POSE METHOD OF SWIMMING
Full description of Pose method of swimming will be featured in our book of "Triathlon Techniques"
. In this short web site topic we are giving just an introduction to Pose Swimming technique
, based on general principles and concepts of movement in Pose Method
: Using Gravity/ Body weight, Support, and Change of Support.
The swim is the first leg of triathlon and as such is the barometer and initial indicator of the athlete's performance throughout the whole race.
Finishing in the lead group of the swim gets you into the lead group on the bike, so efficiency in this leg of the race is of paramount importance.
Swimming in triathlon
is not like swimming in the pool. There are several specific conditions that are unique to open water swims
, such as: the length of the swim, fresh water in rivers or lakes or the salt water in the sea or ocean with its variations in temperature, currents, waves, chop, wind, and the need to orienteer in the water, as well as the challenge of swimming amidst the chaos and turbulence of the group - all make triathlon swimming something that requires specific skill and proper preparation.
This is, of course, all based, first of all, on development of academic swimming technique, where we would first apply all the same tenets of skillful movement, which we discussed earlier in running
No matter which environment we are moving within, we have the same rules and laws for performing efficient movement. Swimming is no exception. In the Pose Method of swimming we stick to the same principles of efficient movement that we discussed for running and cycling, however, in swimming because of the specific medium of water we make the point that there are two support systems working simultaneously: floating and moving support.
This is an important distinction to make, when thinking about efficient movement in swimming, although the proprioceptive skills acquired in practicing Pose will aid and assist in maintaining the floating and moving support.
- The point that has to be made when describing swimming in terms of the Pose philosophy of movement is that the same laws apply, but we are using two support systems at once. The first support system will be referred to as the floating support in which we are merely establishing horizontal equilibrium. Floating is a standard with which we can measure technique, it is as simple as that.
Prior to this, that distinction has not been made. The skill of changing support will be the determining factor in maintaining our buoyancy or floating support most efficiently.
The degree to which we are skillful in changing support with the moving support system, will determine keeping our floating support so that drag, sinking and other forces do not disrupt the movement.
- is the balance relative to the water and the arm when the arm is in the water: we are moving relative to the water and relative to the body. The arm movement is the intermediary or transmitter. It is used for moving from one support to the other and is keeping the body moving relative to support, which is the arm, the arm is using water as support, it needs to have a relationship with the support system which is the water, this relationship is what creates movement
The arm is always relative to the body and relative to the water. It is in front of the body and moves through the water to get to the general center of mass. It must find still water in order to continue movement.
The balance phase of swimming is long. The support phase begins when the arm enters the water and starts moving from the front part of the body toward the center of mass. It ends when it reaches the center of mass and the other arm begins its support phase. In running the support phase is short and precise, in swimming it is longer, goes through movement, and interacts with the medium of water
The moving support is the one which allows changing support and changing balance from one side of the body to the other.
The pivotal point happens when the arm reaches the general center of mass.
The distinction between the two supports is as follows.
The swing arm or recovery arm enters the water when the support arm is completely finished with its work. You can't have the swing arm working while the support arm is working because the pulling arm's work will be diminished. The stroke of the pulling arm will be interrupted and swimmer will not be able to continue pulling his body forward. This is a double inhibitor for efficient forward movement: If the pulling arm is interrupted by activity of the swing arm, the movement gets diverted and the floating support gets thrown off. So not only does the swimmer flounder in the water without propulsive driven movement, he is also thrown out of the frame for setting up his next stroke.
The hips rotation is related with the arm pulling movement and not vice versa. Contrary to the belief that hips are power producers, hips actually play an un-weighing role. The hips are a floating support for the moving arm, they simply move as a result of the arm reaching the end of the stroke at the hip or the GCM.
At this point the hips are no longer needed for support and they simply un-weigh so that the next support can begin. The movement of the hips is the result of finishing the moving support - not the other way around.
They do not initiate the movement, (if the movement were to be initiated by the hips, you would no longer have any stability from the hips to use for your moving support) the support arm must have the stability of the hips to move forward, once the arm reaches the hip, the support in the hips and the whole body shift and a new support phase begins on the other side. The hips merely un-weigh to allow shifting to the next support.
When we finish the moving support and the arm position comes close to the hip, there is no longer any necessity to stay on this side - that is why the hips rotate. The stroke is done, the GCM has been reached and a new support arm is ready to work.
It is the hip of the support side that moves away when the arm reaches the GCM not the opposite hip beginning a propulsive movement (as is commonly believed) before the new cycle begins.
The hip on that side is now ready to anchor the new support arm. Anchor it as opposed to sinking it, which is what would happen if it were to move before the arm. If it moves and swivels, it will drop the floating support and leave no basis for the moving support or the stroke. In order to shift weight we have to finish support.
The body would move in chaos, if we do not understand this relationship. The relationship between these phases of support is transformation of energy. Where the energy transformation goes, there the support is moving. For energy transformation we need support, so support is following the vector of energy. Support should go together with transformation vector. The hip un-weighs at the pivotal point.
To activate the opposing hip is to move it without a support system. We need to work with the hip which is on the same side as the pulling arm. The hip that we are concerned with is the hip on the working side, not the other one. We have to learn that. We teach the following elements of swimming technique:
- Floating Support
- Moving Support
- Floating Support Shift
- Moving Support Shift