspired mysterious schools of thoughts to recommend swimming flat in order to favor high elbow?????? :applaud:

thewookiee
August 28th, 2009, 03:43 PM
This confusion about flat body position is a shame.

Front crawl is swam from side to side. Of course, moving from one side to the other involves that at some point, the body is flat. If you pause any freestyle clip in the middle of this side-to-side action, then the body is flat.

This fact seems to have inspired mysterious schools of thoughts to recommend swimming flat in order to favor high elbow?????? :applaud:

The best way I have found for now to be able to move from side to side is to let my recovering arm roll me from side to side. I tried the concept of "rotate from the hips" to control the stroke, that never seemed to produce any good results.

For me, letting the recovering arms dictate the timing has produced a better connection of the stroke.

SolarEnergy
August 28th, 2009, 04:01 PM
I gave this flat position thing a second then a third thought. I think I understand better what they mean and they may have a point.

During this transition from side to side, the time when the body is almost flat may as well be the best time to actually drop the forearm thus bending the elbow.

orca1946
August 31st, 2009, 01:03 PM
You must listen to your body, if it hurts then you must change something.

__steve__
August 31st, 2009, 02:30 PM
I've been focusing on the technique ever since this thread started. I can definately feel improvement. At times my shoulders do develop some strain, but I found it's from not relaxing the arm/shoulder when the hand is out of the water. As soon as I relaxed - the pain disappeared. I guess I concentrated onthe new arm position so much I neglected the rest phase.

Even though I'm still slow with only just over a year exp swimming, I am kinda lucky picking up this style so early

geochuck
August 31st, 2009, 02:45 PM
Relaxation of the muscles for me starts in the hands by not pressing the thumb against the index finger. By not forcing the fingers together, you can feel the tension in the forearms release. If you press the thumb against the index finger and hold the fingers tightly together great tension that extends even to the shoulders. Then realease the tension and you can feel the muscles release.

SolarEnergy
August 31st, 2009, 08:50 PM
but I found it's from not relaxing the arm/shoulder when the hand is out of the water. As soon as I relaxed - the pain disappeared. This is what I mean when I refer to unloading the catch.

Keeping the hands relaxed like George suggested is also very beneficial.

Keep going you're on the right track!

Kevin in MD
September 1st, 2009, 02:52 PM
really reaching with the forward hand on each stroke, and not pulling until the trailing hand entered the water (the TI front quadrant swimming concept).

But over time, my shoulders would bother me. And I recently learned that swimming with high elbows (envisioning your arm going over a barrel) is better for your shoulders. I was definitely dropping my elbows before.


There are two common injury modes that could possibly be at work, a video would show which one is in play from her it is hard to guess.

The first injury mode is having your arm extended overhead and your hand is actually higher than your shoulder joint. Often it goes with having your hand angled up. (http://bp1.blogger.com/_Q-9ofbUEW78/R9qn3bpku2I/AAAAAAAAABs/Qxwj7_mCCOY/s1600-h/image003.gif)

It is terribly common in people overdoing the long stroke with catchup aspect of things. It is so common I wrote an article for people who do catchup to beware of this overcorrection.

http://acadianendurance.blogspot.com/

The basic idea is that you are putting a load on your shoulder when it is overhead. Your arms are not really made to do that - exert force with your hands fully overhead.

The second injury mode is that of abduction with internal rotation. Medically, this is the position folks worry about for causing impingement. Coincidentally it is the same position described as early vertical forearm by some coaches.

As noted earlier, if you swim with an overly long glide phase and then throw an attempt at high elbow catch on top of it. You are compounding things because A. your shoulder position is ripe for impingement, B. you slowed down so much that you have to reaccelerate your body, more force more loading.

For the length of the thread you haven't mentioned more shoulder problems though, so hopefully what you did is working for you.

SolarEnergy
September 1st, 2009, 04:30 PM
Looks interesting doc, I'll give your article a quite and thorough read.

I agree with your conclusion on the detrimental impact of late/weighted catching.

I may add to this that the reason why it is so common, is that to some extent, it feels good swimming like this. Well that's not a *good* good, it's a bad good. But still, for a lot of swimmers it's hard to trade a gooooood gliiiidy looooong feeling for a healthier catch (taken earlier and unweighted).

It's like as if a lot of these swimmers where addicted to swim this way.

__steve__
September 1st, 2009, 05:58 PM
I have to monitor my left should closely while swimming, 15 years ago when I was 28 it dislocated at Moab UT, a doctor riding by reset it. Since then the left shoulder has popped out of socket about 10 times and I learned to reset myself. Hasn't happened in several years.

Weight training is the best thing for it

SolarEnergy
September 1st, 2009, 09:14 PM
Weight training is the best thing for it I have to agree with this statement 110%

Keep curing yourself with what feels appropriate and the odds that it may never ever pop out in the future are high.

I dislocated the same knee twice within a year when I was in my teen ages, doctor said if it ever happen again, I'd has to open it (I was scared to death).

In 2000, I was turning 31. I really thought that I'd finish my days with a walking stick. Could barely climb stairs without pain. I got back to training stair master (with tape around both knees) and weights. Now, (short story) this year I had my first cycling season ever with no pain whatsoever and I plan to maybe start running next year (which I had never been able to, even working as a full time triathlon coach for a varsity team).

I am not a doctor, but I really have the impression that weights have a positive impact even on articular tissues (even pads and stuff).

Weights weights weights.

tomtopo
September 1st, 2009, 10:42 PM
A couple great articles from the experts. Developing balanced shoulder muscles and avoiding stretching routines that aren't sound can reduce and eliminate shoulder problems. Good luck

http://swimming.about.com/cs/shoulderinjury/a/endswimshoulder_3.htm

http://www.gsaswim.org/documents/Stretching_Summary_USA_20091807.pdf