Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Total Immersion Swimming

As ecommended by Alex, I bought a book called “Total Immersion – by Terry Laughlin”, and learn this revolutionary swimming technique. Under the Total Immersion (TI) system, 70% of swimming is done by the core, the limps merely provide the remaining 30% of the propulsion.
When you can balance, you can reducing body drag by maintaining a body shape that “swim through a hole”.
Hence the legs only kicks to help balancing the body and to hide themselves in the “shadow” of your body down the slipstream. As for the arms, their main function should be to lengthen your body, to turn yourselves into a torpedo (more hydrodynamic). In the pull cycle of a swimming stroke the arm and shoulder is surprisingly not the source of power but merely an extension of an action that originated in the turning of the hip, an analogy is like hitting a backhand in tennis, the power comes from the turning of your waist, not the arm. Of course this makes perfect sense so far, you probably know that when you were a kid.

What I found radical is the drill in the TI system; the drills are all emphasizing body balance. When you can balance, you can reducing body drag by maintaining a body shape that “swim through a hole”. The drill also emphasis the hip turning, not only as the power source but also to bring your side out of the water at each stroke, again to reduce drag. None of the TI drills will build stronger kicks nor improve shoulder endurance, the idea is when you can glide through the water like a knife, you will become strong at the right muscle (which happen to be the muscle below the armpit, not the shoulder.) Strange huh?

I’ve been visitng the pool in the gym the last 2 days to try out the first few drills on my own, hard to tell if I am doing it right. Though being able to flow on my back and move forward is not something I can do easily before, it is definitely new insight to find that delicate body balance of neither sinking my legs nor drowning my face.

13 comments:

ahdont said...

i guess you can relate that to aerodynamic or fluidynamic as well. but man, i wish i can do more exercise.

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