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Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples?
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I've been swimming fairly consistently over the last 3 months trying to get my swim fitness back. I swam competitively in school over 20 years ago (and I was also 30 pounds lighter). So, I have some swim in my body, I'm just trying to find it again.

I can do a 10x100 SCY on the 1:30 and hold 1:22-1:25. My current 1650 (off the wall) is 25:00 (avg 1:31). In my prime school days I was doing 100 SCY in 0:56.0. I don't expect to get back there, but my stroke shouldn't be THIS ugly.

So why is my right hand (the arm with the watch) off picking apples instead of going in front of me?



My observations:

1. I bobble my head around. That is a hang over from water polo days + a lot of sighting in rough water.

2. My left arm looks decent, but I don't breathe to my right and I'm really not interested in doing bilateral breathing. I do about 20% of my workout doing bilateral or 3/2/1 breathing.

3. My right hand sculls when I'm reached out front, probably to hold my big head up.

4. My right foot drops waaay down to help me pop my head up.

5. I need to lose my 30 pounds of bioprene. It is too cold in the ocean to do that just yet. Soon...

Ok. So how do I fix this? Help a sister out.

THANK YOU!!!!

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Plagued by PF. Now I just swim.
https://www.slogoing.net/
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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The biggest thing I would focus on is your pull. You enter in front of you shoulder, my college coach always called it “being on the train tracks”. After that, however, your pull goes super wide. You should focus on extending your fingertips as far out in front of you, then imagine yourself wrapping your arm around a barrel, then pushing it behind you. All the while, keeping your eyes down and your hand path under your shoulders, i.e. “the train tracks”

Extending the fingertips should increase your body roll, and the eyes down should keep your head from bobbing.

Strava
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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Watch the entry. It looks to me like you’re entering thumb first. If you can get the middle finger found in first so your palm is facing down rather than laterally, that should get you on the path to fix a whole host if problems..

SLOgoing wrote:
I've been swimming fairly consistently over the last 3 months trying to get my swim fitness back. I swam competitively in school over 20 years ago (and I was also 30 pounds lighter). So, I have some swim in my body, I'm just trying to find it again.

I can do a 10x100 SCY on the 1:30 and hold 1:22-1:25. My current 1650 (off the wall) is 25:00 (avg 1:31). In my prime school days I was doing 100 SCY in 0:56.0. I don't expect to get back there, but my stroke shouldn't be THIS ugly.

So why is my right hand (the arm with the watch) off picking apples instead of going in front of me?



My observations:

1. I bobble my head around. That is a hang over from water polo days + a lot of sighting in rough water.

2. My left arm looks decent, but I don't breathe to my right and I'm really not interested in doing bilateral breathing. I do about 20% of my workout doing bilateral or 3/2/1 breathing.

3. My right hand sculls when I'm reached out front, probably to hold my big head up.

4. My right foot drops waaay down to help me pop my head up.

5. I need to lose my 30 pounds of bioprene. It is too cold in the ocean to do that just yet. Soon...

Ok. So how do I fix this? Help a sister out.

THANK YOU!!!!

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Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Unattainable goals for 2019/2020 season. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6944848#p6944848
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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I'm *NO* expert or even mildly proficient, but could be as simply as your dropping your right elbow? I see your left elbow is much higher. With the right it's pretty low and not getting enough bend. It does come up towards the end of your stroke, but not soon enough in the catch.

I'm just thinking as simply as possible... But I'd love to hold 1:30s for 25m let alone 1,600. :)
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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Your head is a bit high. Take a look at this. I believe it addresses Jason’s point too.

Three common mistakes...


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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Her head height is fine, could even be a little higher when on her front.
Her timing is out in that she is late to finish breathing and her head is turned to her arm as it comes down and this makes her try and hold her right hand high for a touch too long and causes her elbow to drop.

Try doing doing single arm stroking breathing on the non stroking side and holding the non stroking arm by the side to correct the timing issue and go from there.
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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I would recommend some snorkel work to try and keep your head still. Maybe even keep the snorkel on and do some of these drills:

1. Tennis ball (catch-up)-- make sure to keep the ball out in front on the center line, should force your right hand to come to the center.
2. Single arm -- I think this is generally good for everyone as it exposes where the holes in your stroke are (non-pulling arm by your side, if no snorkel breathe to the non-pulling side).
3. Band around your ankles -- might get your core working better to keep that leg from flaring out if your leg can't actually separate from the other leg.
4. (Without snorkel) - I'm sure it has another name, but I call it "6-kick roll drill". Take a stroke, breathe, put your head back to center with arm out front ready to catch and count to 6 while kicking. You should be rolled pretty far, even trying to keep your shoulders close to perpendicular to the bottom of the pool (if you feel like this, then you're rotated enough but probably don't actually have your shoulders straight up and down).

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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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A few things:

The underwater video is ok, but the above water video is very limited as to what can be seen, you really should do another one, but this time swim in the wall lane, and have the person with the camera walking along with you on the pool deck and getting a side perspective (swim in both directions, so both sides will be visible), and, most important, also from a top perspective (as best as practicable, without the camera person falling in the water of course), also with you going in both directions. The reason that this is important is that above water issues often create below water issues. In many (but not all) cases, fix the above water issues and (some of) the below water issues fix themselves.

That said, from what I can tell, the first things I would work on are your arm entries into the water. Your left arm is entering slightly too narrow (i.e., it is entering medial to your shoulder centerline, when it should be entering right at your shoulder centerline). And your right arm is entering quite a bit too wide (i.e., it is entering well lateral to your shoulder centerline, when it should be entering right at your shoulder centerline). Both of these issues add drag and make it harder for you set up a powerful and efficient under water pull.

The next obvious things are your above-water arm recoveries. Both of your arms are recovering well off to the side of your body (vs more above your body). This is a problem because the momentum of your arms swinging well out to the side of your body affects your swimming path. This makes your swimming path a series of repeating S's, while instead it should (ideally) be as straight as possible. And these repeated S turns add distance and drag to your swimming. There are some drills that can help you correct this problem, one of them is called the zipper drill, have you ever done that?

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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
A few things:

The underwater video is ok, but the above water video is very limited as to what can be seen, you really should do another one, but this time swim in the wall lane, and have the person with the camera walking along with you on the pool deck and getting a side perspective (swim in both directions, so both sides will be visible), and, most important, also from a top perspective (as best as practicable, without the camera person falling in the water of course), also with you going in both directions. The reason that this is important is that above water issues often create below water issues. In many (but not all) cases, fix the above water issues and (some of) the below water issues fix themselves.

Haha. This was total stealth mode video. I hid the camera between my pool buoy and my fins with my mesh bag providing cover. No video at the pool...... Maybe some day I'll go to another pool with a pal and get this done. :-)

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Plagued by PF. Now I just swim.
https://www.slogoing.net/
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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No worries, some pools are kinda crazy with their policies.

So, are you familiar with the zipper drill?

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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, my son recommended that as well.

I must be doing something weird with my rotation or body because bring my elbows up or hands in towards my body gives me a niggle in the top of my right shoulder. It may just be a mobility issue...

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Plagued by PF. Now I just swim.
https://www.slogoing.net/
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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Hillary, you have a good stroke. I do think a couple of little tweaks might help.

IMO, the biggest thing I see with your stroke occurs at the front end. I believe most swimmers are more effective when we combine the final push at the back of our stroke to get a little bit of a glide with the leading arm. Much like ice skating. As you push off with your back foot your front foot has a bit of a glide. In swimming when we finish our stroke the front hand/arm should glide for a bit as we catch up with our other hand. At the same time your body rotates enough to allow a good catch.

You swim with a bit of a wind-mill style stroke and as a result you front hand drops towards the bottom of the pool and you are unable to get a good catch (some folks might call it an early vertical forearm). Some of your early pulling is directed down and not pulling you forward.

As several others have said, your left arm does cross over a little but you compensate very quickly. If you begin to have shoulder pain you may have to enter a little wider.

I hope this helps.

Steve
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [Jkgoff] [ In reply to ]
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Jkgoff wrote:
The biggest thing I would focus on is your pull. You enter in front of you shoulder, my college coach always called it “being on the train tracks”. After that, however, your pull goes super wide. You should focus on extending your fingertips as far out in front of you, then imagine yourself wrapping your arm around a barrel, then pushing it behind you. All the while, keeping your eyes down and your hand path under your shoulders, i.e. “the train tracks”

Extending the fingertips should increase your body roll, and the eyes down should keep your head from bobbing.

The train track visual was helpful. Amazingly, the university gym and pool are still open. So, I swam today and focused on this. It certainly changed up my whole world to focus on the right arm and try to enter middle finger first. My speed was pretty much the same, it just felt very different. This is going to take me a while to fix..... Good tip on the train track thing. Thanks!

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Plagued by PF. Now I just swim.
https://www.slogoing.net/
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [lyrrad] [ In reply to ]
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lyrrad wrote:

Try doing doing single arm stroking breathing on the non stroking side and holding the non stroking arm by the side to correct the timing issue and go from there.


Don't you mean you should be breathing on the stroking side?

edit-just saw on youtube guys doing it both sides. Never tried that before, will have to give it a shot. I love single arm drills, helps a great deal!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGUNNrpny2U
Last edited by: dunno: Mar 16, 20 15:19
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Re: Swim Stroke Analysis - Why am I picking apples? [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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SLOgoing wrote:
2. My left arm looks decent, but I don't breathe to my right and I'm really not interested in doing bilateral breathing. I do about 20% of my workout doing bilateral or 3/2/1 breathing.
I not an expert swimmer but you have one arm crossing the middle and the other picking apples as you call it when you swim breathing only one side. Why wouldn't you swim more bilateral in training to help even out your stroke? Probably the easiest thing you could do in training that may help your stroke. I race breathing only one side but my coach has me swimming bilateral for this reason.
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