Efficiency drills

Efficiency drills

Post by Richard Osnes » Fri, 18 Dec 1998 04:00:00


Does anyone have any good drills to increase the efficiency of the
freestyle?
 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by STEPHEN BOAKE » Wed, 06 Jan 1999 04:00:00

I have found that drills consisting of fists(swimming freestyle with hands
in clenched fists)followed by catch-up drill,or visa versa,then
freestyle,will give you a good feel through the water.

SB

Quote:

>Does anyone have any good drills to increase the efficiency of the
>freestyle?


 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by SLeml » Wed, 06 Jan 1999 04:00:00

Here is a quote from the book, "Howard Firby on SWIMMING", a rare tome written
by one of the greatest coaches of our era, known for a talent for developing
superior stroke drills.  The book was published by Pelham Books in the late 50s
or early 60s I believe.

"Virtually any aspect of swimming technique can be implanted through the
intelligent use of stroke drills. Take 'fist swimming' for example.  The
swimmers merely close their fists as they otherwise swim normally.  This simple
alteration develops the feel of pulling not only with the hands but with the
forearms as well.  To pull effectively while the fists are closed, the swimmer
must instinctively seek out the movements of the classic bent-arm pull, no
matter which stroke.  "Dropped elbows" in freestyle correct themselves, the
"over the barrel" feeling of the pull is induced, and ineffectual prettiness
are suppressed.  Once mastered,***swimming is not significantly slower than
full-stroke swimming, nor should it be, the total area of the pulling surfaces
is only slightly reduced."

Firby singled out***swimming partly for its simplicity and partly for its
effectiveness.  Taking away swimmers' hands is a very subtle yet important act.
 It compels them to discover, among many things, better ways to "find their
balance".  Why make those big sculling motions with the hands in compensation
for the slight side to side lurching motion resulting when one isn't perfectly
balanced?  The hand-forearm is much more useful propelling the swimmer forward
than compensating for not having your balance. True propulsion has nothing to
do with big sweeping motions, rather, it's accomplished by holding onto the
water with the hand-forearm surface, wherein the swimmer then uses his or her
large trunk muscles to move past the spot where the hand-forearm is anchored.

Firby again,

"I am assuming the reader has seen enough freestyle to at least have a rough
idea of the arm action . . . the body should move past the arm.  The arm should
not pull through the water, i.e., there should be as little slippage as
possible in the pull."

Or Firby on "rolling":

"Perhaps the least-questioned of the left over from yesteryear dogmatisms on
freestyle is the one that might be paraphrased as 'Thou shalt not roll!'"

" . . . we are incapable of hydroplaning under our own power.  We should
therefore strive to shape ourselves better to penetrate through the water,
which means that while at the surface we should avoid the flat, barge-like
attitude and spend as much time as possible shaped for better water splitting.

Swimmers with feel going for them instinctively roll somewhat abruptly from
side to side as they freestyle, spending as little time as possible in the
high-resistance-producing flat, in-between position.  For example:  If it
takes, say, 60 frames of movie film to record one complete stroke cycle (slow
motion), then the chances are that 25 of the frames will catch the swimmer
tipped to one side, 25 to the other side, and only 10 will catch him passing
through the less-efficient middle zone."

It sounds to me like Howard Firby is describing state-or-the-art technique in a
book that is 40 years old.

Regards,

Scott Lemley

 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by (Pete Cresswe » Wed, 06 Jan 1999 04:00:00

SLemley Said  

Quote:
>Here is a quote from the book, "Howard Firby on SWIMMING", ....

>.... Once mastered,***swimming is not significantly slower than
>full-stroke swimming...

This is something of a revelation to me.

Is it really true?   Can anybody speak from personal experience?

If it is anywhere near true, my stroke needs a *lot* of work.....
-----------------------
Pete Cresswell

 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by SLeml » Thu, 07 Jan 1999 04:00:00

Pete,

You've undoubtedly read the study that implies that the surface area of the
forearm can develop the same propulsive force as the surface area of the hand.
They have different shapes and sizes but the end result is the same.  Yet many
swimmers focus solely on the hand to hold onto the water.  Swimmers who utilize
their forearms are much more efficient.  That's why swimming with your fists is
so challenging to most swimmers.  Once you start to keep your elbows up (aka,
maintain a vertically held forearm) you've got quite abit of surface to use to
anchor against the water's resistance).

It's been my experience that swimming with fistgloves, for instance, where you
can truly stay relaxed and swim with hands that have been rendered ineffective
and still manifest smooth fluid movement, allows you to swim a near "open-hand"
speeds.  Maybe within 4 or 5 seconds of what you can do, per 100, with your
open hand.

A good challenge and one that gives you instant feedback when you get your
forearms involved.  Slow down, anchor your hands and forearms, and roll past
where they're stationary with just the movement of your trunk muscles rotating.
 It's not easy at first because it's not the way most of us learned to swim.
Once you have the hang of it, it's pretty amazing to realize you don't have to
use those small shoulder muscles to do all the work.  Give it a try.

Regards,

Scott Lemley

 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by (Pete Cresswe » Thu, 07 Jan 1999 04:00:00

SLemley Said  

Quote:
>Once you have the hang of it, it's pretty amazing to realize you don't have to
>use those small shoulder muscles to do all the work.

Will do.

This probably explains something I noticed in the TI video:  the person doing
the swimming has notably un-developed shoulders and triceps....
-----------------------
Pete Cresswell

 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by Patrick McAtee » Fri, 08 Jan 1999 04:00:00

what about using your forearm surface area as awell as your hands when
swimming?

Quote:

>Pete,

>You've undoubtedly read the study that implies that the surface area of the
>forearm can develop the same propulsive force as the surface area of the
hand.
>They have different shapes and sizes but the end result is the same.  Yet
many
>swimmers focus solely on the hand to hold onto the water.  Swimmers who
utilize
>their forearms are much more efficient.  That's why swimming with your
fists is
>so challenging to most swimmers.  Once you start to keep your elbows up
(aka,
>maintain a vertically held forearm) you've got quite abit of surface to use
to
>anchor against the water's resistance).

>It's been my experience that swimming with fistgloves, for instance, where
you
>can truly stay relaxed and swim with hands that have been rendered
ineffective
>and still manifest smooth fluid movement, allows you to swim a near
"open-hand"
>speeds.  Maybe within 4 or 5 seconds of what you can do, per 100, with your
>open hand.

>A good challenge and one that gives you instant feedback when you get your
>forearms involved.  Slow down, anchor your hands and forearms, and roll
past
>where they're stationary with just the movement of your trunk muscles
rotating.
> It's not easy at first because it's not the way most of us learned to
swim.
>Once you have the hang of it, it's pretty amazing to realize you don't have
to
>use those small shoulder muscles to do all the work.  Give it a try.

>Regards,

>Scott Lemley

 
 
 

Efficiency drills

Post by Totalswi » Thu, 21 Jan 1999 04:00:00

Pete:
That someone on the TI video, with the undeveloped shoulder muscles was me! I'm
going to the gym straightaway and won't come out to make another video until I
ripple.
Terry Laughlin
PS: I probably could use the fatbelly domain name; nonetheless I can swim
reasonably well.
Terry Laughlin
Total Immersion Swimming
www.totalimmersion.net