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A few details re dynamic without fins

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Frank O'Donnell

Apneic shutterbug
Apr 23, 2003
132
1
103
As part of a dive training program I am soon going to be asked to perform a breath-hold swim test that more or less amounts to dynamic without fins.

I had a detail question or two about how this is done among those who pursue it seriously:

-- What target depth does one normally swim at?

-- Is it normal to wear a bit of weight on a belt to keep from floating upward toward the surface?

-- What's the most efficient stroke style when one doesn't have fins?

Thanks for any input!
 

loopy

Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
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Mate, Wal's a gun at this, but I might be able to offer a little help...

- Swimming about 2/3 of the way down seems to offer the best compromise against wave drag from the surface and friction drag from the bottom

- Weighting is really important... if you have your weight correct (ie neutral at the depth you're swimming at), you'll glide much much further with each stroke. Additionally, a neck weight as opposed to weights around your waist seems to both offer a bit more momentum, and also helps keep your body level through the water, helping streamlinging.

- Try to separate the stroke into two parts - and arm pull and a kick. Check www.divingfree.com and look at Dave Lees videos for a good example. You can modify this with a dolphin kick in the middle (a la Topi's dives on the same site)


Search through the threads here, there should be a tonne of information and techniques for no fins dynamics
 

Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
72
118
I would just toss in that you need to get accustomed to having your arms provide nearly all of the power and you need to get accustomed to gliding.

The basic stroke starts with a sweep that looks like you're flapping your wings, then as the arms pass below the shoulder, the hands pass at about a 45' angle, tracing a line that would pass through your shoulders and end up at the bottom of your rib-cage. At that point, the hands come together and you push them (one big "cup", thumbs together) straight down the midline. At about the waist, the hands part, so that once that stroke is done, your arms should be by your side and you just let it glide (body straight, head down, toes pointed, hands pinned against side like you're standing at attention), possibly extending the glide with a quick body-wave/dolphin kick.

Ultimately, everyone is different and they evolve variants of the stroke that work best for them, but getting a good glide and getting the number of strokes down to about 5 or 6 per 25yds seems to be almost universal. David Lee had a post where he said he was doing 3 strokes per 25 yards, but (if I read it correctly) he said that a slower approach that had about 5 yards per stroke seemed more efficient.

The biggest mistakes that I see people making when they first do no-fins is that they take too many strokes per lap (no glide) and they try to do big frog-kicks (which just slows you down) and they don't keep their head down (make yourself look at the tile and use the markings to let you know when you're near the wall).

The Topi and David Lee films are awesome as far as style, but I think that vertical no-fins is a bit different from horizontal -- you need a lot of power to get off the top and a lot to start up form the bottom, so those guys seem to use more leg at times than a horizontal swimmer would. David Lee did post some links a while back that show him doing some horizontal practice.

www.apneablue.com/videos/25m ucb pass1.wmv
www.apneablue.com/videos/25m ucb pass2.wmv


You gonna film this? I always love your photographs.
 

Frank O'Donnell

Apneic shutterbug
Apr 23, 2003
132
1
103
Thanks

Thanks, guys, I really appreciate the help on this. I'll take a look at the video clips and the links you both posted.

What I'm being required to do is pretty trivial -- it's just a basic fitness test to take a dive class. We have to do some surface swimming for distance/time, and then we have to show that we can do a breath-hold swim for 50 feet. But I was thinking that maybe I'd just keep going .... ;-)

Pezman, I think it'd be too tough to try to bring a camera to this class, but on a different note I just got a mono and hope to get some time shooting some pics with it. Will let y'all know when I have something to post.

Thanks again!
 

loopy

Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
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Pez - interesting what you say on the frog kick not being too big.. the kick is my worst part of the stroke. I've tried to streamline it more, but I might give it a go making it smaller... I've seen Wal do an easy 115m dynamic though, and his kick is pretty big, I'd say much bigger than what I do? Maybe he's just getting a better streamline?
 

Pezman

We pee deep. Ew!
Sep 24, 2002
591
72
118
Hmm, maybe I should re-think my position on that since Wal's 115 kicks my ass pretty soundly. I just know that I leaped from 50 to 75 no-fins when I got the glide down and I'm pretty sure that I could go 100 w/ a little practice. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to practice that much and croaking in the local high-school pool would be bad form -- so I don't push too hard ;)

Based on your post, I think that I'm going to mess around w/ the stroke a little next time I get the chance and see if I can tune it a little better.
 

loopy

Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
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And based on yours, I think I'll try similar :D

I'll see if I can get hold of a cam and film him one day (err... in the pool, yeah... :duh) cause he really does have a decent stroke...
 

ApneaBlue

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2002
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Originally posted by Frank O'Donnell
As part of a dive training program I am soon going to be asked to perform a breath-hold swim test that more or less amounts to dynamic without fins.

I had a detail question or two about how this is done among those who pursue it seriously:

-- What target depth does one normally swim at?

-- Is it normal to wear a bit of weight on a belt to keep from floating upward toward the surface?

-- What's the most efficient stroke style when one doesn't have fins?

Thanks for any input!

Hi Frank,
The depth that I usually train this stoke at is about mid to lower mid water of a swim lane that reaches me about the top of my chest. I am 173cm.

I wear a 2kilo weight with my 2mm training suit. When I don't wear the suit I don't use weight. But sometimes I am feeling fat because I am starting to float without the suit...anyway, what you want to do is be neutrally buoyant at the depth above. not stuggling to stay down and not sinking to the bottom

the most efficient stoke I have found for speed is the ones in the video where you incorporate the dolphin kick (3 strokes per 25m). I found that my pulse rate and difficulty for a 75m horizontal unassisted swim is higher. if I do 5 pulls without the dolphin kick the difficulty is much less and I come out of the water fresher. very strange thing...staying under water longer, doing more motions but still easier...It's something you have to play with. but whatever you do, don't copy the technique from my first two records...those are terrible.

Don't know if I answered your question but hope I was of some help.
 
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ApneaBlue

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2002
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Originally posted by loopy
Pez - interesting what you say on the frog kick not being too big.. the kick is my worst part of the stroke. I've tried to streamline it more, but I might give it a go making it smaller... I've seen Wal do an easy 115m dynamic though, and his kick is pretty big, I'd say much bigger than what I do? Maybe he's just getting a better streamline?

My kick sucked also when I started. Now I can actually get some propulsion out of those stubby looking things...The thing in my training I found to help the most is doing 25-50m distances with legs only. It allows you to really work on them and be efficient. If you are arm dominant like I am you will tend to drag your legs all over the place. it's a hard thing to work but if I can do it, so can you.

David
 

loopy

Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
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Hey Dave - good to hear from you! They've closed down my local for the rest of the year (no lifeguard) but when I can get someone to come with me to one of the other pools, learning proper kicking technique is definitely on my 'to do'... :)

Commiserations again on the equalising problems! Is there any chance we're going to see you in action again soon against Stig's 62m? If so, would you consider attempting the record under AIDA rules?
 

Frank O'Donnell

Apneic shutterbug
Apr 23, 2003
132
1
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Re: Re: A few details re dynamic without fins

Originally posted by ApneaBlue
I wear a 2kilo weight with my 2mm training suit. When I don't wear the suit I don't use weight. But sometimes I am feeling fat because I am starting to float without the suit...

Heh, I know how that goes. I had a really low body fat percentage until I hit 40, and it's never been the same ever since.

Thanks for taking the time to throw in some advice here, I really appreciate it. I've been taking a close look at your video and will be working on my stroke.
 

bevan dewar

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2001
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David, Hi. I'm curious that you dont use weighs when not using a suit, but that you also agree that being neutral is NB. I feel like I'm an odd one out using nearly 9 kg(belt & neckweight combined). this is what it takes for me to be neutral at -1m with lots of packing. Anyone else doing dynamics as heavy as myself? Curiously,
Bevan
 

ApneaBlue

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2002
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Bevan, I have a problem with keeping fat on myself. Currently I am carrying 3.8% body fat and sink when I don't have a suit. the 2kilo is to offset the suit.
 

bevan dewar

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2001
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Jeez mate, you making me feel like a fatso. that could well be the difference. though i wouldnt describe myself as overweight(5'10", 68kg). would be interested to know my fat % (can one measure that at home?) maybe i'm also taking down more air than most?(over 11L at guess). cheers for that,
bevan
 

ApneaBlue

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2002
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you can use calipers to measure at home but if you don't know what or how much to grab it can be really off. Also there is this electrical impedance thingy, and then one where they dump you in a water tank and then you exhale and they weigh you. I have done all three...The two that are the closest is the water tank (called Hydro something another) and the calipers...the impedance tester alwasys varied so much it was never accurate. I also don't pack when I am doing dynamic...it introduces another level of uncomfort for me...
 

fpernett

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2001
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Hi David,
Nice to have around here again.
Do you notice any difference in the leg stroke between horizontal and depth performances?.
I found more (my opinion) difficult to use the frog/dolphin kick in horizontal displacements than in depth.
By the way I wish to thank you because of your technique videos I could improve my technique, last saturday I finally made the 25 meters with just 3 strokes.
Do you know if Coste and Stig use the same technique (frog/dolphin).
And the last question what do you think of a UCB depht of 37 meters with a 5mm suit and 3 kg of ballast? Good or average?
 

ApneaBlue

Well-Known Member
Jan 8, 2002
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Hi Frank, The only time I notice a difference in the leg stroke is when i start the dive. Because of packing i am extremely buoyant and it takes me about 6 strong, tiring strokes to get to negative buoyancy where I will freefall. At the bottom when i turn around i have to make a good 3 strokes before i feel like i am even moving. I feel this way past 45m or so. Inbetween when i actually get some momentum going the leg strokes feel just as good as in the pool. But definately in the begining of the dive and at the turn around, the arms for me is what saves me and gets me going.

Glad to know I could help. The training I do I really can't share because it belongs to my trainer and not me. But there are many things I learn on my own and I don't mind sharing these and alwasy willing to help people get better.

I don' t know if Coste and Stig use this technique. to be honest I only heard about them recently and don't even know what they look like. Since those videos were taken I have developed the technique and made it a bit more fluid and change the arm movement a bit. Still using 3 strokes to cover 25m but it's a little less tiring and I think I am about 1.5 second faster. Hopefully I can get someone to come with me to the pool to video it again.

As for your 37m performance. Considering 3 years ago when I was breaking the ground for UCB I remember my first UCB to 35m, then 40m and at the time these were considered to be unofficial records. So yes, it's a good performance. I just hope you are not doing these dives alone.
 
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fpernett

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2001
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Thank you David for your explanations.
I don't do this practices alone.
I'll take your advice and will practice the leg stroke alone, because I think this is my weakest point. My first serious try for UCB was at 30 but I was overweighted, and it was really hard to start moving up.
Could you share with us how is your performance at this moment, I really wish that you get the "crown" of UCB again.
 

bevan dewar

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2001
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just so no-one tries a dynamic with 9kg as i posted earlier, i thought i'll add that today i used a freshwater pool for the first time and had to remove about 3 or 4 kg. i'd completely forgotten that i've been usuing a saltwater pool all the while. amazing the difference in bouyancy.
bevan
 
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GekkoVsFox

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Nov 12, 2003
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I am brand new to this site and this is my first post - how exciting!

Anyway, for the last few weeks I have been bugging friends and anyone who will listen (including fellow swimmers at my local pool) about free diving and apnea (particularly dynamic but also static).

It all started with the film The Big Blue, which I re-watched recently, and I have re-discoverd along with it a passion for the water. The feeling of being submerged for extended periods of time is a feeling of peace, empowerment etc. - well I'm sure I don't need to tell you guys!

Anyway, I came across this thread and this site, and I was looking for some advice - I swim in a 20 m pool and so far can only manage about 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 lengths after about a month of informal training about 3 times a week. Often if I am tired I struggle to do much more than 1. I never use weights or any kind of equipment really and don't really want to at the moment. What I want to do is to learn how to extend my capacity so that I can be submerged for longer, and swim greater distances.

So far I have been swimming just off the bottom and using the breast stroke method. Its quite a shallow pool - is that a problem? Also, what are the health benefits/hazards of dynamic apnea? So far I don't push myself to my absolute limit, but more to when that feeling of pressure becomes more than a little uncomfotable.

Any advice would be most welcome as I am a bit of a beginner in this arena but would love to discover more.
 
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