> Shahin (et al),
> Great to see you back posting interesting ideas.
> Please see below...
Thanks for providing the inspiration.
Please see below ...
> > An interesting comparison. In contrast to Klim 's elegant, fluid and
> > symmetrical motion, Popov shows a distinct loping style.
> Our Larry W has been the great proponent of loping styles. He pointed
> out several times that Popov lopes, but perhaps to a lesser extent than
> other famous lopers.
> > Amongst
> > Popov's competitive advantage appears to be what he does near the
> > end of his right arm's stroke cycle: A MASSIVE PUSH! He does not
> > do that with his left arm. It seems a slight asymmetrical lag is part of
> > his strategy.
> Yes. Larry has posted cogently on this topic.
Yes. Only if one could keep apace with
this prodigiously prolific contributor! :)
> > As a designer (amongst other things), I understand the
> > importance of asymmetrical proportions in creating dynamic designs.
> > It is interesting to observe that the principle of asymmetry (known as
> > one of a class of *Dynamic Proportions* in design, like the "Golden
> > Proportion") is applicable to a sport like swimming.
> Well, I am a bit reluctant to accept the principle of the "Big Analogy",
> instead preferring specific analysis of the given object of attention.
Mmm! "Big Analogy"?
I appreciate your hard-nosed approach. But please if I may be
Association is somewhat different to "analogy". The act of association
(or bisociation, c. Arthur Koestler) of apparently unrelated ideas and
disciplines, frequently opens surprising views to underlying principles,
and often causes new syntheses.
From a personal view point, in my approach to a design problem,
like most designers, I first adopt a hard-nosed attitude by analysing
it to its constituent parts, and try to understand all the relationships.
Then, adopting a soft-nosed approach, I reconstruct it, adding,
subtracting and rearranging various elements to shape it for its
purpose and environment. As far as hard-nosed approach goes,
I am of the school of Form Follows Function: Concord is designed
and engineered to fly at above the speed of sound. Every design
decision in its construction is functional, including its colour. Yet,
aesthetically, it is virtually a work of art, pleasing to human eyes,
and unique in its character.
I agree that over-enthusiasm in acts of creativity could indeed render
distorted caricatures, where a straight forward engineer's approach
may suffice. Still, in complex human factors problem solving, "analogies",
metaphors, and borrowed principles from unrelated fields often lend
useful thinking tools. They can help in paving the way in pursuing
"specific analysis" in discovering common underlying principles.
I very much believe in a continuos universe, though not necessarily
contiguous; more 3D really! :)
> > I was made aware of the "big push" by a good coach; but he spoke
> > about maintaining a symmetrical motion in the water.
> > BTW: I had never bothered about the significance of flat or rotating
> > hips. Now that I am more aware of it, I will pay more attention to
> > that.
> > I presume a flatter hips attitude is supposed to produce more consistent
> > lift, or smoother glide, if I'm not mistaken?
> We kayakers do not like to talk about glide. :-)
Aahaah! "kayakers"?! :) ... You seem willing to abandon your
"reluctance for the 'Big Analogy'" when it suits you! :) LOL! :) :)
In fairness, "kayak" is *Small Analogy* compared to Titanic! :) :)
Still, in kayaking, strictly speaking, the haul is not always held
upright in relation to a stream's forces. But of course we are
talking about motion in a straight line in the relative calm of a
swimming pool ... like a barge in a canal. The fact that Popov
sweep his strokes under his trunk, appears to support the
"kayak analogy". He can even be seen as a *Sentient Barge*! :)
> The flatter hips act as a stable platform
In theory, it seems plausible. But I am not convinced if in
practice that would bear consistent results for every swimmer,
or individual approach to swimming. I guess it relates more
to the idea of accepting a swimmer as an organic, sentient,
self-regulating systems operating within situational parameters,
as opposed to an inorganic "kayak". But this is not to torpedo
your useful analogy: performance of a kayak is dependent on
organic intelligent beings after all.
> for two important things: 1) a powerful kick, and 2) relative
> rotation of the shoulders versus the hips, an action that directly
> taps the strong trunk muscles. Also, it is my belief that rotation
> of the hips causes them to sink in the water (I base this on
It could be that you are thinking too vertically! :) What about
lateral compression forces from the surface tension acting
against the moving mass, much as in the angled sides of a
boat that not only helps it float, but lends it potential energy?
Perhaps a strong momentum can use the inevitable swing of
the hips to advantage, bearing in mind tensile forces that are
exerted by the body. We are dealing with a very smart material,
much smarter than the "Fast skin" (!): the human body, not a kayak.
Also, trying to maintain the hips flat may impose energy gobbling
stresses on some swimmers. Hasn't the G force in fluid mechanism
a tendency for lateral dispersion in moving objects? Might there
indeed be benefits in using the natural swing of the hips to
advantage? I am not convinced either about more powerful kicks
in flat hips attitude. It could be that I have not yet consciously
experienced the feel of trying this position.
So, I will give myself the benefit of trying it, and shall measure my
performance over the time that it takes to become adept in the
"flat hips" swimming position, before making my mind up. My
purpose is not to argue with your point of view. It is more a
process of understanding and readjustment, thought out aloud.
> so by keeping them flat, one is
> better able to maintain the horizontal streamlined position.
> I believe Dan Perz has some further ideas about this.
I am not familiar with this fellow's ideas, but I shall research.
> But note that, as Larry pointed out, there
> are at least three theories about hip action.
Regrettably, I have missed those posts. Sorry if
I have made you revisit already trodden paths.
> As always, instead of relying on facile analogies with
> other sports, I prefer to see what the elites are actually
> doing. They tend to have an almost uncanny feel for
> the water and know well what works best for them.
How true is the importance of the "feel for water".
It is a gift like having a talent for an art. In some
people it is naturally expressed; in some it is latent
and discovered through serendipity, in others
developed by hard work. And many just ain't got it ...
pure and simple! :)
> > It has to do with good design, I'm sure! :)
> For sure. :-)
No doubt about it! :)