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Swimming - Chest down, legs go up.
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My trainer at the gym has been working on my shoulders and upper back.
I can pull my shoulders back now, narrow my upper back. I can even do a decent cobra, although I am 50% of the mobility of your typical yoga-goer.

I was surprised how much that made a difference in the pool. It can't be just a few mm more shoulder lift wrt respect to my sternum- which drives the chest down, but my legs were at the surface.

I did not feel the urge to grab a pull buoy!

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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [SharkFM] [ In reply to ]
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Try this too:

1. Grab the edge of a doorway with a straight arm, hand at shoulder height, thumb pointing up. Start turning your head, waist, feet and other shoulder away from the doorway as far as you can go with your arm still straight. How far can you turn in the opposite direction of the doorway? Do it a few times a day and especially before swim practice and you'll notice you slide through the water much faster.

2. Stand just a foot from a wall, facing it. Put your hands over your head and overlap them, like they should be when streamlining off of a swim turn. While keeping your arms, torso, and legs straight, start backing up from the wall with your hands still overlapped and palm(s) on the wall. Let your hands slide down as you back up, letting the weight of your body create the pressure and stretch on your chest and shoulders. Lean into it and feel how tight it is on dry land, so just imagine how much you aren't doing it when you don't have a wall to push against! Experiment with tucking your head below your elbows instead of between them, opening up your chest even more.

The second one improves how deep you can push your chest and how high you keep your feet while your hand entry is still level.

Do these before/after every swim and whenever you're bored and you'll notice a big improvement in swim form.

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Last edited by: ZenTriBrett: Apr 4, 19 9:45
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [ZenTriBrett] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the tips - going to try those tonite. I did join-in last-minute on a yoga session at our Werklab office yesterday. We did a similar straight-arm shoulder twister, using arm on the floor. it's been a while since I did yoga, but I was able to execute all moves much better.

Just doing yoga alone (or swimming for that matter) I made marginal improvement. In my case, it's the skill of my trainer. We don't do anything heavy (typ 12-16 reps) and she's very specific on form and the muscles to activate. I have not done PT/needling in months which says something about the benefit of gym work.

Training Tweets: https://twitter.com/Jagersport_com
FM Sports: http://www.jagersport.com/
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [SharkFM] [ In reply to ]
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Shoulder mobility is the single biggest barrier to adult onset swimmers.
Once you have it, body position is easy and then you only have to sort the details.
Unfortunately everybody is so worried about the details to ever address the major limiter in their swimming.
The slower and longer you swim, the more important it is as you ride lower in the water.
You can for a short while override the limitation of mobility by going very fast and riding higher in the water so most people don't understand that it is so important.
You also gradually increase shoulder mobility the longer you have been a swimmer, so then again, everybody believes it is other mechanisms that make them swim better and miss the crucial association.

Bring forth the endless debate about pull buoys while the masses ignore the real solution to sinking legs and overall poor body position.

Bet you now find it much easier to have a high elbow in the front part of your stroke as well.
It is all part of shoulder mobility.
Kids have it and so never have to deal with a lack of it.
Most women do too and in general will not have sinking legs.

Adult guys taking up swimming don't have it generally and all struggle to get any sort of good body position and good stroke mechanics.
All hail the pull buoy, the great disguiser of what people really need to do to improve their swimming.
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [lyrrad] [ In reply to ]
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lyrrad wrote:
Shoulder mobility is the single biggest barrier to adult onset swimmers.
Once you have it, body position is easy and then you only have to sort the details.

I agree re PB, not sure about that though. Fixing body position is tricky and takes time, esp with AOS.
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [zedzded] [ In reply to ]
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Everybody can do a streamline and their legs float just fine.
When you start to try and move your arms is when the body position devil steps in, this is shoulder mobility.
As soon as you roll your body the mobility devil gets you, Your arm will be pushed down causing a dropped elbow and forces lifting the front of your body which makes the rear of your body go down to compensate.
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [SharkFM] [ In reply to ]
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Nice observation!

This is a line of thinking from a performance perspective, that will really pay great dividends.

To elaborate, when we are on land, we are dealing with only one 'gravity line' and that is that all of our parts are being pulled toward/into the ground. (pretty obv right?)
In the aquatic environment however, our vestibular system is challenged with 3 different 'gravity lines' impacting our relationship with the surface and thus our performance.
You have your head and hips(lower body) that will sink and your lung-ball that will float sandwiched in between. And all of these are connected via a curved spinal cord for shock absorption (to protect the brain from repeated ground impacts) and is clearly not helpful for swimming.
A proper aquatic alignment begins with assembling those three parts (head, chest and hips (all round and 'boney' btw)) to be connected via an elongated and energized spine with the goal of having a symmetrical relationship with the surface of the water. Sadly, not everyone can hold a streamline and have those legs float, as a "streamline" almost universally involves location of arms/hands above the head without addressing postural issues. The good news is, any one of you reading this can work, right this very second, as you sit in front of your screen, on lengthening your spine. Longer boats have more potential for speed. Make yours longer (and more effective/efficient with the surface of the water) and you now have improved your aquatic potential.

daved

http://www.theundergroundcoach.com
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [lyrrad] [ In reply to ]
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Another reason triathletes use a PB is because they’re triathletes. When your legs are shelled from a hard bike or run sometimes the pull buoy is needed. It can be a crutch for struggling with position, but it can also be an aid for unrecovered legs.

lyrrad wrote:
Shoulder mobility is the single biggest barrier to adult onset swimmers.
Once you have it, body position is easy and then you only have to sort the details.
Unfortunately everybody is so worried about the details to ever address the major limiter in their swimming.
The slower and longer you swim, the more important it is as you ride lower in the water.
You can for a short while override the limitation of mobility by going very fast and riding higher in the water so most people don't understand that it is so important.
You also gradually increase shoulder mobility the longer you have been a swimmer, so then again, everybody believes it is other mechanisms that make them swim better and miss the crucial association.

Bring forth the endless debate about pull buoys while the masses ignore the real solution to sinking legs and overall poor body position.

Bet you now find it much easier to have a high elbow in the front part of your stroke as well.
It is all part of shoulder mobility.
Kids have it and so never have to deal with a lack of it.
Most women do too and in general will not have sinking legs.

Adult guys taking up swimming don't have it generally and all struggle to get any sort of good body position and good stroke mechanics.
All hail the pull buoy, the great disguiser of what people really need to do to improve their swimming.
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [mwanner13] [ In reply to ]
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mwanner13 wrote:
Another reason triathletes use a PB is because they’re triathletes. When your legs are shelled from a hard bike or run sometimes the pull buoy is needed. It can be a crutch for struggling with position, but it can also be an aid for unrecovered legs.

I won't argue against the other points for sure, but your point is also accurate. My coach will throw in an occasional all/mostly pull buoy swim either after a few really hard days of workouts and/or prior to an upcoming hard bike/run critical workout where she wants my legs to be fresh.
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [SharkFM] [ In reply to ]
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I've been working on shoulder mobility for a few years. I'm afraid that at my ripe old age of 65 it just ain't happening.
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Re: Swimming - Chest down, legs go up. [lyrrad] [ In reply to ]
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lyrrad wrote:
Shoulder mobility is the single biggest barrier to adult onset swimmers.
Once you have it, body position is easy and then you only have to sort the details.
Unfortunately everybody is so worried about the details to ever address the major limiter in their swimming.
The slower and longer you swim, the more important it is as you ride lower in the water.
All hail the pull buoy, the great disguiser of what people really need to do to improve their swimming.

Well said and you're right I was thinking "man finally my pull is starting to make some (biomechanical) sense". I wanted to drive my elbows higher. People in my circle generally think I'm pretty good swimmer, but I have struggled with body position, getting my breathing right - I never know how I'm going to feel on the day. Snorkel swim or pull buoy are a fall-back. The coach and other swimmers are like "oh you did the 4km or ocean mile swim in xyz, those are good times" but I say hell yeah I'm in a B70 Helix. No suit, no times.

I think it's important to define exactly what shoulder mobility is. I thought I had shoulder mobility in that my arms can circle freely. What I didn't have is the ability to pull my shoulders back, extend or open the chest, and twist in the upper spine. My muscles simply wouldn't fire in that way. Now I feel they do.

Also the back-half of the equation is the pelvic position. That I got sorted as well and it helped a lot.

Training Tweets: https://twitter.com/Jagersport_com
FM Sports: http://www.jagersport.com/
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