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Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier
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Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way To Swim Better, Faster, and Easier

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  857 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Swim better—and enjoy every lap—with Total Immersion, a guide to improving your swimming from an expert with more than thirty years of experience in the water.

Terry Laughlin, the world’s #1 authority on swimming success, has made his unique approach even easier for anyone to master. Whether you’re an accomplished swimmer or have alwa
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ebook, 320 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Touchstone (first published August 2nd 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,567)
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Brendan Newport
TI hasn't really made it to the UK. Here we have the Shaw Method, similar, but more focused on neck position. There are few swimmers who adopt this technique.

I've been swimming since schooldays but only in the last few years swum with the front crawl or 'freestyle'. For over forty years of my life two lengths front crawl was my absolute limit, leaving me a wet dish-rag with tunnel vision at the end. Trying to swim further and slowing down wouldn't be any different, I would just flounder and sink
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Christine Theberge Rafal
May 13, 2008 Christine Theberge Rafal rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: non-swimmers, wannabe triathletes,
Shelves: sports
I learned from this book to practice only pleasure and never practice struggle. "Fitness is what happens to you when you're practicing."

I totally enjoyed reading this book and teaching myself a new way to do the freestyle stroke. Laughlin really breaks it down by skills that build on one another beautifully. It seemed important to swim each drill in the order presented before reading to far into the book. You can tell he has a great deal of teaching experience. I was relieved when he said sinker
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Eric Flynn
I have been swimming since I could walk; some of my earliest childhood memories are from swimming pools where my mother took me for lessons. I continued taking classes and working out in the pool through college. So, imagine my surprise when along came a book that takes you all the way back to the shallow end, so to speak. I am now in the process of unlearning all the "right ways" and learning the "better ways" or as Laughlin puts it, "how to swim like a fish." After studying how the best swimme ...more
Felix Dacumos
The method used in this book is an excellent method for beginner swimmers. While I found the drills extremely effective, I felt at times that this book was too wordy. Sometimes I felt like the author kept on trying to prove a point that the old ways of learning how to swim were incorrect. I get it. I get that they were inefficient, but that did not need to be repeated multiple times.

However, if you can get past the reiterations of the old ways, this is truly a great book for beginner swimmers. I
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Kimberly
This book is a little redundant at times, which is annoying, but the techniques make sense and they've helped me cut my stroke count already. I definitely need to practice this more, but I can see why people who "get it," love it. My one criticism is I think a lot of what he describes is so visual - more photos or sketches would really help. I didn't fully understand what he was talking about until I watched some of the Total Immersion videos on YouTube, so I'd recommend doing that as you're rea ...more
Rljulie
It is a long-running joke in my life that "I am such a nerd, I learned to swim from a book." it's not just a joke, it is true, and this is that book. All of the things that come intuitively to some people (like balance and coordination) can be very confusing to those of us who don't just naturally "get it". Years of gym teachers telling me "kick harder!" only led to frustration. I needed someone to explain more thoroughly, and give me ways to think about my body that would help me visualize it b ...more
Mikhail Petukhov
Прошло пол-года, и 84 км, с того момента, как Михаил Иванов подарил мне эту книгу.

О чем эта книга и зачем ее читать?

Меня, в детстве, учили плавать не так. А может, просто я не так научился плавать.
В книге - огромное внимание уделяется не только упражнениям, но и теории. Эти теоретические знания, очень здорово помогают там, в бассейне. Это своего рода инструкция - справочник. Что-то не получается? Вернись на несколько глав назад. Все хорошо? Повтори еще раз!

Даже не смотря на то, что я ни разу не
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Alison
I've been a swimmer all my life and a couple ideas from this book really made sense to me even though I would have never thought of them myself. I scanned and skimmed to pick out the relevant information - to me, the author was very redundant. I wish they would have shown actual photos of swimmers in the water, performing some of the skill drills. If you're a visual learner and/or a beginning swimmer, some of the concepts might be a little hard to picture.
Carrie
What just happened?! 1. Bought this yesterday 2. Read to "Drill #2" #3 Revolutionized my strokes within 10 min in the pool 4. Swam laps for 30 min = felt like I had just napped. I am shocked and amazed how this book can turn you into a fish, gliding lap after lap without fatigue. It's unhuman. "Leave the struggle" it says...um yeah!!!! These techniques have significantly changed my ability to push through stamina barriers, and enjoy the playground I love the best. The book teaches you to use mom ...more
Kyle
I'm sure that the advice given here is good, if directed at the right audience. I felt like I had wandered into one side of a very long conversation.

The author's recommendations for key technique changes for three common mistakes are clear, simple and enthused. But he fails to explain basic technique in the first place.

This claims to be directed at novice swimmers, but does a poor job of reviewing basic terminology and frames of reference for directions. There are no diagrams or illustrations o
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Mike Slominsky
The Total Immersion method of swimming is a great way to get into the water (for first timers) or get back into the water (for those with prior experience). It treats the development of the freestyle stroke the same way that a Tai Chi instructor might treat a form. This book has some explanations of the method and technique, and a list of drills to work on perfecting the techniques. I highly recommend this book (in conjunction with the DVD Freestyle: Made Easy) if you are looking for a reliable ...more
Jen
Total Immersion Weekend Workshop (12 hrs): $500
Group class 8 hrs of Perpetual Motion Freestyle swim lessons: $400
Total Immersion DVD: $50
Book: $16.00

I got the DVD and the book from the library ($0). I took notes, put them in a ziploc baggie, and tried to think Total Immersion thoughts while swimming laps. Did it help? Sure. Do I know what I'm doing? No. Is it worth hundreds of dollars to find out? Not right now. But I do enjoy watching youtube clips of swimmers doing this, because it looks so sm
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Anastasia Sidorova
Очень хорошая книга по плаванию. Я бы сказала лучшая, но есть несколько "подводных камней". В процессе ее прочтения мое мнение менялось несколько раз: то мне очень нравилось, то не нравилось совсем. В книге рассматривается только кроль или вольный стиль.

В первой части автор рассказывает как он пришел к системе "Полное погружение" и как разрабатывал свою методику. Основная цель - это уменьшение сопротивления воды во время движения в воде. Это скольжение без всякого напряжения, без борьбы с водой
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Oliver
Taking a book to the swimming pool is not a good idea. It will get wet and the pages will stick together, it's also really hard to read when you have to keep coming up for breath...
Ok so this isn't really literature, it's a book about swimming technique. It's devoted solely to the Front Crawl or Freestyle if you want to go all Olympic on me. If you've ever swum more than just casually you will have realised that in swimming technical skill far outweighs athleticism, hence the beauty of the book.
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Jared
Almost the first half of the book is an explanation of why the "old" method of swimming is incorrect and why this "new" method is superior. It was a little redundant. I wanted to read the book to learn the total immersion method so I was already sold on why it is important.

I am new enough to swimming to not have any real pre-conceived notions of proper swim technique, but all of the suggestions and arguments for the Total Immersion technique make sense to me. It just seems logical. Plus when I a
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Bunnyhugger1
I've had this book for several years. It's excellent. I've practiced the techniques to enable more "slippery" swimming which definitely improved my free style. It used to be so laborious for me - kicking so hard and furiously - when really it should be nearly effortless when you are streamlining the angle of your body through the water. I've also carefully watched some of Terry Laughlin's videos. I'd love to have a few lessons from him because it is really hard to assess oneself. A few years ago ...more
Mark Schuliger
I never finished this book, but got through at least 75% of it. As others have said, the first half is REALLY repetitive. Great bits of information throughout, though, so it is hard to suggest jumping ahead.
I am one of those that Laughlin describes who seems to do better at the "feel" exercises rather than the drills. His ideas make total sense, but the drills elude me. Swimming by "feel", however, really worked for me. He has five great "feel" exercises -- swimming downhill, weightless hand, re
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Paul
The book is ok, the video products worked better for me. Seeing the movements beats reading about them when learning something liked this.
As for the technique at the centre of this book, you may find it suits you if you put enough time into converting your swim stroke. I'm not sure that investment was the best for me. I did better by gradually improving my existing stroke rather than completely overhauling and changing. Your mileage may differ.
Elizabeth Sims
The presentation gets a 3 (I concur with some other reviewers about the redundancy, plus we need more pix), but the content gets a 5, so I gave this book 4 stars to average it out. With the help of the DVD, I'm slowly dismantling my tension in the water and learning how to move more smoothly.
Melanie
Since I'm violently adverse to the treadmill, I needed some way to get a good workout during the winter months. Swimming seemed like a good option; the only problem was I get fatigued after one length. A friend recommended this book, telling me that it completely changed the way she swam.

If you're looking for a good read, this book will disappoint; it's extremely redundant. But as far as great ideas about swimming go, it was really helpful. Since I'm pretty much new to swimming, I need to watch
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Karen
A while ago, I bought a few swimming training sessions from a coach. I could never do the crawl/freestyle. He told me that, while it technically did fall under the category of "freestyle", it did somewhat appear that I was being eletrocuted.

While this book certainly did not turn me into an olympic champion, it - combined with the DVD, mind you - has certainly dialed down the level on the electric shock.

Swimming the crawl has yet to become effortless for me, but it is something at which I'm bec
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Ann Xiang
Most of this book is just prompting the TI philosophy, which is fine but does not contribute to this book. For a swimmer who already swims freestyle and wants to improve, it's better just to watch the video for the drills instead.
Jlefevre
I'm sure it is a good swimming system, but learning to swim by reading a book is too hard and boring. I'll look for video on this rather than try to understand the book.
Aaron
Intriguing book. I think it might have benefited from a few more illustrations or some tables of the workouts. I'm going to try to get ahold of the DVD that goes with it.
Seawood
If you've never had, and have no possibility of getting, coaching this is definitely worth a read to introduce you to better ways to form your stroke. However, as a very visual learner I think I really need a coach or at least, the DVD, to see where I'm going wrong now and how I can improve. It is, as other reviewers have said, a bit repetitive for those of us who already "get" how amazing swimming is :) we don't need to be convinced, just help us get better. And I think this system probably wil ...more
Jose
The authors educate swimming in a spiritual way. Don't practice struggle and endless meaningless mileage. Instead, practice mastery and flow.
Diane
Feb 17, 2010 Diane is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
so far I've read the first 3 chapters and just got back from practicing the first two drills and.... I LOVE IT!!! The drills were a little difficult at first, but after practicing a while it really made a huge different in how it felt to swim freestyle and even the breast stroke. I'm already a fan! So if you want to swim, whether learning or just to get better, I recommend this. Can't wait to finish the book and get back to the pool. (p.s. when you read about swimming backwards when you kick, re ...more
Gil
This book is a great primer on how to fix your swim stroke. Unfortunately for the author, you can get the grasp of it in a few minutes, so the cheaper people won't have to actually buy the book.

Unfortunately for the reader, you need a coach to help you actually perfect the technique.

I have been swimming total immersion for two years and it definitely works. I picked it up at the pool from the other triathletes, and now I understand why I have been doing it that way.

I also have been sprinting mo
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Wendi
I've been using these techniques for the past two or three years since my bro gave me the book. it works and takes a lot less effort. I like that technique can take me farther and swimming longer without stopping than youth and muscle could.

the updated video Terry Laughlin made recently has a few different things like xy hand position in the water and hip rotation to turn to breathe; also a brief thing about flip turns. also an indispensable aid to more efficient swimming. becoming a more effici
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Gueorgui
I signed up for a triathlon. Before I trained myself with the Total Immersion technique, I basically couldn't swim a single length of the pool (25 meters) freestyle, but after a couple of months the triathlon's 1500 meter swim leg doesn't seem like a problem anymore.

The book is good, but the videos you can buy at the Total Immersion online store were much more useful for me, as a beginner. I think that I'll get back to the book later to refine my technique, but in order to complete my first tria
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