Total immersion Swimming techniques

31 messages
11/09/2008 at 21:56
I wonder if it suits people of particular builds? I'm short and solid and I swim far faster and smoother using TI, however my tall, thin friend doesn't appear to gain anything useful from it and sticks with the technique he has learned from a conventional swim coach. The other thing is that my neck tends to be stiff on rotation (the result of increasing age I'm afraid) so an exaggerated roll makes breathing easier.
11/09/2008 at 22:46
I watched some of the TI videos yesterday after picking up on this thread, and had a go at replicating it in the pool this morning.
Like Cranmere, I'm not tall and quite heavily built, and I think it maybe has something to offer me too. It very definitely brings my stroke rate down and length up, but I find that keeping my momentum going is a bit tough, and it requires co-ordination of my movements to sglide along.
It's no harder, I'm sure, than conventional freestyle, but because I'm pretty dense (I sink even with my lungs full!), losing momentum is a killer, so the TI concept of reducing drag to waste less effort, rings true for me. Will see how I get on!

Pain is just weakness leaving the body.

11/09/2008 at 23:03
you might be onto something there cranmere, i am tall and lean - 6'1 and 73kg, so i actually find my conventional freestyle better. But i do know people who are shorter, and have built legs in particular who have found the TI method helpful.
12/09/2008 at 21:00
Has Ti messed me up?

I have read this thread with real interest after taking up Ti about 3 months ago.

I am new to swimming and struggle through a 750m OW swim in 17 mins. After taking up Ti (from the book) my 750m swim time is now 19mins but I am in much better shape when I get out of the water and easily make up the lost time on being fresher on the bike. I am attempting to get to sub 15mins over the winter and am really struggling to get this right.

I suspect the body rolling has ruined my speed. A friend has been watching me swim and he says that I am rolling my whole upper body and am waggling left and right up the pool and almost stopping dead when I am not in the pull phase of my stroke. We originally thought it was my legs causing this but several different experiments with Pull Bouys leads us to believe that it is the upper body causing this waggle thorugh the exaggerated body roll.

I have gone back to basics and do several lengths of skating/hand led sweet spot/sweet spot drills etc. about 2-3 times per week but this does not appear to be helping.

Is this a common problem? I was trying to video my stroke to post here but I do not want to be thrown out of the public pool for filming which is not allowed apparently.

12/09/2008 at 21:16
Ok, reading your post, i may have an idea what the problem is, possibly.
I think i had a similar problem when learning TI swimming.

Something that is not really explained in the book, at all. and given a passing reference on the DVD (which I have ripped to PC if anyone wants me to send them a copy!) is how the kick is involved in body rotation. I think this is a huge oversight of the TI because it really is a fundamental principle.

For a six-beat kick for instance it is 2x flutter 1 rotational kick on each side,(2 beat is just the rotational kicks) it is the kick which should initiate body roll. Now from what you've said your problem appears to me as if you are using your upper body a bit too much to initiate your roll hence the waggling in the pool.
Now i think the best way to rectify this is, work on the kick, in particular the use of the kick for rotation, start with vertical kicking. Essentially allowing your kick to rotate your body is by releasing your hips. when you kick with your right, you turn to the right. It is explained well the article below.

The next aspect is core strength, this is of huge importance in swimming, as you need to have a strong core so that the connection between your upper body and lower is rigid, which means when your legs initiate the kick the upper body rolls with it. So you need to be doing core work, i recommend an exercise ball for this.

Does all that make sense? heres the article -

12/09/2008 at 21:16
oh its the article half way down, called pt1 - let your legs drive your long axis.
12/09/2008 at 21:33

Thanks for the advice. I reckon you are right in terms of the root cause of the problem. I now also spend a long time on Ti kicking drills to try and strengthen the kick (which was so poor when I first started swimming that I would go backwards when I did them).

Now the major issue I have with this is I really have no idea how to do a 2 beat or 6 beat kick. I try to focus on a big(gish) kick for the breath stroke (bilateral) but it all goes a bit pear shaped. In hindsight I really have no idea what a 2 beat or 6 beat kick is so knowing how to do it is even more remote!

I shall read this article and see what I can glean from it.

On the core strength - I reckon I am pretty in good shape there. I use a swiss ball for my office chair for parts of the day and do core strength excercises each time I go to the gym some with the ball and other times with stability cushions.

Could you help in terms of explaining the 2 beat and 6 beat kicks?


12/09/2008 at 22:06
Yep, as I mentioned above on each stroke there is always the 1 rotational kick, designed to rotate the body. So a 2-beat kick is one kick on each side, or 2 kicks per stroke cycle. Therefore you kick your right leg once to rotate to the right, then once with your left to rotate to your left.

The 6-beat kick has the same 2 rotational kicks, but has 2 extra kicks on each side, so its rotational (R) flutter (F) - RFFRFF,
r- right L - left

R(r) - F (L) - F (r) - R (L) - F (r) - F (L).

So in the first rotational kick above that turns you to the right, with left arm extended, then a left kick, then right kick, then a left rotational kick that sends you back the other way.
Does that make sense?
12/09/2008 at 22:56
Thanks for that, it certainly does make sense, I also downloaded the 3 articles you pointed me to so I shall read those over the weekend.

When would you opt for a 6 beat flutter vs. a 2 beat kick?

There are so many things to think about for each length I swim that I get so lost half way down the pool, I forget to breath and have to stop! I reckon I am trying to think of at least the following: Stroke length, counting the stroke per length, bilateral breathing every 3 strokes, body roll, reaching forward, high elbow on the recovery, high elbow on the catch, the number of lengths I am actually on, 2 beat or 6 beat kick timing. No wonder I can't swim for toffee as they say.

Running and Biking are a lot easier!

12/09/2008 at 23:13
yes, that is the problem with swimming, there are so many things to think about!
my personal advice is to get body rotation and breathing rhythm sorted, watch any video of thorpe on youtube and you will see his rhythm is flawless.
when you have this down you can start thinking about the quality of your pull and high elbow etc. for me these aspects are definitely 2nd behind the rhythm and breathing.
I think the kick fits in between these things as it is really quite crucial to develop a decent rotational kick to help with the rhythm.

In regards to 2-beat/6-beat in some aspects it can come down to personal preference. Personally i think the 2-beat is really the way to go, as it sets you up better for swimming in a wetsuit. Also the extra energy used in the extra kicks is not really worth the extra speed you gain, in my opinion!
13/09/2008 at 17:33
I will try to pick up where I left off this winter. I did the TI stuff last winter for a month or two,
but I really can't tell if it slowed me down or made me faster. I know my stroke count went down, but it feels like I have to put more strenght in it, so I guess there's no real gain in economy!??
Anyway,will give it another try this winter. It certainly makes time go by faster in the pool then just doing the laps back and forth.[&o] (HOORAY for OPEN WATER SEASON [image][/image]).

ITC rules( well, at least WE think so!).
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