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Thread: So much faster with a pull buoy

  1. #21
    Very Active Member funkyfish's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg View Post
    Do those of you with strong kicks feel a connection between the timing of your kick and the timing of your stroke, or are they independent?
    I have a somewhat strong kick and when it becomes wholly integrated into my stroke I can definitely feel the connection. It feels like there's less of a load on my arms and shoulders, yet my legs don't feel overworked either. Unfortunately I don't always achieve this while swimming (maybe 40-50% of the time). Also, I swim slower when using a buoy and just pulling.

  2. #22
    Active Member onefish's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    For me, and it's a repeat of some of the other astute posters above, it's all about head position. If my head is up, as happens in short course crowded 5-second sendoff workouts, my back/butt sags so that when I rotate, there's an automatic fishtail. It's hard to feel, but makes me so "angry" when I can tell, usually happens as I tire out towards the end of a workout. The buoy exaggerates that feeling if you try to keep your legs in alignment, so it makes it easier to feel the corrective action of putting your head down and pushing down a bit with your chest. Personally, spine alignment seems to be the key concept, and kebab seems the appropriate visual metaphor.

    Good luck, happy laps.

  3. #23
    Very Fetching Rump SwimStud's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Work on/play around with your hip to chin alignment and swimming downhill. I've tried focusing on raising my butt up to kick. You could just be cursed with muscly and heavy legs which means you're more of a sprinter type than a distance type.
    Float with no kick:
    if you float like this __ you're a distance swimmer
    if you float like this \ you're a drop dead sprinter
    if you're somewhere between __ and \ you're mid distance.

    if you float like this ~ you're a butterfly expert
    if you float like this V you're future is in synchro swimming
    if you float like this & you're a noodler so move over to the open swim area

    the last 3 are jokes but the first three came from a coach...doesn't mean you cannot overcome them.. but it takes work.



    .

  4. #24
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    I don't get this at all. I'm a bouy hater. I pretty much just flop from one side to the other like a fish out of water with the bouy. I'm a very small older woman and I can't sink a bouy or a kick board into the water even if I use the childrens' size. Suggestions?

  5. #25
    Very Active Member ourswimmer's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg View Post
    Do those of you with strong kicks feel a connection between the timing of your kick and the timing of your stroke, or are they independent?
    Arms and legs are coordinated. When I first started to work seriously on a six-beat kick, though, I felt as if my legs were just flailing around. To feel as if I had the right arm/leg timing, I had to go pretty slowly and think. My snorkel helped. Eventually after months of just making myself do it I started to feel more organized.

  6. #26
    Very Active Member funkyfish's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by SwimStud View Post
    if you float like this \ you're a drop dead sprinter
    Guilty! It's kinda funny because my wife teaches swim lessons for kids & adults…she knows not to use me as an example of "how to float". Every time I try to float on my back I sink completely, starting with my legs.

  7. #27
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg View Post
    Do those of you with strong kicks feel a connection between the timing of your kick and the timing of your stroke, or are they independent?
    The less you kick hard (e.g. 2beat kick) the more important this connection becomes. IOW, when you kick as little as possible, these kicks (2 per cycle) must fall at the right time (timing wise).

    I have a strong kick, but I do not use it in a distance swimming scenario. Although this connection is important even for sprinting, I find it is even more crucial for 2beat kick free style.

  8. #28
    Active Member Rob Nasser's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramjet08 View Post
    Where can you get a band for your feet? My Masters Team doesn't use them?
    Ram -

    Of all of the odd things you can use, try a vacuum belt. They make them in varying sizes and they give just enough to get them around the feet/ankles. I get them for the kids I coach. They hate me for it, becaues they work, but it's because they hate me that I know it's doing the right thing - preventing much of any movement at the feet. They are usually only a couple of bucks and very little drag at all. Life is hard enough without adding more drag... I usually go to a vacuum shop, but I think they may even be at a grocery store or Target/Wal-Mart.

  9. #29
    Active Member Rob Nasser's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    There's one thing that I don't think has been mentioned.. Why do you do a split kick?? My guess is because you're off balance somewhere in your stroke and you are naturally trying to counter-balance for it with that kick. Do you cross over the midline of your body at some point of the pull? Do you pull wide somewhere?? Action-Reaction.

    Some of the suggestions here are valid. Kick smaller and more consistently, better body balance starting with your head and working your way down. Press your body against a wall and get your entire spine to make contact with the wall. Not easy - is it? What muscles are you using to do it? Abs? Lower Back? Probably both. Good swimming posture requires both.. Engage those exact same muscles, now in the water and think about swimming taller and not looking to low or high. You should be able to kick with the tip of the heels at the surface - 2, 4 or 6 beat kick. If the kick is small/tight enough, you can't get too low if your heels are that high. Food for thought..

  10. #30
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    I float more like this /

    -&- is very funny, striking resemblence to what I saw this morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Nasser View Post
    Do you cross over the midline of your body at some point of the pull?
    The day someone told me my hands crossed at the front was the day that I started to improve (3 weeks ago). I've always had crazy legs, but when I first corrected the crossover, I was then able to effectively press the "T" popping the feet up by pushing armpit/chest, and use a 2 kick properly. Result, 40 seconds faster 500M than one month ago, this is with just a moderate effort! Even though it's still slow by intermediate standards (8:50), I'm finally improving. My 50M also dropped 2 seconds to 0:34.

    I never tried a bouy yet.


    Breathing will be the next thing for me to fix, I drift at times.

  11. #31
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    very interesting thread..so much so that i got a tire tube and wrapped it around my ankles today while pulling. while there was no dramatic "ah ha" moment, when i took off the band and just swam, i was much straighter. i plan to add this to my toy pile from now on.

    i had a completely different experiece when i decided to take off the pull buoy and swim with just the band. this proved to be fairly impossible. my legs went straight to the bottom. i couldn't keep my feet up for anything. is this something i *should* be able to do and there is something about my stroke that is limiting my ability to do this? Or, are the physics of such a stunt just impossible?

  12. #32
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    I found swimming with just the band very difficult at first, but with practice and a focus on using my abs to keep my legs high and balancing by pressing my chest down, it has gotten much easier (and has really helped my swimming beyond the drill). Another thing I found helpful when I first started the drill was rotating my whole body when my legs started to sink, so that I could translate that downward motion of the legs more into rotational momentum. That's not a very good description, but that's the way I thought about it while I was swimming and it helped.

    Swimming with the band might come really easily to people who have swum their whole lives and feel completely impossible to people who haven't. I have found that to be true of a lot of drills and advice from veteran swimmers. The nice thing is that as I work at swimming and develop the muscle memory and little stabilizing muscles that lifelong swimmers have, advice that made no sense for a long time can become clear all of a sudden.

  13. #33
    Very Active Member Sharpsburger's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg View Post
    Do those of you with strong kicks feel a connection between the timing of your kick and the timing of your stroke, or are they independent?
    Either/or. I 6-kick as a habit, although I can bump it up when I have to. When I'm swimming my best, everything's coordinated. When I'm fatigued, I notice my kick pace can become disconnected from my stroke pace.

    My advantage in the kick is that I have a long torso and short legs, so I can expend less energy for a faster kick.

  14. #34
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg View Post
    I found swimming with just the band very difficult at first, but with practice and a focus on using my abs to keep my legs high and balancing by pressing my chest down, it has gotten much easier (and has really helped my swimming beyond the drill). Another thing I found helpful when I first started the drill was rotating my whole body when my legs started to sink, so that I could translate that downward motion of the legs more into rotational momentum. That's not a very good description, but that's the way I thought about it while I was swimming and it helped.
    This is a great description I find, absolutely.

    The purpose of this drill is to get you to find YOUR own way to improve body balance. You know, with several drill come several side effects. So called Catch Up may favor dropped elbow bug.

    With the band around, there's not any side effect that I can think of. Translating leg sinking momentum into rotational momentum is great (it just can't be bad).

    However, like you smartly pointed out, the real benefit becomes apparent when you remove the band and experiment a smoother than usual full stroke.

    Congrats!

  15. #35
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    here's a T I BEFORE & AFTER Video
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FrSTJLN_CY&feature=related"]YouTube - TI Freestyle Before and After[/ame]

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg View Post
    Can anyone suggest drills to help me swim as fast without a pull buoy as I do with one?

    I work hard at practice 5 days a week and make incremental gains every so often. But my improvement over the past year can't compare to the amount I improve when I grab a pull buoy.

    So - I need to be working on my body alignment? Keeping my legs high in the water? Strengthening my abs? I try to work on all of those things but I would really appreciate any drill or workout ideas.

    Thanks!

  16. #36
    Bigger than a breadbox mattson's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    here's a T I BEFORE & AFTER Video
    Ande, thanks for pointing out the videp. I was thinking that his "before" swim looked pretty good. Until I saw the "after". Now I'm going to have to think about what I'm doing, and where I'm wasting energy with "slop".

  17. #37
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    in the "AFTER" he's moving with much less effort & much more ease,
    which allows him to hold a better pace over longer swims,
    his legs are still most of the time and
    he's doing a quick flick kick to get a little propulsion & maintain body position.

  18. #38
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    I'm faster with the buoy - and *totally* eff'n frustrated by it. As far as that TI before & after video - I'm totally the 'before' swimmer which sucks. I guess I need to get the TI book and learn and do what it says - I sooooh want that style. Help! Thanks!

  19. #39
    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    Quote Originally Posted by figgskzoo View Post
    I'm faster with the buoy - and *totally* eff'n frustrated by it. As far as that TI before & after video - I'm totally the 'before' swimmer which sucks. I guess I need to get the TI book and learn and do what it says - I sooooh want that style. Help! Thanks!
    I've always been faster with a buoy & paddles. Its all about that extra floatation you get with the buy to lift your hips and butt....you are expending any energy to keep them up. As far as the stoke, pull "can" make you swim a little too "flat" rather than really working on the extension of your hands/arms and rotation of the hips.

    As far as the kick, being a distance swimmer I've always swam little the "after" swimmers with the little flick kick. Having just started back 18 months ago after 15 years off its starting to come back to me.

  20. #40
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: So much faster with a pull buoy

    I wonder if the problem IS the bouy itself, by becomming dependant on aft quadrant floatation.

    I tried a bouy once for the hell of it, and sure enough, swimming was effortless. I immediately stopped, thinking this can't be productive.

    I'm sure it may be beneficial with certain drills for concentration in other areas though, but I'm staying away from pull bouys.

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