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Total Immersion [Paperback]

Terry Laughlin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

21 Jun 2004
Even though swimming is the closest thing to a perfect exercise you can name, too few people experience its full benefits. That's because most find themselves fighting to stay afloat, struggling for air, and feeling exhausted after just a lap or two, all of which makes this perfect exercise frustrating, laborious, and complicated. For the past fifteen years, veteran swim coach Terry Laughlin has been teaching adults how to swim better - and enjoy it more - by using his simple and original techniques. Laughlin turns traditional swimming beliefs inside out as he explains that it's technique - not athletic ability - that makes a strong swimmer. Laughlin teaches 'Fishlike Swimming,' focusing on slipping through the water rather than using muscle to overpower it. The key is working with the water, not against it - learning to swim ever faster and farther without losing a sense of flow, grace, economy, and balance.

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Total Immersion + Easy Freestyle Swimming [DVD] [2008] [NTSC] + Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle [DVD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; New edition edition (21 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743253434
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743253437
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 18.7 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


David Marsh 1996, 2000, and 2004 United States Olympic Coach and Head Coach, Auburn University (2003 NCAA Men's and Women's champions) "Total Immersion" can help anyone learn to be a better swimmer, regardless of ability. Terry Laughlin makes an improved stroke simple for the novice, yet I've seen his methods work for elite swimmers, too.

From the Author

Master swimming as an art before training for it as a sport.
I've been swimming (in training and competition) for 32 years, since the age of 15, and coaching for 26 years. In particular, I've spent the last 10 years intensively teaching improvement-minded adult swimmers in weekend workshops. I've distilled all those experiences into the guidance included in this book. If I had one goal in mind in writing this it was to make Total Immersion the most immediately useful how-to book available for swimmers. My promise to my readers is that I'll provide real, practical, detailed, complete and -- most of all -- clear and simple how-to information. I've been delighted to hear from so many readers that this book has been their favorite road map to achieving greater satisfaction with their swimming than they had thought possible. Happy laps, Terry Laughlin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Technique = Better Swimming 29 Sep 2008
I'm not a big swimmer, but I heard so much about this book that I had to check it out- and I'm glad I did. This book will save a lot of people who are trying to learn to swim better a lot of time. Here's why:

-the book concentrates on swimming technique, correct position, and how you're suppose to feel in the water
-the book gives you drills to reinforce the most efficient way to swim
-the book is very scientific and the info is based on hydrodynamics

The book covers a lot of ground, but the authors writing style makes is go by quickly (at least it did for me). The pictures were good and I thought the explanations of the techniques and the "why" behind them was very understandable. Not sure about the rotator cuff routine in Chapter 16 though- it's kinda long and I'm not sure if some of the exercises like the reverse biceps curl is really necessary (rec. Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff for swimmers who have shoulder issues).

In conclusion, I found the book very enlightening and recommend it to anyone (young OR old) who wants to learn how to swim more efficiently by learning the correct swimming techniques. The author obviously loves swimming and has brought all his years of experience and research into one handy resource.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than taking a course on crawl 6 Feb 2007
My wife laughed when I said I'd bought a book about how to swim. But the results are quite amazing.

Before I started with it, I could swim breaststroke quite well, and had taken two courses at the local pool on how to do crawl. But my crawl stroke was still a mess and I was always gasping for breath after a single length. Within 10 sessions using the book I can swim 3 lengths in a row without a problem. More importantly, my stroke is completely different - more balanced, much easier, less tiring.

Of course, you can't just read the theory and start swimming differently. You have to do the exercises! I found them very straightforward to follow. You do look a bit silly doing the first few, but because the theory is explained, you already know it's going to be worth it.

P.S. Although the book is only about front crawl I found my breaststroke improved too, because of better balance.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start 23 Nov 2010
By F Drew
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I returned to swimming 8 months ago after a long break, and wanted to improve my front crawl technique, so bought Terry Laughlin's "Total Immersion". I've practiced almost daily and this book has definitely helped quite a bit.

There are 3 main techniques explained here which are key to swimming front crawl well; they are : balancing your body correctly, swimming long ie. with your arm extended and swimming on your side. Why these techniques improve your front crawl swimming is explained very well. Indeed the whole book is very readable and quite entertaining.

Step by step drills are given in chapter 8, to teach you how to progress to the complete stroke, which you may or may not want to follow. I personally didn't, but kept reading over the chapter to compare it to what I was doing in the pool. The book also recommends buying the accompanying DVD for the book. I didn't do this either as I found plenty of related Total Immersion video clips on the Internet.

Overall then, I found the book enjoyable and useful for improving my stroke. My only criticism is that there is very little about correct breathing in front crawl, which is actually quite important to get your stroke right. But again, there is plenty on that aspect of swimming on the Internet, so it isn't really a problem.

The only other thing I'd like to point out is that while the Total Immersion method is very well explained, and clearly works, there is a noticeable difference between it and competitive front crawl swimming. Watch some videos online of say Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe and it'll be obvious that their arm stroke is different ie. the arm does not sink after entry. So, Total Immersion is not for speed.
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79 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Following the advice of another Amazon reviewer, I took a look at this in my local bookshop before buying. I was intrigued enough to buy it - but have since discovered that there is a more recent book that supercedes this one. That book is called "Extraordinary Swimming for Every Body". I wish I had known before I bought this one!
There is also more than one TI DVD, likewise some more recent than others. I believe the latest is "Easy Freestyle: 21st Century Techniques"

UPDATE - since I wrote my original review I have done a TI workshop which was absolutely facntastic. I am revising some of my comments below in light of what I have learned. If possible I would also amend my rating to THREE OR FOUR STARS - but it seems I can't edit that part of the review.

Firstly, you will probably NOT be able to teach yourself the TI approach to swimming just by reading this book. What the book provides primarily is background information that is very useful as a COMPANION to the DVD. (Chapters 1-7)

The key point is that because water is so much denser than air, the secret to fast swimming is efficient swimming rather than more effort. We all know this intellectually; but only serious swimmers actually act upon it.
There are some interesting scientific facts along the way.

Chapters 9-16 are about training for races, fitness etc. Most of this was of little interest to me - I just want to learn efficient technique.

Which just leaves Chapter 8. This is a series of deceptively simple drills that are designed to teach efficient swimming starting from scratch. And this is what intrigued me enough to buy the book. I wanted to be one of those guys cruising past with no effort and no splashes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 24 days ago by David Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I loves swimming. Takes a little while to get the hang of these principles but once you start its great.
Published 1 month ago by Michael D. Fitzgerald
5.0 out of 5 stars The swimmer's bible
I was recommended this book by my swimming coach. I was having shoulder trouble and making little progress with my 800m times. This book was a revelation. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. M. R. Britten
2.0 out of 5 stars Too wordy and lack of illustrations
I'm an experienced swimmer and bought this book to improve my technique and ultimately my speed. For me this book was far too wordy and didn't focus enough on drills. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helen
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good tips but prefer Swimsmooth book
I started reading this and found the first few chapters really interesting (and I picked up some really good tips), then like a lot of coaching books found that the drills and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by KevT66
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Great book, I really enjoyed it, good delivery, well thought out and structured book, with enough humour and anecdotes to keep me from being overloaded by theory.
Published 5 months ago by Anthony
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots and lots of waffle - but it works!
Without revealing the secret of this book, the key bit works. The method Terry Laughlin describes - in such a torturous fashion, really does improve your swimming. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brendan Newport
5.0 out of 5 stars Improved my swimming.
Easy to read and made my swimming better. I agree that one should also have the video with it, since for reading only was not good enough to understand.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
Useful manual for developing my swimming technique. Would recommend possibly getting the accompanying video as well as this will assist in understanding the method.
Published 8 months ago by N Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars total immersion
very informative and an easy read very understandable
bought used but was in new condition very happy with my purchase
Published 9 months ago by wendy
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