PDA

View Full Version : Hand Entry



jpleech
January 11th, 2005, 08:57 AM
I finally made it to one of the local coached workouts and all in all it was a pretty positive experience. One of the comments about my stroke was that my hand entered the water in-line with the crown of my head. I was told that it should enter more in line with my shoulder. I've been practicing with this for the past 2 1/2 weeks and it seems to have negatively affected my roll and my stroke count. I can't seem to get a good glide at the end of my stroke, and when I roll, my arm is out away from my head and seems to be creating more drag. Am I missing something here? Was I told partial info? incorrect info? or am I not looking at the problem correctly?

Thanks John

auto208562
January 11th, 2005, 09:10 AM
See if this article will help. Also, click on the video at the top of the article to see a demonstration.

http://www.goswim.tv/drilloftheweek_comments.php?id=983_0_20_0_C#

Rob Copeland
January 11th, 2005, 10:29 AM
John,

Without seeing your stroke it is impossible to determine what the correction is doing. However, assuming your coach understands stroke mechanics, the coach is in a much better position to work on your stroke.

The information given by your coach is correct; you will be more efficient by entering and catching in-line with your shoulders. It will take time for this to feel comfortable and with any change in technique it takes constant vigilance to make the correction stick.

As for negatively affected my roll and my stroke count, often if you focus too much on one aspect (hand entry) you forget to work on others roll, reach, catch, press, etc. And Iím not sure what you mean by a good glide at the end of your stroke. Typically, freestyle does not have a glide.

scyfreestyler
January 11th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by Rob Copeland
Typically, freestyle does not have a glide. I would imagine that he is swimming FQS. There is brief period of glide unless you swim with symetrical arms that act like a propeller. I don't start my catch and pull until my recovering arm reaches my ear or somewhere close to that.

mattson
January 12th, 2005, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by 330man
I would imagine that he is swimming FQS. There is brief period of glide unless you swim with symetrical arms that act like a propeller.

I read this occasionally, and I don't understand the reasoning.

Start with these two ideas:
1) During your underwater pull, your hand accelerates as it moves backwards.
2) Your arm recovers over the water quicker than you pull underwater

Even if you start with one arm straight in front and one along side your body, you will always be FQS, without a glide, as long as you are obeying those two principles. (Your arms do not have to stay symmetrical, although they may be opposite during parts of your swimming motion.)

scyfreestyler
January 12th, 2005, 03:33 PM
If one of your hands is not stroking to propel you foreward then you are gliding. Imagine you are in your car driving up a slight incline; to simulate the resistance your body creates in the water. If you let off of the accelerator for even a milisecond you are gliding. The engine is still running and producing a small amount of power but for the most part you are gliding and decellerating. Same rules apply in swimming, there is acceleration and decelleration. You continue to kick as one arm recovers and another begins its catch but you are essentially gliding during that period of time, regardless of how short that time period is.

mattson
January 14th, 2005, 10:55 AM
My point is that you can be FQS and still be pulling with at least one arm the whole time (no gliding). You are implying that there *must* be a glide. (I agree there *can* be a glide, especially if you are doing almost-catch-up drill.)

scyfreestyler
January 14th, 2005, 11:46 AM
Look at Phelps, lower portion of the photo unfortunately, and you will see that he is in a period of glide. His lead arm is just starting it's catch and his recovering arm is already above his head. There is clearly no propulsion coming from the man's arms and there hasn't been since his recovering hand left the water. BTW, this is the 200m free final at the '04 Olympics and the other swimmers are Hoogie and Thorpe. Though it is difficult to see, I think that Thorpe is also in a glide phase of his stroke.

laineybug
January 14th, 2005, 12:13 PM
my coach had me do this very simple drill to figure out where my hands should enter.

cross your legs at the ankles
pull as you normally would
if your hands are crossing midline or are entering too close to midline your legs will fishtail.
move your hands out little by little untill you are no longer fishtailing.

LindsayNB
January 14th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Hoogenband well into his pull with his right hand as his left hand exits the water:

LindsayNB
January 14th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Another gratuitous image from the same video clip: Hoogenband displaying near perfect "tugboat form" (see TI or Hines descriptions of a racing boat that morphs back and forth between race boat and tugboat shape) :

scyfreestyler
January 14th, 2005, 02:13 PM
Interesting photos. I have never seen anybody swim like that before now. Perhaps he is swimming a 50m race and as thus altered his stroke. In all of the video I have downloaded from swimfastest.com I have never seen anybody swim like the pictures you posted.

scyfreestyler
January 14th, 2005, 02:15 PM
http://www.usms.org/training/circles.htm

Here is an Emmett Hines article about "tugboat" swimming. It is not generally regarded as a good method.

LindsayNB
January 15th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Considering that Hoogenband holds the world record for the 100m long course and won gold in that event in the last two Olympics, I think one would be justified in pausing before dismissing his style. One could argue that he trades off a longer body for continuous propulsion. I only have one university course in hydrodynamics and we didn't cover anything remotely as complicated as a swimmer, which I think is largely beyond the current state of the art, but my engineering intuition tells me that Froude numbers are not the explanation of why a long extension of the leading arm is worthwhile, simple streamlining combined with the extended reach achieved by lifting the lead shoulder while lowering the opposite shoulder while completing the pull are much more plausible in my view. I suspect the "morphing tugboat" explanation has no scientific basis.

In any case, the image I posted was from near the finish of the race and may not represent his typical stroke. My point is that it can be misleading to draw conclusions from static photos of swimmers, especially if there is someone in the same photo with a different style that is actually beating the person one is using as the model. I looked at several videos of Thorpe and generally could not detect any pause between the end of his pull and the start of his catch. If you want to see someone that does, check out Hackett. Which brings up another issue, which was partially alluded to, giving specific advice about freestyle timing without qualifying whether you are talking about 50m sprints or 1500m races, or open water marathons is dangerous, as is not recognizing the broad variations in style that occur even at the elite level. It is like the thread about kicking where some people tried to generalize about kicking without even qualifying the distance.

Brought to you by the committee against pseudo-scientific explanations of swimming technique. ;)

gull
January 15th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Hines' article makes no mention of the deceleration which has to occur during the time that neither arm is pulling (unless you have a very propulsive kick or you're swimming in a vacuum). This is very well covered in Swimming Fastest. The goal is to minimize the amount of deceleration, assuming that you want to swim faster. That does not mean that you should shorten your stroke or hurry the catch phase, however.

Ian Smith
January 15th, 2005, 02:58 PM
If you notice Hoogenband is at the "T". His stroke, at this point, is probably just fine tuning for the turn he is about to make.

breastroker
January 15th, 2005, 03:17 PM
gull80

Please do not regard "Swimming Fastest" as the leading authority of freestyle swimming. Many many top level Olympic coaches feel he is WRONG in almost all his assumptions. The coaches from Australia absolutely do not coach the way described in "Swimming Fastest".

When I got my copy, I read it cover to cover. I was appalled at many things (esp. breaststroke) and called many top coaches who also read "Swimming Fastest". It is now a 5 pound door stop.



One of my basic philosophies in coaching (hell, in life in general) is this: If the very best athletes and coaches all, or nearly all, agree on a topic then the chances are that they are on the right track and if you want to be truly successful, then you better get on that track too. Emmett is just like Coach Doc. Counsilman, who said he learned more from the great swimmers.

gull
January 15th, 2005, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by breastroker
When I got my copy, I read it cover to cover. I was appalled at many things (esp. breaststroke) and called many top coaches who also read "Swimming Fastest". It is now a 5 pound door stop.


Thanks for clearing that up. We live in an old house, and we're always looking for doorstops.

I bought my copy of Swimming Fastest when I read in The Swim Coaching Bible (another doorstop?) that Mike Bottom recommended Swimming Even Faster as his textbook. Maglischo may not be the final authority, but he supports his conclusions with data, has an extensive list of references after each chapter, and clearly identifies controversial areas. C'mon, "wrong in almost all of his assumptions"? That's 744 pages of wrong assumptions.

My point was that using a catchup style with a glide will result in deceleration, which is something we want to minimize if we want to go faster. I don't think you can look at a still frame of someone swimming freestyle and conclude that there should be a glide phase in the stroke.

gull
January 16th, 2005, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by breastroker
One of my basic philosophies in coaching (hell, in life in general) is this: If the very best athletes and coaches all, or nearly all, agree on a topic then the chances are that they are on the right track and if you want to be truly successful, then you better get on that track too.

Always good advice. Stick with the conventional wisdom of the day.

I thought coaches all used to teach a pronounced glide phase in breaststroke ("pull, kick, glide"). Who was it that first broke ranks?

Slightly off the subject, but a few years back an unknown physician in Australia had the audacity to propose that stomach ulcers were caused by an infectious process. He was discredited by all of the very best in the field, until they realized he was right. He was actually bold enough to infect himself with the bacteria and cause an ulcer to prove his theory.

mattson
January 17th, 2005, 10:53 AM
Originally posted by 330man
Look at Phelps, lower portion of the photo unfortunately, and you will see that he is in a period of glide.

I just want to make sure we are on the same page.

From your previous posts, it sounds like you are saying that FQS implies that there must be a glide period. I have said that although you can have a glide (period where neither hand is pulling), it is not necessary for FQS.

You have given one example of someone who might be gliding. (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but these other posts have brought up the issue of overanalyzing one static picture.) That is completely consistent with my viewpoint.

If you want to focus on gliding (regardless of FQS), that's fine. Just wanted to make sure we aren't butting heads for no reason.

Suppose you are pulling, but the force applied is not enough to maintain your speed (ie. you are decelerating). Would you consider that gliding? I'm not sure I can agree with your statement that Phelps is not pulling. (Again, maybe the video is clearer than the single image I am looking at.) He is not in a position of favorable leverage yet, but it does look like his arm is pointed down (elbow high), in which case he might already be pulling.


Originally posted by 330man
There is clearly no propulsion coming from the man's arms and there hasn't been since his recovering hand left the water.

And for breastroker, one of my favorite anonymous saying:
When everyone agrees with you, you should be asking what you are doing wrong. :D