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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Sweet Spot to Skate Position

It was pretty cold today so we were somewhat reluctant to get out of the house at night, but then thoughts of being in the pool made me shoulder my gym bag and get moving :) Really glad I went and happy I was able to run 3km again today!

Time with the Machines and Pool

  • Chest Press 4.5kg, 20x
  • Sit-up 10x
  • Leg Press 22.5, 20x
  • Torso Rotation 14kg, 40x
  • Lat Pulldown 11.5kg, 10x
  • Running 30min = 3km at 5-7km/h, slope 2.0%
  • Diet Trainer 5min @ 25
  • Pool – 60min of breathing drills (see below)

After doing the round with the machines I hit the pool and practiced what Total Immersion Swimming calls Sweet Spot breathing, both with and without extended arm.

The next drill was to rotate from Sweet Spot to Skate position, as shown below.

I spent nearly an hour practicing this drill. Still unable to do it smoothly and effortlessly like in the Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in Ten Lessons DVD. It’s a lot easier to go from Skate position to Sweet Spot, but it’s another story going from Sweet Spot back to Skate! I end up diving underwater and coming back up again, but since I’ve exhaled already I need to come back to Sweet Spot again for more air.

I wanted to practice whole stroke, too, so added some strokes in between.

After an hour in the pool I figured out that things are better when I remember to do the following (listed below).

I’m feeling more positive now: I can definitely see an improvement from last time. As long as I rotate from the hips first then rotating to Sweet Spot becomes less difficult. Looking forward to practicing again tomorrow!

Notes to Self: Do

  • Lead rotation with your hips, not your head, shoulders, or feet. Hands should help but not be the main initiator of the rotation.
  • Keep your head-spine alignment (which means you need to work your ab muscles and gluts so that body won’t curve like a bow).

Notes to Self: Don’t

  • Be in a hurry to stroke again after rotating from Sweet Spot. Be sure to glide a little before stroking again, to check that your head-spine alignment is alright.


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  • slf

    Go, go, go!
    BTW, do you use these machines? I read an article that says they may do more harm than good:

    1 Seated Leg Extension
    2 Seated Military Press
    3 Seated Lat Pulldown (Behind the Neck)
    4 Seated Pec Deck
    5 Seated Hip Abductor Machine
    6 Seated Rotation Machine
    7 Seated Leg Press
    8 Squats Using Smith Machine
    9 Roman Chair Back Extension
    10 Roman Chair Sit-Up
    http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/gym-exercise-machines?page=0

    • beverlyclaire

      All machines are harmful if one doesn’t use them properly. Just because a women’s health mag claims some machines do more harm than good does not necessarily mean that they are. I think it all depends on how you use (properly or otherwise) them. It’s the same with the Internet, for instance. Used improperly it could do more harm than good; used properly it can help enrich lives :) That’s how I look at the machines. They are merely tools, not living creatures with a (destructive) will of their own. It’s up to us people to make sure we are not harming ourselves by making use of them.

      • slf

        I didn’t go through the whole article since I don’t use the gym but I thought it was funny that the “better alternative” suggested also had its detractors in the comments! Most of the alternatives seemed to be free weights.

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