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Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s)
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- around 2:25 +/_ / 100 yards slow, just swimming, no aids. I have been told my stroke, breathing, head position, catch, etc. etc. is okay, BUT, my butt is too low, in the water too deep, same for calves and feet. Legs/butt/feet are not on the surface of the water enough- dragging /slowing me down. Okay I see that. How do I get that part of the body to ride higher in the water? Swim downhill, press the chest down, belly button against spine, lift feet to surface. Okay I see the theory of that - though I don't seem to be making much positive progress in accomplishing that . At this point, fins and my "weak" kick don't do the trick. Solution ? ---- use something to lift said part of the body - pull buoy or buoys . Seems logical to me. One pull buoy gives my about 2:15/100 yards. More leg float - 2 pull buoys gives me about 1:50 /100 yards. That's more like it.
1. It seems like to me, the pull buoys and my increased speed confirm the need to get those legs up higher. DO YOU ALL AGREE WITH THAT CONCLUSION?
2. If it was possible, do you think the equivalent of 3 pull buoys would increase my speed even more? or is there a point where higher and higher legs don't make any difference and actually start to slow you down?
3. What else can I do (drills ? ) to get those legs up without pull buoys?
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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coyote pelon wrote:
- around 2:25 +/_ / 100 yards slow, just swimming, no aids. I have been told my stroke, breathing, head position, catch, etc. etc. is okay, BUT, my butt is too low, in the water too deep, same for calves and feet. Legs/butt/feet are not on the surface of the water enough- dragging /slowing me down. Okay I see that. How do I get that part of the body to ride higher in the water? Swim downhill, press the chest down, belly button against spine, lift feet to surface. Okay I see the theory of that - though I don't seem to be making much positive progress in accomplishing that . At this point, fins and my "weak" kick don't do the trick. Solution ? ---- use something to lift said part of the body - pull buoy or buoys . Seems logical to me. One pull buoy gives my about 2:15/100 yards. More leg float - 2 pull buoys gives me about 1:50 /100 yards. That's more like it.
1. It seems like to me, the pull buoys and my increased speed confirm the need to get those legs up higher. DO YOU ALL AGREE WITH THAT CONCLUSION?
2. If it was possible, do you think the equivalent of 3 pull buoys would increase my speed even more? or is there a point where higher and higher legs don't make any difference and actually start to slow you down?
3. What else can I do (drills ? ) to get those legs up without pull buoys?

You mean that even using fins you can't get your feet/legs up to the surface??? Are you using full length fins, e.g. roughly 10-12" long depending on your foot size??? IME, *most* swimmers with weak kicks can go faster with fins than with the buoy, not sure about 2 buoys as have never tried but i think there is a point where you are as buoyant as possible. A third buoy prob wouldn't slow you down but might not make you any faster, espec given the difficulty of keeping all three betw your legs. :)

Regarding drills, i would swim with fins a bunch: swim say 500 w/ both fins, then 500 as 5 x 100 with one fin off and try to get the fin-less foot to replicate the finned foot's motion, then 500 as 10 x 50 w/ no fins, 500 w/ fins to finish up 2000 yd/m.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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Some lava pants might be better than multiple pull buoys since you won't have to keep them clenched in place while swimming and while turning, you can still put some effort into a balancing kick etc.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with Brett Sutton's sentiment towards pool bouys. My coach was an was an elite swimmer first pro out the water at Kona and trained under him. I am relatively new to the sport and was a poor swimmer coming from a cycling background so my leg sinking issues were huge. I used to hate swim sessions and as referenced in the article once using a pool buoy sessions were easier and I started to enjoy swimming when starting with my coach who had me use them for most of my swimming in my program. With my leg sinking issues and being a poor swimmer it didn't take long until my stroke went to shit and all I did was thrash through the water. Using a pool buoy enabled me to at least maintain a half descent stroke for a an hour to hour and a half swim session. Sorting leg sinking issues aside I think using a pool buoy helps develop strength and endurance muscle memory to a stroke that will only help with body position and swimming development faster than swimming without one. Now I use floatation shorts a lot more that don't have as much buoyancy but allow me to develop my kick.


I use a Huub Big Buoy with huge amounts of lift compared to most buoys/


http://trisutto.com/the-pull-buoy-debate-2/


https://huubdesign.com/products/huub-big-buoy-4-pull-buoy
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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Use a snorkel keep you arms at your side and do some kicking, try it first with fins then without. Can you float face down and keep your heals on the surface? Practice that and then start your kick slowly at first
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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Swimming faster should get your legs/but up. Do you swim intervals? 50s/100s
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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coyote pelon wrote:
.... 2:25 / 100 yards slow, just swimming, no aids. I have been told my stroke, breathing, head position, catch, etc. etc. is okay, BUT, my butt is too low, in the water too deep, same for calves and feet.


If your body position is terrible, I would disagree with that assessment. There is no way for only your body position to be poor, as it really ties into everything else, not least of which is overall rhythm and timing of the hands, feet, head, and rotation.

I would say go ahead and use a pull buoy for some of your swimming. This will not actively fix your problem, but it will give you a frame of reference and allow you to work on some of the specific mechanics with good position and less struggle.

I would also work on getting the feet and hips up without the pull buoy, and the first thing I would focus on is your kick timing.

Kick Timing - Step 1 of 3

Going nowhere in the pool? We can help.



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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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This is fixable. I had the same problem until recently. I am a typical AOS, i could do 100 SCM in about 1:40-ish in a pool with a buoy. This dropped to 2:00-ish without the buoy and the 100m nearly killed me - it was exhausting! But in OW with a wetsuit i can do a 70.3 swim in 33mins. Not fast but solidly MOP. I spend many many hours sat poolside while my young kids do swim club and you see all these kids going up and down the pool with no pull buoy, not needing one, so it is reasonable to assume it's possible to swim without one if you learn the technique...

I recently started doing the Tower 26 swimming and they teach the correct tautness and body position as a foundation and it's really worked. Now i can swim "properly" I can go up and down a pool without needing to rely on the buoy. I still use it for sure for the longer easier stuff but it's not a crutch anymore. My 100SCM time without a buoy is now about 1:40 and it's repeatable. I no longer nearly drown.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [RCCo] [ In reply to ]
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"Now i can swim "properly" I can go up and down a pool without needing to rely on the buoy"


That's great progress! If you could give a piece of actionable advice (in the form of a drill or something that clicked for you), what would it be?
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [FindinFreestyle] [ In reply to ]
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So how do you actually get your legs up?
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [AlyraD] [ In reply to ]
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it's not a quick 1 step trick. It's about teaching yourself to swim with a taut body. They used the analogy of not being like a wet piece of pasta. If you look at good swimmers they all seem to look long and tight in the water, like they have good core strength and they are holding themselves taut. It was achieved over a month or so with lots of drills such as kicking and a mindful focus of feeling taut, your legs come up because you naturally just stop dragging them. I'm not explaining it well. But it worked for me.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [ericmulk] [ In reply to ]
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that is correct, short fins and kick, only a little faster than without fins. Observers say -- "your legs are still sinking. get your feet, butt, etc. up." thanks for you reply. Everything helps.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [RCCo] [ In reply to ]
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thanks for your reply. seems like you and I (and many others) struggle with a similar thing. Please share any other words of wisdom. thanks
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [mdtrihard] [ In reply to ]
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mdtrihard wrote:
Swimming faster should get your legs/but up. Do you swim intervals? 50s/100s

Isn't this a Catch-22? How does one swim faster if the legs are dragging? Intervals aren't going to help.

DeSoto Sports Ambassador
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [skip] [ In reply to ]
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skip wrote:
Some lava pants might be better than multiple pull buoys since you won't have to keep them clenched in place while swimming and while turning, you can still put some effort into a balancing kick etc.

This epitome why I do not read swim related threads here. Poke your head and drop in on any swim team practice around the country and count how many swimmers wear anything like that. Further, to put this on equal grounds, poke your head into developmental swim group practice with kids 9-12, let me know how many ever wear that. Let me help you, none.
The most detrimental piece of equipment that any swimmer could ever put on is those pants. Now, the industry found it's suckers, thats triathletes.
Majority of triathletes are by definition developmental swimmers and should only use equipment with specific goal in mind for very specific aspect of stroke correction or development.
Widespread use of those pants only leads to false sense of one's body position.
Done with my rant. Sorry, it is not you, just happens to be the post I have seen over and over here how pants are the best solution since sliced bread.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [AlyraD] [ In reply to ]
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AlyraD wrote:
So how do you actually get your legs up?


How about by using those muscles that actually raise your legs relative to your body? Your lower back, your glutes, your hamstrings. Engage them and your legs rise. It's not rocket surgery. Goofy but instructive video explaining this simple concept:



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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [AlyraD] [ In reply to ]
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AlyraD wrote:
So how do you actually get your legs up?

in a word, streamlining.

you need your arms to extend at the front, and a tight core / butt. That's what gets your legs up. Make yourself as long as you can in the water.

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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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HandHeartCrown wrote:
mdtrihard wrote:
Swimming faster should get your legs/but up. Do you swim intervals? 50s/100s


Isn't this a Catch-22? How does one swim faster if the legs are dragging? Intervals aren't going to help.

Intervals can help if you swim them faster. Once a week try 32 x 25 on a 1:1 work:rest ratio. Do some drills, some swims, all fast.

Going nowhere in the pool? We can help.



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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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coyote pelon wrote:
that is correct, short fins and kick, only a little faster than without fins. Observers say -- "your legs are still sinking. get your feet, butt, etc. up." thanks for you reply. Everything helps.

Get some long fins then, short fins are designed for competitive swimmers who already know how to kick. In addition to what i posted before, kick on your back with your arms in the streamline position, this will help stretch your ankles a bit. Further, as Jason points out in a previous post, when swimming on your front stretch your arms out as far as possible to get full extension and a good pull, and the force of your arms pulling in front will help to pull your legs up in the back. Also, as Ken (klehner) points out, you need to keep your torso tight and stable to help keep your legs up.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [atasic] [ In reply to ]
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atasic wrote:
skip wrote:
Some lava pants might be better than multiple pull buoys since you won't have to keep them clenched in place while swimming and while turning, you can still put some effort into a balancing kick etc.


This epitome why I do not read swim related threads here.
Done with my rant. Sorry, it is not you, just happens to be the post I have seen over and over here how pants are the best solution since sliced bread.


I agree with everything you say when it comes to actually becoming a good swimmer. I don't think that's what the OP is after in the least. At 2:25 per hundred he can't be having much fun swimming. He is contemplating wearing THREE pull buoys!...I think you said something about "false sense of body position"...He's not worried about that (the falseness). And he's sure not going to learn how to balance or kick with 2-3 pull buoys. I only proposed the diapers as a slightly less evil alternative to what I would imagine would be extreme awkwardness from multiple pull buoys. At that point one might be better off just paddling a surfboard for fitness and enjoyment.
Last edited by: skip: Jan 12, 18 9:45
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [skip] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry misunderstood your suggestion at first. Now makes clear sense. Agree entirely.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [FindinFreestyle] [ In reply to ]
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FindinFreestyle wrote:
HandHeartCrown wrote:
mdtrihard wrote:
Swimming faster should get your legs/but up. Do you swim intervals? 50s/100s


Isn't this a Catch-22? How does one swim faster if the legs are dragging? Intervals aren't going to help.

Intervals can help if you swim them faster. Once a week try 32 x 25 on a 1:1 work:rest ratio. Do some drills, some swims, all fast.

Try what this person says......
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [coyote pelon] [ In reply to ]
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Just to chime in -

Keeping the legs up in the water is NOT about speed. Yes, it's true that the faster you go, the easier it gets, but I can definitely swim a 3:00/100yd while totally banded at the ankles (intentionally going that slow) and keep my legs up with zero kick. There's a youtube video of a swim instructor going from vertical to horizontal with zero kicking just with small changes in body positioning. That's what you're striving for. It does NOT take a lot of energy to stay flat in the water if you are doing it right.

I disagree with all the folks recommending you work on your kick. The kick should NOT be used for leg buoyancy - that's a horrendous waste of energy and a lot of AGers fall victim to this. You should learn to be flat in the water without your kick, and only THEN start putting your kick back in as a source of propulsion.

I'm not a swim coach nor am I a FOP swimmer, but I've had my share of struggles, and I suspect you'd hugely benefit from spending a few weeks doing nothing but working on swimming with an ankle band (with progression, not just completely failing at it repeatedly). It's a self-correcting aid - if you can swim 50yds with it, you at the minimum are keeping pretty good body position, eliminating fishtailing, and have a fairly balanced pull. Again, swimming flat should NOT require a lot of effort, in fact it should require very low/minimal effort.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
Just to chime in -

Keeping the legs up in the water is NOT about speed. Yes, it's true that the faster you go, the easier it gets, but I can definitely swim a 3:00/100yd while totally banded at the ankles (intentionally going that slow) and keep my legs up with zero kick. There's a youtube video of a swim instructor going from vertical to horizontal with zero kicking just with small changes in body positioning. That's what you're striving for. It does NOT take a lot of energy to stay flat in the water if you are doing it right.

I disagree with all the folks recommending you work on your kick. The kick should NOT be used for leg buoyancy - that's a horrendous waste of energy and a lot of AGers fall victim to this. You should learn to be flat in the water without your kick, and only THEN start putting your kick back in as a source of propulsion.

I'm not a swim coach nor am I a FOP swimmer, but I've had my share of struggles, and I suspect you'd hugely benefit from spending a few weeks doing nothing but working on swimming with an ankle band (with progression, not just completely failing at it repeatedly). It's a self-correcting aid - if you can swim 50yds with it, you at the minimum are keeping pretty good body position, eliminating fishtailing, and have a fairly balanced pull. Again, swimming flat should NOT require a lot of effort, in fact it should require very low/minimal effort.

Any tips how to achieve this? Or just work on engaging the core, glutes etc to become comfortable being flat in the water. If I put a band on my legs sink to the bottom.
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Re: Very slow old swimmer using pull buoy (s) [bretzky] [ In reply to ]
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Honestly, it's easier if you just do it. It's kind of like riding a bicycle. I could spend Pages telling you how you could do it best, however it's all bull compared to actually doing it yourself.

It is helpful to start with a buoy and a looser band. Then progressed to tighter band and buoy and then eventually remove the buoy all together.

That said, I tried this entire progression, and then found that I actually just did Best by banding myself tightly from the start, struggling with even 10 yards for a while, and then quickly Learning To Go the Distance in less than two weeks after that.

It is a drill a well worth learning if you are a leg dropper.
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