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spinenergy
April 19th, 2011, 08:03 AM
If you come from an older generation of swimmers you may have been taught a technique called the ‘S-Pull’. This is a swim form developed in the 1970s and saw use for a couple decades in the competitive circuit. The goal of the S-Pull was to increase the length of each pull using an S shape: Beginning the stroke with the thumb down, sweeping outwards, and then sweeping back in by the hips. If you’re having a hard time visualizing this, imagine the movement your arm makes when putting on and taking off a towel. The two are basically the same.

However, the technique was created without taking into account the rolling of the body it generates. Also, next to the modern vertical or ‘I-Pull’ techniques, the S Pull has many drawbacks:

· Forcing your palms outwards while entering the water can cause shoulder injuries.
· Your ability to reach further to grab a still anchor point is diminished.
· The path of a swimmer’s hands is arched, pushing water partly sideways rather than straight back, losing efficiency.

So if you’re still using the S-Pull try switching to a straighter form. You want to lengthen your reach so you can anchor in non-moving water, keeping your elbows up, without a small arch. Your hands should only be tilted 45° and kept closed. And when flutter-kicking remember to use your whole leg, with your feet barely breaking the surface, keeping your core contracted to keep your hips from rocking.

larsoda
April 19th, 2011, 11:13 AM
Welcome to the sport of swimming.

I'm intrigued by folks who discover swimming, join a forum, and include a coaching tip in their first post.

You must have had quite a good first year of swimming.

thewookiee
April 19th, 2011, 11:19 AM
Welcome to the sport of swimming.

I'm intrigued by folks who discover swimming, join a forum, and include a coaching tip in their first post.

You must have had quite a good first year of swimming.

How do you know the poster is new to swimming or in the first year? The "newbie" and number of posts only refer to amount of time on the forum, not the amount of time in the sport.

orca1946
April 19th, 2011, 11:35 AM
YES - swimming in H S 60 - 64 & college 65 - 68, we did the S pull. I have been trying to change to the I pull, old habits are hard to change.

larsoda
April 19th, 2011, 11:48 AM
How do you know the poster is new to swimming or in the first year? The "newbie" and number of posts only refer to amount of time on the forum, not the amount of time in the sport.

I took a look at the website he pasted this from and clicked the "About" tab.

I suppose I should have just ignored it and gone about my business. Sorry.

thewookiee
April 19th, 2011, 11:51 AM
I took a look at the website he pasted this from and clicked the "About" tab.

I suppose I should have just ignored it and gone about my business. Sorry.

Where did you find a website? I was seriously asking because in the post it didn't mention anything about his years of experience in the sport.

larsoda
April 19th, 2011, 12:21 PM
Where did you find a website? I was seriously asking because in the post it didn't mention anything about his years of experience in the sport.
He linked it in his signature. passionispain.com

debaru
April 19th, 2011, 01:51 PM
The old "S" pull was the first to thing to go when I returned to the pool in '09.

I hate to admit it :blush:, but I really hadn't been paying much attention to swimming, other than watching it during each summer Olympics over the years, and was astonished at all of the changes that have taken place since 1972. It was like learning to swim all over again, which for me is a good thing. :agree:

norascats
April 19th, 2011, 06:19 PM
After doing six months of riding over my arms due to a shoulder injury, I think I "S" pull when tired. I'm actually, a kicker and core rotator.

Chris Stevenson
April 19th, 2011, 06:56 PM
"Do you use S-Pull or I-Pull"

I have no earthly idea. This is like that question about whether or not your heels touch the wall on flipturns. I'd have to pay attention to figure it out. (And mostly I wouldn't care.)

Honestly, to the extent that I am thinking about stroke (most of it is subconscious) I am thinking about: early/deep catch and roll, and riding high in the water. But the last really just "happens" when the rest is clicking.

pwb
April 19th, 2011, 07:34 PM
"Do you use S-Pull or I-Pull"

I have no earthly idea. I imagine, Chris, you use the "CS-Pull" in the same way that I use the "PB-pull."

I'm not going to poo-poo technique, but I've watched enough swimmers swim enough different "styles" over the years that I've realized ...


I should play around with technique and see if I can implement different approaches that I see faster folks doing, but ...
... my years of heavy yardage have left me with a muscle memory that is very difficult to nudge into a different range of motion

orca1946
April 19th, 2011, 07:43 PM
The over water bent arm as to the hand up high is another one to watch !!

couldbebetterfly
April 19th, 2011, 10:00 PM
I imagine, Chris, you use the "CS-Pull" in the same way that I use the "PB-pull."




I think I use a kind of ? pull, slightly out to catch and then pull straight back towards my hips. It figures really as my freestyle technique is rather questionable ;)

knelson
April 20th, 2011, 12:16 AM
This is like that question about whether or not your heels touch the wall on flipturns. I'd have to pay attention to figure it out. (And mostly I wouldn't care.)

That thread was funny. I was like you, Chris. I really had no idea whether my heels touched on turns. When I actually thought about it in the pool I realized that no only do they NOT touch, I couldn't even get them to touch when I tried!

Back on topic, I don't think about anything other than a good catch and then pulling straight back. I don't know what actually happens.

srcoyote
April 20th, 2011, 11:43 AM
never did use it. had one coach try to get me to switch to it, but I'd loose streamline everytime I tried.

now I just keep the pull wide as I can. feels better on the shoulders.

__steve__
April 20th, 2011, 12:49 PM
Shouldn't there should be no pull pattern at all?

The hand should exit the water very close to where it entered.

knelson
April 20th, 2011, 02:58 PM
Shouldn't there should be no pull pattern at all?

The hand should exit the water very close to where it entered.

Maybe from a fixed reference frame, but from your reference frame in the water clearly your arm and hand are moving in relation to the rest of your body, so, yes, there is a pull pattern.

I think it was Counsilman who first noticed that for good swimmers the hand enters the water and exits at nearly the same place but I think this is a little deceptive. Sure it's nice to think about anchoring your hands, but in reality I'm sure the kick has a lot to do with where you hand enters and exits. I'll bet without a kick your hand would be exiting considerably behind where it entered.

rtodd
April 20th, 2011, 05:19 PM
It is my opinion that I see many different types of pulls at the elite level. They all seem to have one thing in common....a high elbow. I did see swimmers hands entering the water with palms out as well as down and both close to the center line as well as shoulder width in the finals of the 1500 free in Beijing. I think you do what gets you down the pool the fastest.

The person I tried to emulate the most at my pool was old school thumbs down palms out and he had what I thought was a traditional S pull. Having said that, he was so darn fast and he had such tremendous DPS, I won't critisize S-pull.

clyde hedlund
April 20th, 2011, 05:39 PM
steve, I tend to agree that with elite swimmers yes, but for the rest of us, perhaps not? Maybe time lapsed photos could show us what actually happens, especially the differences between the elites and non elites? There are swimmers who don't kick at all that are very fast and it would be interesting to watch time lapsed photos of their stroke.

Sea Goon
April 21st, 2011, 04:06 PM
I fight the urge to S-pull, but I'm sure my technique suffers. Then again, when I started swimming there were only 104 elements in the Periodic Table...

orca1946
April 21st, 2011, 06:22 PM
I tried to think about my pull last night at practice - I still S pull when tired!!

Rykno
April 26th, 2011, 09:34 AM
I don't do either. I voted for S but during my last two swims I have tried to watch what i do, and I have more of "?" than an S or I.

I go slightly out and then back, never coming back under my body. Maybe if I adjusted the placement of my hands in the water it would be more like an I, but I like my stroke and don't think I could move my hand out enough to make it into an I

popachris
April 27th, 2011, 01:31 AM
i feel it helps my glide and streamline a lot, takes getting used to but it makes you feel really relaxed once, i used to do i-pull but after actually trying out lots of stuff the s-pull was my choice. im trying to do it a little more on my backstroke cause its a little too windmillish. be open to anything and find wat works for u =]

A.K.
May 2nd, 2011, 11:11 PM
Old school S here too.

Is the I the new fast way? and is there a link to see it in video or instruction?

Thrashing Slug
May 3rd, 2011, 11:13 AM
S pull must not be all that bad, because the fastest guy on our team uses it. He starts with a little scull out, then kind of sweeps in with a bent elbow and finishes back under the hip. Plenty of core rotation. In my own mind, he swims the exact same way that I do, which makes it all the more frustrating when he laps me :p

Sometimes I experiment with adding a little bit of conscious scull to the beginning of my pull and it does seem like it increases the amount of propulsion I get from each stroke. I feel the outer half of my hand (pinky side) and forearm putting pressure on the water when I swim that way. Is it faster than pulling straight back? I'm not sure, but it does seem to increase my distance per stroke.

<edit> After reading Rhyno's post below about the "?" pull, I think that's a better description of what I'm talking about. Is there really an "S" pull? Wouldn't that involve pushing outward away from the body at the end of the stroke? Doesn't seem to make much sense. I'm guessing that we really mean the "?" pull.

Debugger
May 3rd, 2011, 01:29 PM
Another interesting question is if stroke technique should differ when swimming 50, 100 and 200. It's obvious that when swimming 200 you make longer strokes and it's perfect for S-shape pull but what about 50? Personally I also noticed that S-shape pulls decrease DPS from 43-45 to 36-38 per 50m. Though S-shaping isn't easy with such intensity. Nevertheless I noticed on videos that even Cesar Cielo makes catch with slight out swiping so he at least makes ? mark.

knelson
May 3rd, 2011, 02:21 PM
Is there really an "S" pull? Wouldn't that involve pushing outward away from the body at the end of the stroke?

Not really if the insweep brings the hand under the body. You need to complete the "S" for your hand to clear your hips.

orca1946
May 3rd, 2011, 04:56 PM
I tried at Nationals to use the I pull more. I guess it worked for me with best times in 4 of 6 events!:applaud::banana:

__steve__
May 3rd, 2011, 07:26 PM
Using underwater video footage I decided to correct this weird outward S pull I was doing. I tried to correct this before, but it wasn't until I forced myself to make a conscious effort to do something my body thought was wrong despite how awkward it felt.

less of a 'S' stroke

YouTube - "s" or "i" freestyle stroke technique?

orca1946
May 19th, 2011, 10:08 PM
I am trying hard to change!

Chicken of the Sea
May 19th, 2011, 10:35 PM
I think I'm using an F-pull