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Total Immersion: Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster
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Total Immersion: Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  1,285 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Swim Better Than You Ever Thought You Could!

If you think fastest way to better swimming is more laps, you're wasting your breath, literally. Now you can swim better -- and enjoy it more -- using simple and original techniques developed by veteran swim coach and top-ranked Masters swimmer Terry Laughlin. Laughing has helped more adults to swim faster, more smoothly, and w

Paperback, 286 pages
Published January 6th 1997 by Simon & Schuster (first published August 2nd 1996)
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Brendan Newport
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
Surprisingly (seriously - as in, wow, I didn't expect that) gratifying and effective, with the Goodreads caveat that this is a how-to, instructional book (again, to be clear, it's not literature and there's no real story going on here), and I wouldn't recommend for anyone who isn't looking for some help with their (duh) swimming. Conversely, I can't remember ever having read a how-to book that generated such immediate results (which, frankly, is kind of cool).

Throw me into the category of folks
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it
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
May 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Eric Flynn
Apr 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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 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
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Vladimir Ryashentsev
После этой книги я начал плавать кролем расслаблено. Книжка работает.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Totally changed how I thought of swimming.

Descriptions in the book were pretty good, but more pictures or getting the video probably speeds things up and sharpens understanding significantly.
Emma Waldron
Found this quite difficult to read. It's very technical and not at all bedtime reading. I didn't even finish it, i gave up :-(
Mitch Holyoak
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good book to teach good swimming techniques for long swims. It help my swimming a lot.
Anastasia Sidorova
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
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
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Total Immersion is a system of swimming that prizes technique over power and seeks to teach swimmers how to adapt their vessel to swim more fishlike and eliminate the struggle that plagues so many swimmers and would-be swimmers. Living four miles from the ocean, having a barely used health club membership card in my billfold and a small backyard pool perfect for practicing technique--it seemed that I really have no excuse for my poor swimming abilities. This book is an excellent how-to book focu ...more
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sean Liu
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-body
"Repeat after me: You’re working on how well you get there, not how fast."

This idea (expanded on in detail with loads of practical, detailed advice) is the essence of what I've taken away from Total Immersion. As someone who has been an AWFUL swimmer my entire life (I couldn't finish 1 Olympic-length lap without standing straight up, gasping for air), this book has helped me improve to a respectable 5 unbroken laps and I'm getting better every week.

The added benefit about this book is that it's
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is perfect for anyone that want to learn how to swim, why to swim, and also if you already are a swimmer. TI (Total Immersion) and Terry (the author) provides a framework with step-by-step progressions that makes sense both from a physics standpoint i.e. "froudes number" which means a longer "vessel" is faster in water elements, and using that to implement that in your swimming telling you not to use more force (since water is 1000x denser than air) but rather streamlining you to be LON ...more
Dec 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sport
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.
Mark Schuliger
May 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: triathlon
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
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, nonfiction
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
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: swimming
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
Sep 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Gil Bradshaw
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, fitness
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
Feb 17, 2010 is currently reading it
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
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
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports-fitness
An excellent book for picking up the necessary skills to become a lap swimmer. Although I had already discovered it on my own, it came recommended by a friend of mine who competes in triathlons and excels at the swimming portions. I was surprised how well a book was able to instruct me in the balance and technique methods necessary not only to stay afloat but to actually swim laps effectively (without sinking!). Highly recommended for beginning swimmers who aspire to something more...I am hoping ...more
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