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Total Immersion - Head Position

The TI forum seems a bit dead, so thought I would ask here, as there are bound to be lots of TI practitioners hanging around!

So I've got Mr Laughlin's 21st Century Easy free style techniques and am working at Lesson 1 (Superman Glide, Superman Flutter, Laserbeam Flutter, Core Balance, Core Balance + breathing).

I'm on my own, so it is a bit difficult to work out exactly where I am in the water.

But, when compared to the video, When I am in the superman position... head down etc. etc. - feels very relaxed - I can glide for 10metres or so.. But I think the top of my head - just a tiny bit - is out of the water, rather than being fully immersed in it. To get it lower, I have to consciously push down a bit, rather than being totally relaxed.

So: 1) Is this wrong? 2) If so, what am I doing wrong?

Thanks muchly.


  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Is the DVD good?

    Hard to answer objectively..

    Me: I am pretty much a non swimmer (can do a bit of sort of breast stroke, but not very well). So this is my first go at trying to do the front crawl.

    The DVD cost about £18 from an Amazon reseller "21st Century Techniques". It is an american import - not sure if it is PAL or NTSC, but it plays fine on my DVD player. There seems to have been some revision in the way TI is done, so this DVD replaces an earlier one (something to do with how far you rotate, or how you learn rotation seems to be the major change from what I can gather, "stacked shoulders" is the term).

    I've no practical experience of TI, other than a bit of exposure through the web, especially this forum (i.e. no other books, or courses/workshops). I've got the "Swimming Without Stress book" which is useful for an approach, but not really a "how to do it" guide. TI (as discovered from the DVD) nicely dovetails with that book. Terry Laughlln (Mr TI) is referenced in the swimming without stress book, so the authors of the book are probably aware/influenced by/using the TI techniques.

    I've watched the DVD all the way through once. Then watched the first lesson prior to heading off to the local pool.

    If you've done any pilates then a lot of the fundamental concepts will be recognisable. Balance, position are important, thinking about the body in an overall way; "spine neutral", use of core muscles etc. Taking that same balanced approach and applying it to the water. I suspect if you are familiar with the Alexander Technique (I am not really), then there will also be bits that are very much aligned with that.

    So, for me, it is certainly interesting. A completely different approach to thinking about swimming. You don't actually start to "swim" until around lesson six. It's all about getting comfortable, the right position, then basic drills to assist with things like breathing (you don't have to breath until lesson three or four!)

    Something else that stands out is that there is no use of any buoyancy aids in any of the lessons/drills. You find the "right" position in the water (comfortable, relaxed and low turbulence - so maximum efficiency), then work around that. This means that it is relatively easy to do the drills yourself - you just needs your swimming costume/trunks and a pair of goggles!

    It is not necessarily aimed at the non-swimmer like me (you probably need to have a bit of confidence in the water first, so something like "swimming without stress" is probably a good starting point). But for a beginning swimmer, or anyone who has learned how to do the crawl badly - which is about 95% of the people that I see in the pool (actually, make that 100%, I'm being kind), it is probably a good way to completely deconstruct the way that you swim, and to put it back together again, properly.

    The hard bits are probably what will be hard with any method - as being in the water is so unnatural, it is hard, on your own, to really see what you are doing, so to tell if you are doing it right. I suspect that having someone to coach you is essential - but until I improve a bit, I'm having difficulty finding someone to give me lessons. Inevitably you will have questions, as you try to put the techniques into practice (hence my posting) - so although a DVD adds a lot to a book, it doesn't replace having an experienced practitioner on hand. But, again, it is a lot cheaper - and readily available.

    TI lends itself to triathlon, because it is all about efficiency - which is so important over a longer distance - and especially so when you want to do other disciplines straight after.

    Hope that helps. If you like, I will post an update as I progress (it is still early days - and I'm not really ready to progress to Lesson 2 yet!)
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    Jack, is you head meant to be completely submerged? i really struggle to keep mine under in a pool let alone in a wetsuit!
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    clarkey30 wrote:

    Jack, is you head meant to be completely submerged? i really struggle to keep mine under in a pool let alone in a wetsuit!

    That's my understanding - from the DVD - the guy's head is submerged (only just). I've also seen that mentioned in the blog/forum on the totalimmersion.net web site. I was kind of assuming that is what the "total" in Total Immersion meant!
  • clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    Makes sense, maybe why im such a crap swimmer
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Well, if they've not come across TI before, then the DVD will definitely be of interest. The missus says that it is better than the "Sex in the City" movie!
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