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pwolf66
September 6th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Hip driven or shoulder driven? The reason I ask is that I'm a shoulder driven sprinter but have a more hip driven stroke in the 200.

I've been trying to find some speed from a hip driven stroke but so far have just not been able to come close (24.3 scy hip driven vs 23.1 shoulder driven). Is one inherently better than the other? If so, why?

Can one utilize both techniques depending on the race? Is it possible to have an effective shoulder driven sprint stroke and an effective hip driven distance stroke?

geochuck
September 6th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Not much difference from a 50 to a 200 how you swim it. It is just pacing.. . All races are arm shoulder driven. I really have to laugh when people say hip driven. It tells me you believe the story that some people tell. The lower part of the body ads only a minor part to swimming.

ehoch
September 6th, 2009, 05:51 PM
The lower part of the body ads only a minor part to swimming.


See - to each his own ... this makes me laugh :D

I would not want to swim without my kick, since it's my engine.


You can try both - but I am not sure you can be good at both. I am guessing your hip driven stroke is close to catch up and your turnover is too low for a sprint ?
Try to get your turnover up - in the hip driven stroke, many swimmers allow the kick to slow down the turnover. Work on shortening the kick a little bit (vertical kicks) / work with a tempo trainer / and do kick swim or swim to kick sprints (10yards kick sprint right into 15 yards swim sprint and reverse)

geochuck
September 6th, 2009, 06:08 PM
Kick is essential but is not as propulsive as the upperbody action. Kick all you want but it is the upper body and arms that do most of the work and will make us faster.

SolarEnergy
September 6th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Hip driven front crawl swimming is a concept I never really understood. I guess it's just a way of thinking.. I donno. I guess it's a matter of taste.

For me, it has always been shoulder driven. The hips are just between the shoulders and the legs. They follow but don't drive anything. I do not think about hips, and don't feel any need to think about them.

However, I know very respectable swim coaches who strongly believe in this hip thing so.... I respect this.

I can understand why thinking hip driven has a detrimental impact on your performances over really short distances. It probably takes some of the important focus away from the upper body (working muscles) down to the hips (:confused:)... nahhh really. No matter how hard I try, I can not understand this concept.

quicksilver
September 6th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Hip driven or shoulder driven?


Shoulder driven is said to be more of sprinters stroke. Think of it as a different gear.

Hip driven is how they said Ian Thorpe swam. More of a middle distance style where a long extended arm ans some hip rotation would make him stealthier in the water. When he sprinted though...it was all out shoulders.

These videos explain it much better. http://www.theraceclub.net/Videos

Chris Stevenson
September 6th, 2009, 09:57 PM
The lower part of the body ads only a minor part to swimming.


See - to each his own ... this makes me laugh :D

I would not want to swim without my kick, since it's my engine.

You and me both.

__steve__
September 6th, 2009, 10:06 PM
Chris Vaanderkay mentioned he's starting to focus on sprinting now using more of a shoulder driven style than the hip version he uses in distance. So there ya have it I guess.

ehoch
September 6th, 2009, 10:36 PM
I think of it this way - when I swim hip driven (which is my natural stroke), I max out my kick and allow my arms to follow the "beat" of the kick. When I do try any type of straight arm or shoulder driven sprints, I focus on the arms and turnover, and just allow the legs to follow the arms.

Now it does help to have a strong kick to swim that way.

The arms are responsible for 80% of the propulsion (at least that is what I read) - but I would not want to go into a race without that 20%. In terms of pure time, in a max 50 based on best swim time, I am probably 5-6% slower just pulling and 20-25% slower just kicking.

Jazz Hands
September 6th, 2009, 11:43 PM
I don't think "hip driven" swimming exists. At best, it's an illusion. Shoulders rotate because of the pulling force. Tension through the torso makes the hips rotate with the shoulders. If someone is wobbly in the middle you can maybe get them to tighten up by telling them to focus on driving with the hips, but the power is still coming from up front.

Personally, I use a focus point of fast and tight rotation at the hips when I sprint. I want to keep the amplitude of the rotation down, and eliminate any up-down or left-right motion. Thinking about the hips seems to work better than thinking about the shoulders.

Syd
September 7th, 2009, 12:19 AM
I thought the correct way was for the shoulders to follow the hips. In other words, the hips will initiate the rotation and the shoulders will be a fraction of a second behind. Perhaps this is what is meant by hip driven freestyle. But it is a bit of a misnomer because the term 'hip driven' suggests that the hips are the primary driving force behind the action. Perhaps it would be better if it were called 'hip initiated' freestyle.

pwolf66
September 7th, 2009, 08:53 AM
I think of hip driven as a long extension of the leading hand and a rotation of the hips almost to 90 degrees to help power the stroke. For me, I find this to be a very difficult stroke to maintain a solid SR with (best I can get is about 45-48 strokes/min). That might be due to poor core strength/flexibility that prevents my hips/lower body from rotating quickly.

My shoulder driven stroke is much flatter, with a higher turn over (68-70 strokes/min) and very little body rotation to help keep my kick tighter and prevent my feet from crossing each other.

When I swim hip driven, I average 12 strokes per length in a 25m pool and swim the 25 in about 16-17 seconds. Shoulder driven is 17.5 strokes per length in 14-15 seconds. These are from a push.

notsofast
September 7th, 2009, 09:17 AM
Shoulder driven is said to be more of sprinters stroke. Think of it as a different gear.

Hip driven is how they said Ian Thorpe swam. More of a middle distance style where a long extended arm ans some hip rotation would make him stealthier in the water. When he sprinted though...it was all out shoulders.

These videos explain it much better. http://www.theraceclub.net/Videos
Honest, I looked at these videos quite a few times and couldn't tell the difference in strokes. Partly that's because the videos showed mostly hands and feet but rarely showed shoulders and hips, and almost never showed shoulders and hips at the same time.
I'm a bit of a simpleton, though, so how about this guy?:
http://swimsmooth.com/
Is his stroke hip-driven or shoulder-driven, and how can you tell? (I'm not being sarcastic - just trying to understand the discussion.)

geochuck
September 7th, 2009, 09:36 AM
I think the confusion here is because...

Many coaches say that body roll is hip initiated.

I believe it is shoulder initiated as many other coaches do.

I also know that there is a group of swim coaches that believe the body roll is leg driven. These guys are the who suggest a two beat kick.

quicksilver
September 7th, 2009, 10:19 AM
so how about this guy?: http://swimsmooth.com/ Is his stroke hip-driven or shoulder-driven, and how can you tell? (I'm not being sarcastic - just trying to understand the discussion.)

It's difficult to say. The model swims somewhat flat up front with little or no reach with it's arms, yet the hips are rotating from side to side.
Not exactly real world, but close. It looks a tad too mechanical even though it's a very well done computer model.


The coach describes it here very well. He thinks of each style as a different gear. And there are examples of each.

A sprinter may not be able to use a shoulder driven freestyle on a longer set (without getting tired)...so they transition into more of a distance stroke. Hip driven is more like speed skating. Long extension of the lead arm, more of a body roll, and a quieter kick.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hSCA_J5fP0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theraceclub.net%2FVideos&feature=player_embedded#t=21

SolarEnergy
September 7th, 2009, 11:01 AM
Honest, I looked at these videos quite a few times and couldn't tell the difference in strokes. Partly that's because the videos showed mostly hands and feet but rarely showed shoulders and hips, and almost never showed shoulders and hips at the same time.
I'm a bit of a simpleton, though, so how about this guy?:
http://swimsmooth.com/
Is his stroke hip-driven or shoulder-driven, and how can you tell? (I'm not being sarcastic - just trying to understand the discussion.)
Hip driven mate. 100% hip driven.

I say this because (unless these was a change in his coaching philosophy), P.Newsome is one of the respectable coaches I was referring too that clearly advocate hip driven free style. So I guess that their new baby swimmer is applying this concept as well.

SolarEnergy
September 7th, 2009, 11:27 AM
For those who don't have the chance to own a copy of Swimming Fastest (E.Maglischo), here's some of the Author's thoughts about this concept. Now, for the record, I still believe that some swimmers may have benefits in *thinking* hip driven like I said earlier.




Is Body Roll the Source of Propulsion?
In the last decade, there has been widespread acceptance of the belief that rolling the hips from side to side is the major catalyst for propulsion in the front crawl and backstroke (Prichard 1993). Several analogies have been cited from other sports to supports this contention. Proponents of this technique point to the fact that land athletes initiate the striking, swinging and throwing arm motions by first rotating the hips in direction of the motion, procucing a summation of forces, which begins in the legs, that gains force as it travels upward through the hips.
...
These experts describe the application of force in swimming as one where rotation of the hips is transferred to the shoulders and arms, providing more force for the armstroke.
...
This is a misinterpretation of the concept of force summation, however. What has been overlooked is that the relationship between arm movements and hip rotation in swimming is very different from that in land activities. For one thing, analogies that support the propulsive role of hip rotation take place on land, where the feet are planted against the ground so that the hips can rotate around this center of implantation without causing the body to fly off into space.

Swimmers on the other hand are freely suspended in the water, so there is not center of implantation from which they can generate force.
...
Because the concept is recent, research on the relationship of hip rotation to propulsive force is sparse. Nevertheless, that research does not support the concept that hip rotation increases propulsive force. In the first study (Payton, HJay, and Mullineaux 1997), to simulate front-crawl swimming, researchers constructed a model of the trucnk and arm. They concluded that body roll did increase the inward and outward velocitites of the hand but not the backward velocities. This means that body roll might increase the production of lift forces during swimming but would have no effect on the production of drag forces. If you believe, as I do, that drag is the dominant propulsive force, then an increase in the amount or speed of hip rotation would do little to improve propulsive force.
...
The point I am trying to make is an academinc one. I believe that the arms and shoulders are the pistons that actually provide the force, and the body rotates both to improve the propulsive efforts of the limbs and to maintain good lateral alignment. In other words, the arms lead the swimmers' stroking efforts and the hips follow - not the other way around.

Now for the record, Maglischo's approach to swim analysis is one that relies mostly on observation. He doesn't care much about feelings etc.

That means that if there's any benefit in feeling that the rotation comes from the hips, well he missed it (and will probably continue to do so).

On the other hand, his observations basically confirm that those swimmers (like me) who don't care one second about hip driven freestyle and can still manage to stabilize distance per stroke and achieve desired stroke rate certainly don't suffer from not considering hip driven freestyle.

He also has a huge record of changing his mind on some key aspects of swimming from one edition to the other (Swimming Faster (1980), Swimming Even Faster ('93), Swimming Fastest (2003).

geochuck
September 7th, 2009, 11:50 AM
I make a joke occassionaly about the one coach who used to make comments here that he believes rotation was initiated from the big toes. Of course that was my interpretation of what he thought, not his.

tdrop
September 7th, 2009, 12:04 PM
I don't know about hip driven freestyle. I never think of it that way. I have tried it, though.

Most importantly, in regards to a previous post, the importance of having a strong kick is not even debatable. It is a fact in modern swimming.

geochuck
September 7th, 2009, 01:09 PM
If one shoulder rotates up the other shoulder rotates down the rest of the body will or can follow suit or may not.


I don't know about hip driven freestyle. I never think of it that way. I have tried it, though. So is it hip driven or shoulder driven???

Most importantly, in regards to a previous post, the importance of having a strong kick is not even debatable. It is a fact in modern swimming.

tdrop
September 7th, 2009, 04:54 PM
If one shoulder rotates up the other shoulder rotates down the rest of the body will or can follow suit or may not. so is it hip driven or shoulder driven???

i don't know...i can't relate to it like that. its everything driven...kick, hands, shoulders, core...everything. you got to make it all work. i spend most of my time trying to get a better kick and a better pull. i haven't thought much about rotation in many years. that's not to say I shouldn't be thinking about it, though.

notsofast
September 7th, 2009, 05:52 PM
It's difficult to say. The model swims somewhat flat up front with little or no reach with it's arms, yet the hips are rotating from side to side.
Not exactly real world, but close. It looks a tad too mechanical even though it's a very well done computer model.


The coach describes it here very well. He thinks of each style as a different gear. And there are examples of each.

A sprinter may not be able to use a shoulder driven freestyle on a longer set (without getting tired)...so they transition into more of a distance stroke. Hip driven is more like speed skating. Long extension of the lead arm, more of a body roll, and a quieter kick.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hSCA_J5fP0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theraceclub.net%2FVideos&feature=player_embedded#t=21
This is the same clip referenced earlier, only on youtube. I find it confusing because, as you note, a 'hip-driven' stroke is longer and slower, while 'shoulder-driven' is faster. But that seems to mean, by definition, hip driven is just swimming slower and shoulder-driven is just swimming faster. That wouldn't be a difference in method, but a difference in pacing.

At the same time, people who have a lot of experience seem to say there is a difference, and it's significant. That's what I'm trying to understand.

quicksilver
September 7th, 2009, 07:38 PM
by definition, hip driven is just swimming slower and shoulder-driven is just swimming faster.Not so, although it can appear that way. Swimming with 'core rotation' as opposed to swimming a bit more flat is the primary difference between the two styles.

Gary Hall Sr. wrote a very good article on "swimming with your body". http://www.theraceclub.net/columns/2008/05/swimming-with-your-body.html



(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhQfPokRMA0)

SolarEnergy
September 7th, 2009, 08:47 PM
Not so, although it can appear that way. Swimming with 'core rotation' as opposed to swimming a bit more flat is the primary difference between the two styles.

Gary Hall Sr. wrote a very good article on "swimming with your body". http://www.theraceclub.net/columns/2008/05/swimming-with-your-body.html



(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhQfPokRMA0) key point in this article I find is the recommendation for one-arm drill. When done with the other arm along side the body, this drill will get anyone to rotate correctly, whether from the hips or shoulders.

Here's one of my favorite progression to develop good sprinting technique. It involves kicking no board with full 6beat pattern, (bilateral) breathing etc. That's freestyle without the arms basically, followed with some 1 arm drill. Kid on the clip is 15yo, worth 1:53.5 over 200m SCM
YouTube - Freestyle 6beat kicking to 1arm progression

notsofast
September 7th, 2009, 09:39 PM
Not so, although it can appear that way. Swimming with 'core rotation' as opposed to swimming a bit more flat is the primary difference between the two styles.

Gary Hall Sr. wrote a very good article on "swimming with your body". http://www.theraceclub.net/columns/2008/05/swimming-with-your-body.html



(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhQfPokRMA0)
It sounds like the shoulders should be driving, regardless of whether the stroke is shoulder-driven or hip-driven. However, with the hip-driven stroke the hips are rotating as well. With shoulder-driven, the rotation of the hips is minimized.

Does that sound right?

geochuck
September 8th, 2009, 09:35 AM
What make us swim better is the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

It is not what the legs, the hips, the shoulder, the arms, or the hands do by them selves. It is when they are assembled and work together. A big kick will not do it. A perfect arm stroke will not do it. Everything you do must be combined (a synergy).

SolarEnergy
September 8th, 2009, 12:22 PM
What make us swim better is the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

It is not what the legs, the hips, the shoulder, the arms, or the hands do by them selves. It is when they are assembled and work together. A big kick will not do it. A perfect arm stroke will not do it. Everything you do must be combined (a synergy). I couldn't agree more.

In French we refer to this as Addition. The full stroke should be greater than the sum of all parts, hence the need for a bunch of integration drills.

But I guess that should be the subject of a new discussion ;-)

Anyway, cheers for bringing this key aspect, it is not often brought on the table in discussion forums I find.

ehoch
September 8th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Everything you do must be combined (a synergy).


The USA National Team bio mechanics guru used to have a test for this - they measured the strength / force of your kick, your pull and your combined stroke ( I think it was done in Newton, but may be wrong). Let's say the pull was 100 and the kick was measured at 20, the great swimmers would have a combined measure of 120 or more. But many would have something less - indicating that the combination of kick and pull was not a good synergy.

geochuck
September 8th, 2009, 03:16 PM
If they are not put together correctly you could get all kinds of results. This is where a good coach comes in.

Paul Smith
September 8th, 2009, 03:21 PM
Chris Vaanderkay mentioned he's starting to focus on sprinting now using more of a shoulder driven style than the hip version he uses in distance. So there ya have it I guess.

Phelps tried the same thing for his 100 free and look how well that turned out...

There are a LOT of factors that go into making a stroke change from hip driven to shoulder driven...and honestly I'm pretty skeptical of how successful adult/masters swimmers will be who try to make it. Bottom line is it can be a very frustrating experience slowing down and trying re-learn something...espcially for all thos folks who will already be in a deep depression over their times when they have to go reto with the suit changes in 2010! :)

George..I simply don't understand how you can downplay kick so much when you see the number of eltite athletes like Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin, etc. who have clearly demonstrated how powerful a kick can be...does it generate more power than the upper body? I would say yes for these types of swimmers because they actually move faster underwater than on top...but for the vast majority of "mortals" out there that never develop it or have limitations with flexibility or body type that limit its effectiveness you would be correct.

geochuck
September 8th, 2009, 03:58 PM
I do not believe kick sets are important. You must understand I was not the fastest guy on the street I was rated in the top ten 100m guys in the world for several years in the top 3 two years.

Paul I don't downplay kick. Kick just will not do it all for you. I do not think kicking only drills make a sprinter faster (my belief). When training from 1952 to 1958 I only did my sprint training as full stroke. I was limited to how much training I could do eg 500yds a day speed work, 200 yard warmup and 300 yard cool down swims.

If you wanted to see a kick you should have seen my kick. It was a very deep six beat. My toes would hit the bottom in a three foot deep pool and my heals broke the surface. Even though I did very little kick stuff they tested my leg strength at the British Empire games in 1958 and found my leg strength was beaten only by a South African wrester. The Australian heavy weight lifter was third in leg strength.

I changed my kick for Marathon swimming, it was still a six beat but not as agressive.


Phelps tried the same thing for his 100 free and look how well that turned out...

There are a LOT of factors that go into making a stroke change from hip driven to shoulder driven...and honestly I'm pretty skeptical of how successful adult/masters swimmers will be who try to make it. Bottom line is it can be a very frustrating experience slowing down and trying re-learn something...espcially for all thos folks who will already be in a deep depression over their times when they have to go reto with the suit changes in 2010! :)

George..I simply don't understand how you can downplay kick so much when you see the number of eltite athletes like Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin, etc. who have clearly demonstrated how powerful a kick can be...does it generate more power than the upper body? I would say yes for these types of swimmers because they actually move faster underwater than on top...but for the vast majority of "mortals" out there that never develop it or have limitations with flexibility or body type that limit its effectiveness you would be correct.

ehoch
September 8th, 2009, 07:33 PM
Even though I did very little kick stuff they tested my leg strength at the British Empire games in 1958 and found my leg strength was beaten only by a South African wrester. The Australian heavy weight lifter was third in leg strength.


This has about zero correlation with kicking speed ... I know that I have a lot less leg strength than many swimmers on our team, yet I can kick faster than many of them can swim.

geochuck
September 8th, 2009, 07:45 PM
You are right no correlation as to leg strength and kicking speed.

I guess that is why I used to swim 50meters scy dolpin kick underwater and beat full stroke free swimmers in a 50. That was how I trained for my butterfly.

Chris Stevenson
September 8th, 2009, 08:41 PM
I do not believe kick sets are important.


I guess that is why I used to swim 50meters scy dolpin kick underwater and beat full stroke free swimmers in a 50. That was how I trained for my butterfly.

So...kick-only practicing is not important, yet that is how you trained for butterfly...:confused:

geochuck
September 8th, 2009, 08:53 PM
I just wanted to let them have a chance to beat me. One of the kids was Dan Sherry who was quite a young guy at the time. He switched to fly a little later on then he set the world record for the 110 yds butterfly.

Dan Sherry swam at my Club, The Hamilton Aquatic Club http://www.swimontario.com/news_detail.php?id=2094 His world record was set August 23rd 1965. He trained with me in the early 60's

This was the write up

Dan Sherry of Hamilton, Ont. set two records at the British swimming championships in Blackpool, England. His 58.1 for the 110-yard butterfly lowered the world record by .9 seconds, and his 55.5 for the 110-yard freestyle set a new Canadian mark.

SolarEnergy
September 8th, 2009, 10:15 PM
So...kick-only practicing is not important (I know it's not what you think)
I guess it depends for who.

Some sprinters really have a stroke built upon kicking. I remember a 50m specialist (couldn't swim a 100, I think he was worth 59) who's main preparation for a 50m (believe it or not) was some gym work (very very heavy leg press sets, lat pulldown etc), sculling and endless kick sets in the pool. He came very close to go under 23sec SCM (for a Varsity level swimmer), working as a swim instructor and basically training few weeks into provincials (qualifier for nationals) and nationals.

I also remember this master swimmer with a belly. Not a former elite swimmer, just the ordinary working man who swam for fun. His thing was kick sets. He could do 1:25 100m routinely. The kind of guy that if you'd write 30x100kick off 2min on the board, he'd be grateful. His 100m Free SCM was under the minute (no previous background in swimming), mostly based on huge kick and incredibly slow stroke rate (long distance per stroke supported by the double-V8 kicking engine).

__steve__
September 8th, 2009, 10:43 PM
I'll tell you one thing, after learning to kick correctly (like several day's ago I started getting it down), there has been a huge amount of strain removed from my upper body compared to my former lazy 2-kick I've been doing since day one 15 months ago. I'm also swimming in a straight line unlike before. Not only is it like there's pushing help from behind when I get it down right (still mess up time to time), but my whole body - arms, legs, and all - seem to flow smoothly and efficiently. It's hard to explain but the only resistance I feel is from propulsive areas. But when I miss a beat and skip one kick or drop my hand too deep everything falls apart and it feels like before and I have to wait for the next set. If I get tired and become sloppy all the time I just leave the pool or do turn or dolphin drills.

mattson
September 9th, 2009, 09:53 AM
Instead of comparing different Olympic-level swimmers, how about comparing them to a run-of-the-mill palooka that you see thrashing :drown: during lap swims? In the majority of the cases I see, the legs/hips and upper body seem to act independently of each other. I wonder if "hip-driven" just means coordinating the entire body during the swim.

Jazz Hands
September 9th, 2009, 10:40 AM
Instead of comparing different Olympic-level swimmers, how about comparing them to a run-of-the-mill palooka that you see thrashing :drown: during lap swims? In the majority of the cases I see, the legs/hips and upper body seem to act independently of each other. I wonder if "hip-driven" just means coordinating the entire body during the swim.

I like looking at bad swimmers to figure out how to make good swimmers better. The deficits seem to be universal; almost all bad swimmers have the same technique!

I think you're right about coordination. It has to do with rigidity. Being hip-focused, mentally, means being stiff enough to rotate as a unit.

geochuck
September 9th, 2009, 10:42 AM
Mattson

I do not want to become faster I just want to have the best technique I can. A lot are striving to be the fastest and believe the kick is the most important thing in swimming. The maximum a kick can offer is as some say 20%. I think it is a whole body effort.

Hip driven is a term that someone has invented, to explain a fully coordinated swim sroke. Some will say it is shoulder driven. They of course are trying to say correct the hip motion and you will swim better. Some are saying it is the kick that does this.

What I do when I am helping someone I start with the glide off the wall. Then the no splash hand entry. Extend let the hand drift down to the catch and my goodness the shoulder rolls as the hand reaches the catch. Wow before you know it the hips have moved automatically (this is what they call hip driven). The legs are kicking when doing the six beat kick because the body rolls the legs do not just kick staight up and down.

The hand and fore arm press against the water and grab the imaginary wall and push against this wall and the body moves forward. Dont let your elbow drop or you lose your hold on that wall. Keep pressing on that wall until your hand touches your thigh(the finish). A no splash exit from the finish and repeat.

I am not going to say exactly how you get the arms over the top of the water other then I lik a bent arm recovery that I use for marathon swimming or a more straight arm aproach that I used in sprints (1954) you can see this in my avatar.

Leonard Jansen
September 9th, 2009, 11:18 AM
I think you're right about coordination. It has to do with rigidity. Being hip-focused, mentally, means being stiff enough to rotate as a unit.

Let me add my $0.02:

I am a very "hip-centric" swimmer. I don't try to roll as a unit, rather the mental imagery I use is that of a dropped cat landing on its feet. Cats initiate their body roll by starting to rotate the lower body at the hips first and the upper body is just slightly behind the lower. At least that is how it feels when I am feeling very good about my stroke.

I saw a video somewhere of Natalie Coughlin explaining that she thinks in a similar way, but she explained it as raising the one hip as the lead motion. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it.

I've also found that by concentrating on my hips as the thing that initiates my stroke, I can swim forever, but if I think about my arms in this way I tire much quicker. I think this has to do with the relative muscle masses of the shoulders vs. the core muscles. That, plus it puts less stress on my shoulders and makes EVF much easier and less painful. (EVF is a trick I added this year - zowie!)

However, I would be willing to bet that swimming is one the verge of a better understanding of technique as it applies to the various distances. What will shake out of this is that the longer the distance, the more the hips are focused on and the shorter the distance, the more the arms are focused on. Furthermore, I'd bet that very short distances will have NO front quadrant swimming and that as the distance gets longer, the more you will see some front quadrant technique. (NOT CATCH-UP.) The "one-size-fits-all" approach that we've seen - be it copying a certain swimmer's technique regardless of the distance or subscribing to a rigid school of thought - is over.

I saw a video of an Australian who is coaching at Texas describe his belief that for drop-dead sprinting you should use a rotary motion with an almost downward scooping motion as the arm enters the water. This sounds just about perfect to me. If I were a drop-dead sprinter (no frickin' way), that's the technique I'd be aiming for, although I'd also have the name of a good shoulder surgeon handy. Again, I can't remember the coach's name or where I saw it, but I'm sure someone knows.

-LBJ

SolarEnergy
September 9th, 2009, 11:19 AM
I wonder if "hip-driven" just means coordinating the entire body during the swim. I think that there's indeed a lot of it. Coordinating the entire body around the FreeStyle driving shaft.

Bringing the focus away from upper body down to mid body to insure better integration of all its components maybe? Something like that I guess.

Swimming with an all wheel drive transmission instead of a front wheels only? I donno.

dsyphers
September 9th, 2009, 11:23 AM
The synergy between the kick and the stroke is important. You need to be strong in both. When my kick is strong I can feel that it allows my arms to do more. My body position gets more advantageous with a strong kick, and I start to feel a little bit like I'm crawling over the water. So I use kick sets to try to get my kick stronger so I can take advantage of it with my stroke. The real power comes from the stroke, but the kick is a set-up that allows you to get more out of the stroke.

Every now and then my posterior tibial tendonitis (or ankle tendonitis) kicks in and I have to back off on the kick a bit. The difference in my overall speed is quite obvious, and makes it clear how important the synergy is.

SolarEnergy
September 9th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Let me add my $0.02:

I am a very "hip-centric" swimmer. I don't try to roll as a unit, rather the mental imagery I use is that of a dropped cat landing on its feet. Cats initiate their body roll by starting to rotate the lower body at the hips first and the upper body is just slightly behind the lower. YouTube - Cat Flip

thewookiee
September 9th, 2009, 11:34 AM
I saw a video of an Australian who is coaching at Texas describe his belief that for drop-dead sprinting you should use a rotary motion with an almost downward scooping motion as the arm enters the water. This sounds just about perfect to me. If I were a drop-dead sprinter (no frickin' way), that's the technique I'd be aiming for, although I'd also have the name of a good shoulder surgeon handy. Again, I can't remember the coach's name or where I saw it, but I'm sure someone knows.

-LBJ

It was Brett Hawke, who is the head coach at Auburn. He is talking about the "straight arm catch"

thewookiee
September 9th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Another question I have, when it comes to the freestyle is the recovery. How high out of the water should people recovery their arms?

Should they be really high out of the water or just enough to clear the water to get back to the front? And does the recovery swing out to the side or circle directly over the top?

Any thoughts would be great!

__steve__
September 9th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Does the following quote define “hip-driven” or is it something else?

“Lean into the water with your upper trunk (to balance) so your suit is just breaking the surface; rotate your hips around your spinal axis (to propel), getting them completely out of the way as each hand passes through; and think of your arms more as extenders for increasing the length of your body line--which automatically makes you faster--than as pulling tools.” Terry Laughlin

If I were to think about this and everything else while swimming I would sink.


The cat idea say's it all - the hips (center of gravity) lead and everything elso falls suit


Another question I have, when it comes to the freestyle is the recovery. How high out of the water should people recovery their arms?


+1 for this question, I see big differences between videos of top swimmers, one guy looks like a windmill (Kilm I think)

geochuck
September 9th, 2009, 12:30 PM
I just watched a video on history channel, Marilyn Bell swimming accross Lake Ontario. Her elbows were high and hands almost touching the water, Her body rotation was quite astounding to me, she used a six beat kick. Although I remember when I swam in heavy seas I would rotate my whole body in order to breathe without lifting my head. I will see if I can download her swim stroke.

Another question I have, when it comes to the freestyle is the recovery. How high out of the water should people recovery their arms?

Should they be really high out of the water or just enough to clear the water to get back to the front? And does the recovery swing out to the side or circle directly over the top?

Any thoughts would be great!

Tree
September 12th, 2009, 05:39 AM
I am with George on this one. In my case being able to pull and kick seperately did not mean that I could combine them in a full stroke swim. I spent quite a lot of time trying to coordinate the arm stroke and kick without success. It just felt not right because I could feel my legs were somehow disconnected to my arm stroke. Only recently did I begin to figure out how to coordinate them though probably still not complete correct. But it felt just different. More natural and probably more efficient.

But I am just a novice swimmer. What you guys were discussing are more advanced and way past the basic level of mine.

__steve__
September 12th, 2009, 06:22 AM
I notice my breath is the culprit of loosing kick rhythm. Once I get my kick I should be ready to go faster

new
September 12th, 2009, 11:19 AM
I do not believe kick sets are important.

I can tell you this, If I can beat a swimmer in a kick race, there is 95% chance I can beat him if we compete in the same race with full stroke.

BTW, that's why you were in the top 10 and not #1, you needed a few kick sets to speed up

geochuck
September 12th, 2009, 11:42 AM
By saying top 10 - I was never posted 10th or 9th or 8th. and I never cared. I can remember beating the #1 ranked swimmers on many occassions.

New thanks for the critique. Just wonder what is your ranking in the world???

You had to live in my shoes to understand why I did not train very hard. I swam by stroke technique only.

I happen to believe in full stroke training my opinion. You are welcome to kick your guts out along with the other guys who believe kick is the only thing that counts.

It so happened I did not train as much as others but I did well for my health situation at the time.

SolarEnergy
September 12th, 2009, 01:36 PM
BTW, that's why you were in the top 10 and not #1, you needed a few kick sets to speed up I have the greatest respect for those who managed to find their way to the top of the food chain, no matter when that happened. Being the best (or among the bests) has never been easy and certainly never will.

I truly believe that by putting a lot of emphasis on technique, at a time where several others would only focus on developing fitness, George made a very solid point. In that, he may be seen as a precursor.

That being said, I think it's only fair to state that the face of swimming has changed considerably in the last 40 to 50 years, just like with any other sports (Ice hockey, American Football, Track and fields etc). What was good back then may not be sufficient now.

Nowadays, it is fair to state that you have to have both an outstanding technique and an outstanding level of fitness across the board in order to try and beat Michael Phelps. And any swimmer training with this goal in mind and thinking for just one minute that it is possible to do so by neglecting any aspect of swimming will undoubtedly fail.

geochuck
September 12th, 2009, 03:28 PM
I did practice kicking on occasion. When ther was no alternative, if the pool was so full there was no lane to train in I held onto the wall and kicked furiously for about 10 minutes.

SolarEnergy
September 12th, 2009, 08:57 PM
I did practice kicking on occasion. When ther was no alternative, if the pool was so full there was no lane to train in I held onto the wall and kicked furiously for about 10 minutes. (see? doesn't hurt admitting hunh? :D ... kidding here)

As a matter of fact, I don't know what your experience in coaching kids (age groupers) is, but often, when a kid is forced to not pull, then need to spend a lot of time kicking.

Have you noticed that often times, these unscheduled kick training camps turn out to be beneficial for the full stroke.

pwolf66
September 12th, 2009, 09:08 PM
As a matter of fact, I don't know what your experience in coaching kids (age groupers) is, but often, when a kid is forced to not pull, then need to spend a lot of time kicking.


Could you try and finish this thought? Because it's very confusing and I have no idea what you are trying to say. If a swimmer is forced to not pull, then there's pretty much only one other way to to get across the pool.

SolarEnergy
September 13th, 2009, 09:34 AM
Could you try and finish this thought? Because it's very confusing and I have no idea what you are trying to say. If a swimmer is forced to not pull, then there's pretty much only one other way to to get across the pool. Sorry (French is my mother tongue)

I just meant that I have witnessed over time that when an age grouper faces a shoulder or an elbow niggle they are forced (like you say) to kick a lot.

Often, this kicking regiment end up having a surprisingly favorable impact on overall full stroke performance.

pwolf66
September 13th, 2009, 09:48 AM
Sorry (French is my mother tongue)

I just meant that I have witnessed over time that when an age grouper faces a shoulder or an elbow niggle they are forced (like you say) to kick a lot.

Often, this kicking regiment end up having a surprisingly favorable impact on overall full stroke performance.

Ah, now I get it. Thanks for the clarification.

geochuck
September 13th, 2009, 12:07 PM
What is a niggle pwolf66 you seem to understand.

Is this what it means???

niggle
Verb
[-gling, -gled]
1. to worry slightly
2. to find fault continually
Noun
1. a small worry or doubt
2. a trivial objection or complaint [Scandinavian]
niggling adj

SolarEnergy
September 13th, 2009, 01:53 PM
What is a niggle pwolf66 you seem to understand.

It's an expression I got from a brit forums :)

And yes it means having an issue with something.

Sorry for being so cryptic, not done on purpose. I'll reajust :)