The Right Dance Teacher Can Help You Overcome The Effects Of Injuries On Body Movement To Improve Your Athletic Skill


Hi folks,

swim technique, drag, kick, FitOldDog, skill,

FitOldDog's wandering left leg is increasing drag during freestyle swimming.

I have been struggling to optimize my leg position in the pool, but I find that they wander all over the place when I breathe on the left, especially my left leg. Slowly I have nailed this problem down to my left arm recovery stroke, which triggers a twist in my pelvis. I dislocated my left shoulder about eight years ago, and in spite of ‘treatment by flying beer bottle,’ which improved things, I still have less range of motion in the left shoulder than the right. When I stand or sit and do a freestyle swim recovery maneuver with my right arm my pelvis is essentially quiescent. However, when I carry out this movement with my left arm, my pelvis twists markedly in an anticlockwise direction when viewed from above (right side of pelvis twists forward). This action in the water pushes my right leg down, resulting in a counterproductive kick by my left leg in an attempt to keep my body high in the water. The end result is a lot of wasted effort and increased drag from my legs, which is initiated by my damaged left shoulder. My ability to unravel this riddle I attribute to the several years of Feldenkrais training I received from Karen Dold, of Move with Elan (Thank You Karen).

I demonstrated this effect, in a sitting position, to Rebecca, my dance and Continuum instructor, who immediately acknowledged the effect. I then challenged her to fix my dilemma, as I had tried swinging my left arm wide, to no avail. Rebecca’s response followed after about 15 seconds of reflection, when she demonstrated how I should try carrying out my recovery movement close to my midline. This approach is demonstrated in the video below, for which FitOldDog’s number two son, Duncan, operated the iPad. This video discusses the role of posture in running, and then goes on to describe the impact of FitOldDog’s injured shoulder on pelvic motion during the swim recovery stroke, and the corrective approach recommended by Rebecca.

I tried this approach in the water, with an immediate improvement in the position, stability and comfort of my legs (Thank You Rebecca). I now have to incorporate this into my swim, and as I am sure you all know, that can take a little while. It is great to be able keep my hips and legs high without having to fight my body all the time. I suspect that this will pay big dividends in the next few weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Dancing through life with the benefits of skilled instruction from experts in body movement is clearly a key to athletic contentment.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Wow Kevin, that’s pretty cool that your dance instructor was able to help you with this. Who would have thought! But, people who think that dance isn’t an exercise hasn’t done much of it. So happy to hear that she was able to help you and thanks for showing us in your video.

    Great job to you and Duncan.


    • Hi Adrienne,
      Thanks for visiting my arcane blog.
      I enjoyed your video the other day. Will be in touch once I get into the world of marketing. Like your style.
      -k aka FitOldDog

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.