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flipper79
December 9th, 2004, 05:19 PM
Just wondering. How many of y'all are using the front quadrant swimming technique? I have been using the book and DVD-Total Immersion and trying to adjust my stroke. When I do the stroke correctly it is so much easier-effortless. I feel like I am able to reduce the drag I create when swimming the way I was taught to swim years ago. I'm interested in anyone's experience with FQS. Thanks:)

Seagurl51
December 9th, 2004, 06:16 PM
I do front quadrant freestyle. I really like it. I used to not, but then I read "Fitness Swimming" by Emmett Hines, tried it, and haven't been back to my old way since. Every once in a while I'll mess up a stroke and it will not be FQ but I can feel a difference in how effective the stroke is and how much effort it takes to me execute it. Using FQ, I feel more slippery in the water, like I can get a better stretch and glide. I also noticed that my times have decreased. Once you learn, it is definatly worth it to practice it.

~Kyra

Kevin in MD
December 9th, 2004, 08:51 PM
I definitely have a front quadrant style it treats me pretty well in every competition I have done. If I were trying to go top ten in sprint events I'd probably need to get away from it during races.

scyfreestyler
December 9th, 2004, 08:58 PM
I am a firm believer in FQ swimming. Head on over to the archives of TI's website and you will find an article titled picture perfect. In it is a picture of Hoogie, Thorpe, and Phelps racing at the Olympics this year. You will see in the photo that even these swimmers, the fastest in the world, are swimming FQ. Terry Laughlin has a few other points to make about the photo and I have put all of them to good use. Take a peek at the article and you might find something that makes your swimming a bit more efficient.

USMSarah
December 9th, 2004, 09:49 PM
for some reason i am just not picturing what FQS is very well... i am going to try and get on TI's website and find those pics, but maybe the chlorine is getting to my head... could someone describe it a bit more??

thanks... S.:confused:

scyfreestyler
December 9th, 2004, 10:03 PM
Emmett Hines' website also has an article that teaches FQ swimming. Keep your lead hand out in front of you until your recovery hand is past your head. I allow my recovery hand to enter the water before starting my other hand on its catch and pull. Check out the H2Ouston swims website. Just look in their archive or article list and you should find some info on front quadrant. The goal is to be long and streamlined and to accomplish this you can't have both arms working symetrically.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 10th, 2004, 11:08 AM
TI tells people to swim with the top of their head pushing forward and eyes down. If you look at Thorpe & sometimes Hoogie, they are looking straight ahead with their backs very arched. Is this still fQS?

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 10th, 2004, 11:32 AM
I was just watching some videos from Athens. In two, I was wondering if Thorpe, Shoenman & Hoogie are doing FQS or do they just have very long arms? I also wathched one with Phelps & Shay. I would say that they are definitely doing the technique. theiur strokes look very different to me. Much more rolling & they don't lift their head when they breathe.

I tried to attach all three videos but sorry I'm not that talented.

knelson
December 10th, 2004, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by 330man
The goal is to be long and streamlined and to accomplish this you can't have both arms working symetrically.

This is a worthy goal, but is it really the goal of front-quadrant swimming? I would say the goal of FQS is to make the propulsive part of the pull as continuous as possible. You can be long and streamlined without FQS, but your stroke will have significant "dead spots."

scyfreestyler
December 10th, 2004, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by knelson
This is a worthy goal, but is it really the goal of front-quadrant swimming? I would say the goal of FQS is to make the propulsive part of the pull as continuous as possible. You can be long and streamlined without FQS, but your stroke will have significant "dead spots." Without FQS it is impossible to be long at all times. Here is an article that will better describe FQS...http://www.usms.org/training/circles.htm

hooked-on-swimming
December 10th, 2004, 12:25 PM
I believe in the idea of starting the stroke with one hand as your other hand approaches your head or so but like someone here said I tried to hold that pulling hand stretched until the other hand almost hits the water and that just slows me down and almost kills my body roll, so if the latter is considered to be more in a field of a fqs then I do not think it really works ...

knelson
December 10th, 2004, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by 330man
Without FQS it is impossible to be long at all times.

OK, I didn't think about that, but it does make sense. Continuous application of pulling force is another consideration, though.

Dima, you might be taking the idea a little far. Yes, if you wait to pull until your recovering arm starts to enter the water that's too long. But you should wait until the recovering arm is around your head.

It's pretty obvious "catchup" drill is a good way to help with this, but understand that, like many drills, it is meant to exaggerate a concept.

gull
December 10th, 2004, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by 330man
Emmett Hines' website also has an article that teaches FQ swimming. Keep your lead hand out in front of you until your recovery hand is past your head. I allow my recovery hand to enter the water before starting my other hand on its catch and pull. Check out the H2Ouston swims website. Just look in their archive or article list and you should find some info on front quadrant. The goal is to be long and streamlined and to accomplish this you can't have both arms working symetrically.

The problem with this method is that you decelerate while neither arm is pulling (unless you get a lot of propulsion from your kick). Front quadrant doesn't mean catch-up, it just means that both arms are in the front quadrant (above or below the water) at the same time. So you don't have to (and shouldn't) wait to begin pulling until the recovering arm is past your head.

Dave60625
December 10th, 2004, 04:29 PM
I attempt front-quandrant swimming. Now whether I actually DO front-quadrant swimming is entirely open to debate.

:p

scyfreestyler
December 10th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by gull80
The problem with this method is that you decelerate while neither arm is pulling (unless you get a lot of propulsion from your kick). Front quadrant doesn't mean catch-up, it just means that both arms are in the front quadrant (above or below the water) at the same time. So you don't have to (and shouldn't) wait to begin pulling until the recovering arm is past your head.

http://totalimmersion.net/2004%20articles/september/pictureperfect.html

Look at Phelps in the lower portion of the picture. He is probably not going to wait until both hands are parallel to each other to begin his next stroke but he is also at full race speed. His recovering arm is just above his head and his lead arm has yet to begin it's catch. I swim catch-up for the majority of my workouts and don't have a problem with speed variation and it allows me to keep my stroke count down in the 12-15 range. I get very little propulsion from my kick if I kick at all. Sometimes I will only kick a two beat for a half a lap or so and then decide to cruise for a few laps. Cruising without a kick makes me very aware of my balance in the water. If I can maintain balance without kicking I know I am doing something right.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 10th, 2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by 330man
http://totalimmersion.net/2004%20articles/september/pictureperfect.html

Look at Phelps in the lower portion of the picture. He is probably not going to wait until both hands are parallel to each other to begin his next stroke but he is also at full race speed. His recovering arm is just above his head and his lead arm has yet to begin it's catch. I swim catch-up for the majority of my workouts and don't have a problem with speed variation and it allows me to keep my stroke count down in the 12-15 range. I get very little propulsion from my kick if I kick at all. Sometimes I will only kick a two beat for a half a lap or so and then decide to cruise for a few laps. Cruising without a kick makes me very aware of my balance in the water. If I can maintain balance without kicking I know I am doing something right.

1) I have real questions about people who don't kick. It used to be that people thought that kicking only helped to maintain balance. Now many believe that kicking can add 10% or more forward movement. what is your reasoning for not kicking.

2) I have a question to others who want both arms above the shoulder line. How do you maintain a good roll? Most people I talk with stress a very"deep' hip roll when they do a TI technique. That seems not very possible. \

scyfreestyler
December 10th, 2004, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
1) I have real questions about people who don't kick. It used to be that people thought that kicking only helped to maintain balance. Now many believe that kicking can add 10% or more forward movement. what is your reasoning for not kicking.

2) I have a question to others who want both arms above the shoulder line. How do you maintain a good roll? Most people I talk with stress a very"deep' hip roll when they do a TI technique. That seems not very possible. \ Both are reasonable questions. Why do I not kick sometimes? Mostly to check on my balance and sometimes to conserve energy. Poor plantar flexion can result in a kick that produces propulsion in the opposite direction!! I don't have that problem but my kick is nothing to write home about. As I said, stopping my kick allows me to see how well balanced I am and it also allows me to be much more relaxed. Just as with people who use pull buoys but I do it without a pull buoy. I suspect that 10% or less of my swimming is done without a kick. Most of the time I am trying to maintain a 2 beat kick.

How do I maintain a good roll? When I complete my recovery and drive my hand foreward into the water that intitiates a roll that is carried out by my core body. I do not roll to the extent that TI suggests as I have found it to be counter productive in my stroke. I roll just enough to allow a high elbow recovery without moving my elbow too far past my scapular plane (essentially my back).

gull
December 11th, 2004, 06:50 AM
Originally posted by 330man


Look at Phelps in the lower portion of the picture. He is probably not going to wait until both hands are parallel to each other to begin his next stroke but he is also at full race speed. His recovering arm is just above his head and his lead arm has yet to begin it's catch.

Phelps' recovering hand is approaching his ear; as his recovering hand and arm enter the front quadrant, his other arm will begin the catch phase and then the pull. None of these guys are swimming catch up. Yes, their strokes are long, and strictly speaking they are swimming "front quadrant", but there is a difference.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 11th, 2004, 11:45 AM
This thread has sent me deep into research. I have reread Swimming Fastest, Total Immersion & am now looking into Emmett HInes. This debate is really deep.

On the wedsite for Buehler Blue Marlins, there are several write-ups against TI. There is one particularly interesting about shoulder & hip roll. Yesterday, I noticed that when I roll both my hips & shoulder, I swim slower but easier then when I only roll m y shoulders. TI & HInes suggest that (I think) that both should roll.

My real thouhgts are that neither Thorpe nor Shoenman (is there an "n") don't really do FQS. I looks like at times Shoenman's hips are actually in the way as he tries to get his hands moving beyobnd his shoulders during the pull. Thorpe's hands are at times both above his shoulders at one time. Yet his arms really excelerate as they're moving past his shoulders. Neither seem to me to be pushing with their heads down.

Then look at the North Americans. They look to me to be swimming completely different.

Leonard Jansen
December 11th, 2004, 12:39 PM
What really amazes me in listening to swimmers talk about technique/style is the "one size fits all" mentality. By that I mean that people seem to think that you should use the same technique for all events and/or the same style as a certain swimmer. In most sports there are a *set* of techniques that are generally considered "good" based on, say, distance being covered and then these are modified by each person (i.e. their individual style) based on the indviduals' limitations.

In track you do not use the same technique in running the 100 meters as you do in the marathon. Likewise each person in an event has stylistic variations. So when I hear people say "You should swim like Phelps/Evans/Thorpe/Weismuller/etc" and then get nearly religious about it, I scratch my head.

I do TI-style swimming. However, I have modified it to meet my individual limitations. So, for example, since I have the world's least flexible ankles and *NO* kick, I take an extra few strokes to get across the pool and not make lowered stroke count the only thing that matters. I have found that if the count goes too low, I "stall" since my kick will not carry through a dead spot. Instead of taking 11 strokes to get across the pool - which I can "force", I take 14 fairly comfortably. Furthermore, if I sprint (a sad sight), I change my technique to be slightly less TI-like and less efficient in favor of slightly higher turnover. If I use extra oxygen in a 50, who cares as long as I go faster? - It gets paid back after the sprint.

Bruce Lee became the legendary martial artist he was by judiciously borrowing what he thought was the best of various martial arts and not by one school of thought. There are many paths to the same end.

-LBJ

gull
December 11th, 2004, 02:01 PM
Great point. The TI method seems to imply that Thorpe's technique can be reduced to a set of drills that will work for everyone. Ironically, the coaches of these elite swimmers see things very differently. Bill Rose, Lars Jensen's coach, was interviewed for Swimming Technique. He, like others, feels very strongly that technique should be individualized, rather than completely overhauling each swimmer's stroke.

scyfreestyler
December 11th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Mark Spitz broke the mold with his body roll. Michael Phelps breaks the mold with his breathe on every stroke butterfly. Even elite swimmers create their own personal style. What is important is to watch these elite swimmers and try various parts of their strokes that you think might aid your own swimming. Perhaps a Hoogie catch and a Phelps dolphin kick off of the wall. To each his own but FQS is viable for most any swimmer.

gull
December 11th, 2004, 03:57 PM
The problem is that TI has focussed so much attention on front quadrant swimming that you have people swimming a catch up style (rather than just using it as a drill)--smooth but slow. The catch up drill is really an exaggerated form of front quadrant swimming.

scyfreestyler
December 11th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Catch up works well for me and allows me to swim an 800 free in under 15 minutes with little effort. When I want to swim fast the catch up becomes front quadrant and my turnover rate increases. However, I still maintain my long sleek vessel that is best for reducing drag.

LindsayNB
December 12th, 2004, 10:11 AM
http://totalimmersion.net/2004%20articles/september/pictureperfect.html

Another interesting thing to note is how far van den Hoogenband's pull has progressed while his recovering arm has just entered the water (look at the splash and where he is in his body roll).

This picture of Thorpe shows the position of his pulling hand at the point that his recovering hand is entering the water.

gull
December 12th, 2004, 10:49 AM
Right--still "front quadrant" (both arms are in the front quadrant at the same time) but not catch up. Important difference. Look, these guys just make it look easy, but there are no short cuts to achieving their form. They drill, but they also train 80-100,000 yards/week.

LindsayNB
December 12th, 2004, 11:15 AM
Looking at the Thorpe video some more, it is pretty clear that Thorpe does not keep his head aligned with his spine or look straight down, rather he looks almost directly forward.

gull
December 12th, 2004, 01:06 PM
I agree. I think that's true for all of these swimmers.

Another point--the TI page refers to the "patient lead arm," which is misleading and seems to suggest that there should be a hesitation or pause in the stroke. The lead arm is actually beginning the downsweep into the catch position, at which point the pull begins. This is well described in Swimming Fastest and, once again, does not represent a catch up stroke.

Dave60625
December 12th, 2004, 03:31 PM
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-12/909670/Thorpe400free.jpg

I'm not sure if this link will work. It is an overhead shot of Thorpe during the 400 free.

EyeoreSAM
December 12th, 2004, 03:34 PM
I completely agree with you. My kick provides me with very little help. I know that my stroke is right b/c my count is about 13.

fatboy
December 13th, 2004, 11:03 AM
Very interesting thread. Several people have given their stroke counts in the 12-15 range. Is this counting a full cycle (r-arm, l-arm) as 1 stroke or two?

scyfreestyler
December 13th, 2004, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by fatboy
Very interesting thread. Several people have given their stroke counts in the 12-15 range. Is this counting a full cycle (r-arm, l-arm) as 1 stroke or two? I can only speak for myself by saying that it represents each hand entry. My guess is that the others utilize the same stroke count theory.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 13th, 2004, 11:37 AM
Thorpe's is facing forward throughout his racing & always had. Also, his coach does not crediot fqs with the "greatness" of his technique. They stress high elbows. I'm a true believer that fqs is is something that happens because of other things. It might set-up the stroke but to rely on it is not as important as good stroking under the water. In Swimming Fastest, Maglischo(sp) demonstrated & explains how there is deceleration & exceleration. Swimming in fqs does help cut down on some decelration but too many peole wait way to long to start their stroke so they really do decelerate some before the catch.

Another thing that I think is intersing & you can see it in the videos that the thorpe picture is taken from is how Thorpe lifts his head when he is breathing. What role does rolling play in his stroke?

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 13th, 2004, 11:40 AM
People who don't kick amaze me. It is like being a jockey without a horse. You might get through the race but why would you not put everything into it. I have found that peole with weak kicks can really improve if they work on ankle fleibilty, do lots of kick sets & examine where their kick is in their stroke. I once had a friend who said his kick was weak & he was kicking opposite of how to do it.

LindsayNB
December 13th, 2004, 01:15 PM
Biomechanically, kicking is a terribly inefficient means of propelling yourself through the water. If you are doing a 50m sprint you can clearly afford to expend the energy and pay the price in oxygen consumption and waste product buildup. If you are swimming the 1500m you only want to kick enough to use the excess metabolic capacity not being used by your arms and core, otherwise you are starving your efficient engine to fuel your inefficient engine. No?

knelson
December 13th, 2004, 01:32 PM
I noticed during the 800 free at Athens Kalyn Keller kicked very little, if at all, off the turns. I immediately thought "she could go so much faster if she kicked." That's what we've been taught, but is it necessarily true? Maybe the slight reduction in speed off the walls she gets is offset by the energy she saves and can, thus, use later in the swim. If you have a poor kick it might do more harm than good, especially when you're in a streamlined position. Some of these things are less cut-and-dry than they appear at first!

gull
December 13th, 2004, 01:41 PM
Great article about this subject in Swimming Technique. Lars Jensen's coach, Bill Rose, believes that the six beat kick is important but should not consume too much energy. He believes it helps maintain good balance. Apparently 30% of their workouts are kicking. Chad Carvin was the first of the American distance swimmers to change over to a six beat kick in an effort to compete with Hackett. Supposedly Jensen's "late" start (age 13) meant that he never picked up a two beat kick as a survival technique in practice.

dpflyer
December 13th, 2004, 01:44 PM
I swam the 400 Free at Savannah LCM Nats and couldn't believe how good it felt. Being a butterflyer and never much of a freestyler I recently have been working on my freestyle. I used to hate anything over a 200, but I felt so great after my 400 I could have gone another 400 at the same pace.

The reason was not just front-quadrant swimming, but the fact that I wasn't pulling all the way back. I was recovering quicker so I could maintain a rhythm that kept me in the front quadrant. By establishing a good rhythm you avoid "dead-spots" by gliding too long. As someone once said - and then I heard Michael Collins say it again - "there is no glide in freestyle." Now, I believe it.

LindsayNB
December 13th, 2004, 03:38 PM
I guess part of the point is that if you are genetically gifted and swimming 12000m a day in workouts you may well be capable of maintaining a good kick through the 1500. If, on the other hand, you have a more typical masters level of conditioning you may do better with a different ratio of kick to pull effort.

gull
December 13th, 2004, 03:44 PM
I agree 100% with that. At this stage in my life, I don't believe I have the time nor the genes to develop a six beat kick that will last for 1500 meters.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 13th, 2004, 06:22 PM
1) Negative splits are how you use a kick in distance.
2) Some swimmers increase their speed up to 35% with kicking.
3) I really think htat what happens under the water is more the point than above the water. FQS is a means to get your hands ready to begin your stroke.

strong440
December 13th, 2004, 08:19 PM
hey craig, did you throw that "Some swimmers increase their speed up to 35% with kicking.", in to see if anybody was paying attention? Or did you mean 3.5% or was it 350%. Increase speed or decrease speed?

LindsayNB
December 13th, 2004, 10:50 PM
While I'm questioning conventional wisdom, my limited knowledge of hydrodynamics leads me to question whether Froude's work really says that sticking your arm out in front of you greatly reduces wave drag. My recollection of Froude was that for a given displacement a narrower hull resulted in lower drag, I am not at all sure that you can make a boat faster by attaching a flag pole to the bow under the waterline, which is the rough equivalent to sticking your arm out while stroking on your side. If this worked I would expect to see such underwater protrusions in high performance sailing yachts. I think cross section normal to the direction of motion is the critical factor and long thin hull has a smaller cross section for a given displacement than a shorter hull. The width of the waterline would also be a factor as the bow wave would be acting on a smaller area even for an equivalent cross section (deeper is better than wider).

I'm not saying that extending your arm out is not the right thing to do, just that the explanation of why seems questionable to me, in the same way that all that talk about foils never made sense. Extending the arm might help balance or body position or roll or be beneficial in some other biomechanical fashion.

Any hydrodynamic experts care to fill us in?

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 14th, 2004, 11:06 AM
Everything I've ever read, sorry no article off of the top of my head says speed can be increased by some swimmer up to 35%. Not all swimmer. Most people I've talk with about it believe that in free kicking is responsible for about 10% of your speed. In Breast it is much more. Maglischo I think says about 65% in breast.

Also, in the Americas Cup, boat length & weight are both resistricted. I used to swim with a guy who designed small sailboats. If the boat gets too narrow, its manueverablity is dimished.

Most distance swimmers don't kick off of the wall. It is very rare to see, at least to my observations, anyone do any sort of dolphin kick off of the wall if they are swimming distances. But once, I was watching some girls swim at Indiana and was amazed at the power they were able to generate with a two beat kick once they began to swim.

knelson
December 14th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
Most distance swimmers don't kick off of the wall. It is very rare to see, at least to my observations, anyone do any sort of dolphin kick off of the wall if they are swimming distances.

I disagree. I think most distance swimmers kick off the wall. I do agree most don't do dolphin kicks, but most still do flutter kick.

flipper79
December 14th, 2004, 09:43 PM
Thanks to all of you for the feedback and great site information. I'll keep trying to get the timing right. I appreciate all of your help.:)

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 15th, 2004, 10:32 AM
I meant or I assumed to mean dolphin kick. I should have read the shole sentence before I sent it.

Glenn
December 16th, 2004, 01:14 AM
I recently picked up a copy of the TI book and have found it most interesting. I was particularly interested in the concept of how the hips seem to provide the power in the arm stroke. The examples used were of golfers and baseball players and how by rotating their hips, they can hit the ball a "mile". I then looked back at the Counsilman book, the New Science of Swimming, for a discussion of hip rotation and found the following:

"It has been suggested that body roll can be used to enhance force output in the arm pull. This line of reasoning goes so fas as to suggest that hip rotation is the "power source" of arm movement in the crawl stroke. This idea has been extrapolated from the use of hip rotation in swinging a baseball bat or golf club. Aside from the unique biomechanics of these activities, the use of hip rotation as the primary means of generating movement in the baseball and golf swing is possible because the lower extremities are in contact with the ground. Such activities constitute what is known as a closed kinematic chain. Swimming is considered to be an open kinematic chain because water is not a solid enough medium against which feet can plant themselves. This makes it unlikely that hip rotation can contribute to the generation of significant force in the arm pull of the crawl stroke. It is even less likely to occur in the strokes in which no body roll occurs, such as breaststroke and butterfly."

Given that rebuttal, can anyone explain the TI concept of hip rotation and force output in the arm pull?

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 16th, 2004, 10:27 AM
I've heard coaches argue that the power created by kicking makes a " temporary platform" on which the roll can be created. I don't know if this is true or not. Also, when I've done set where I'm thinking of hip roll, I find that itis almost as if my hips are pushing against the water. I have wondered if the batting or golf swing comparison are really all that accurate because swimmers are in a very different position than either and are pushing and reaching in differnet ways.

Some swimmers roll a great deal, some are barely able to get their hips out of the way as their arm passes next them. I have a rather large shoudler roll. also, my hips do roll. Right now I find that I get the best pressure moving backwards if I think of collapsing like condensing a spring my shoulder as I begin to push back.

Look at swiim.ee videos. You'll see some swimmers really working fqs. There is a wonderful clip of thorpe doing straight arm recovery. There are clips of him really rollling. Also some good looks at Popov.

LindsayNB
December 16th, 2004, 10:58 AM
It seems like doing a set with a pull-bouy ought to be telling as to the relationship between kicking, hips, and roll.

scyfreestyler
December 16th, 2004, 11:26 AM
I am skeptical of the core body rotation being the power source of a solid freestyle stroke. Golf and a batters swing derive power from the hips because the swing is moving in the same direction as the hips. Last time I checked, the freestyle stroke did not involve moving the arms from side to side but rather from front to rear. Body rotation is a valuable tool for two reasons in my book. The first is drag reduction. By rotating your body you MAY move a greater amount of your frontal surface out of the water. By the same token, you have also decreased your surface area in the water which could cause you to sink more. Hmm? The second is to assist you in using a high elbow recovery without having to move your elbow above the plane of your back.

knelson
December 16th, 2004, 11:29 AM
I'm inclined to agree with Doc. I don't think your hips are responsible for power in the pull. One thing hip roatation does do, though, is allow you to reach further out front, thus giving a longer "power zone" for the pull.

centaur532
December 16th, 2004, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by knelson
I'm inclined to agree with Doc. I don't think your hips are responsible for power in the pull. One thing hip roatation does do, though, is allow you to reach further out front, thus giving a longer "power zone" for the pull.

It's comparable to a powerful punch. When you take a martial art, you learn to throw your whole body into the punch, by rotating from the hip.
Without the hip roll, you're just swinging your arm back and forth. When you roll your hips, you're swinging your arm, with the core power behind it, allowing you to swim faster. If you rely solely upon your arms in your stroke, you're going to get tired very fast. There has to be some power source for fast propulsion.

LindsayNB
December 16th, 2004, 01:28 PM
When you throw a powerful punch you are transmitting force from the ground-foot interface to your hand. Picture a martial artist floating in zero-gravity environment.

Stand up and simulate a front crawl pull. Now sit down so that your hips are immobilized and try to repeat the same movement. Note the much reduced range of motion, just as if you simulate a golf swing, baseball swing, punch while keeping your hips immobile. Those of us with a tendency for shoulder problems will probably also immediately experience shoulder pain as we try to go through the crawl arm action without moving our hips.

Sparky
December 16th, 2004, 04:44 PM
How much of it also has to do with changing the angle of your body as you move through the water? Doesn't hip rotation help reduce your surface area?

I honestly don't know. This is a hypothesis that's open for anyone to support or reject.

ar

mattson
December 17th, 2004, 10:58 AM
I gave this argument in a different thread: when playing water polo, you can throw the ball farther/harder when you include the core muscles, than if you just use your arm. And you are not in contact with the ground.

Or another argument is rope climbing. Theoretically, you could climb with just your arms. (I never could. ;) ) I read that the key to climbing quickly is to get a kind of ab-crunching movement (side-to-side), so more of the heavy lifting is done from the core rather than just the arms.

LindsayNB
December 17th, 2004, 12:10 PM
Ok, let's get back to basics: what do the motions involved in throwing a ball, etc. have to do with the motions of pulling while swimming? Unless you are talking about throwing a ball from an overhead position down into the ground the mechanics are so different that I don't think they serve as a useful model.

Rope climbing seems like a more accurate model for a swimming movement, although less commonly experienced (I haven't climbed a rope in a very long time). It is somewhat flawed as a model because of the magnitude of the forces are much greater than when swimming. Still, it seems to me that the common key is to recruit the relatively large lat muscles instead of relying on the deltoids. I'm not sure how one uses the hips to generate power in either case.

Phil Arcuni
December 17th, 2004, 10:15 PM
Here are the basics:

When pulling, your muscles, in an indirect way, but through major muscle groups, are pulling on the hips, causing a rotation of the hips. That is, if pulling with the right arm, the hips will rotate counterclockwise, when looking at a swimmer from the rear, and opposite when pulling with the left arm. A good pull will cause more force on the hips, and more rotation.

This rotation caused by the strong pull is necessary - the muscles need something to pull against to operate (there are always two ends to a muscle, one end pulls toward the center, the other end pulls in the opposite direction toward the center.) It is possible to swim without rotation, but then you would not be using significant muscle groups that cross from one side of the body to the other (or rather, far from the spine to the spine,) or using muscles to prevent rotation, rather than pulling.

The more the hips are pre-rotated the more resistance they will provide to a pull, and the stronger and longer-in-time the pull can occur (before the hips are rotated as far as they can go). So if a pull will naturally cause a counter clockwise rotation, the body should be oriented clockwise. Thus the back and forth rotation while swimming a good stroke. It is a matter of perception, I guess, but I like to think of it as setting up for a strong pull, rather than starting a rotation from the hips, when the pull will cause the rotation anyway. It is impossible to rotate the hips without pulling or pushing on something off of the body's axis, so the idea of starting a rotation from the hips or core is not plausible.

Another way to get a strong pull is to have the hips *fixed* in a horizontal plane (or some other plane) by some outside force. Then the pull of the arms would pull against this force, rather than the free to rotate hips, and the net effect is more force. Another way to partially fix the hips is to use the kick as a stabilizer of the hips. When sprinting the hips rotate less than when not sprinting because a rapid six beat kick reduces rotation. A two beat kick serves a somewhat different purpose, aiding rotation to the opposite side before the pull on the other side starts.

I do not like the loose terminology used in describing strokes, which emphasis the 'feel' more than what is really being done. A sound basis in Newton's laws is better than the verbal mush provided by much of the swimming community.

mattson
December 20th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by Phil Arcuni
I do not like the loose terminology used in describing strokes, which emphasis the 'feel' more than what is really being done. A sound basis in Newton's laws is better than the verbal mush provided by much of the swimming community.

I understand what you are saying, but feel :D that is not the whole story. What people think they are doing is often at odds with what they are doing. (Otherwise, having a coach watch you, or videotaping, would not be so useful.) So often you have to describe a sensory (touch) perception, which has a poor scientific language.

Put it another way. My dad used to kid me that I should wipe out people playing billiards, because of my knowledge of Newton's laws. But the application of those laws is often much different than the theoretical generalization. ;)

gull
December 20th, 2004, 01:52 PM
I agree with Phil. Looking at the hip rotation of an elite freestyler and concluding that this must provide the power behind the arm pull is faulty reasoning. It's a lot like observing the low stroke count of Popov or Thorpe and concluding that this is the key to efficient swimming. Which came first?

If you're pulling correctly, your hips will rotate. If you're swimming efficiently, your stroke count will be low. The reverse is not necessarily true.

swimmer_steph
January 19th, 2005, 11:25 PM
I checked-out the TI book from my local library. I read the entire text and tried to implement the techniques described. Within 10 minutes of hitting my lane, I was totally confused re: head placement, FQ, and a host of other suggestions.

I found the book more frustrating than educational. The diagrams were not well labeled and, overall, I was very disappointed. Iím happy I didnít purchase the book or Iíd be selling it on eBay.

Of course thatís just my opinion Ė that and $4.50 will get you a tall cappuccino at your local java hut.

craiglll@yahoo.com
January 20th, 2005, 11:52 AM
I swim with a man who does 57 to 63 strokes per length. He is entirely a fqs and rotates his hips. I'm convinced that his forward movement is totally generated by his hip rotation. His arms have nothing to do with his forward movement. Watch a really bad swimmer and see what proples them. It is really surprising to realize that the arms are very important in forward power but are extremely important in directing that energy created by the hip rotation. The man I swim with would do much better if he simply directed his hands & arms backwardtowards his feet instead of out, down and sideways. It is onlyone body, all muscle movent is connected and creates a chain reaction that proles or thrusts the body in a certain direction. If you cantunnel the hip rotation with the arm and hand movement then you will swim forward efficiently.

I think Phil's explaination a few entries back isvery correct.

I agree TI is confusing to read. I think most swimming books are and must bee read several times in small quantities.

Sparky
January 20th, 2005, 12:13 PM
Emmett Hines, on his Web site (www.h2oustonswims.org), has some excellent articles on hip rotation, FQs, etc. that I found helpful right away. Plus, they're well written and easy to understand, which is always a bonus when you're talking about hypertechnical stuff.

The other day I tried some of the techniques he recommended, and a light bulb went off in my brain (not literally). A-ha! Hip rotation! Now I get it!

My $.02, in case there's sales tax on that tall cappuccino.

Adam