Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Freestyle Improvement- Breathing Action Correction

Aside from kicking faults, one of the many very common faults in freestyle is looking forward or worse, taking a second breath forward before putting your head back in the water after a breath.

Taking a breath to the side and then looking forward to take another breath (seen below) messes up your whole timing and the result is that your breathing becomes problematic.


It seems simple enough to tell a swimmer not to do it because it's actually making their breathing more difficult, but even if they believe you, a habit is a habit and has to be untaught or it persists.

The solution depends on the cause
If the cause is that the swimmer is not blowing all their air out under water (blowing bubbles, lots of bubbles, getting rid of all their air under water) the is just a matter of showing the swimmer how to blow bubbles. This can be done by getting them to practice breathing at the side of the pool or with a kick board.  If they have been only doing it for a short time, as in the case of a beginner then this should fix the problem.

If the swimmer has been doing this for some time, then so is the solution. Going to take time that is. All too regularly do I get students with this problem that have come up through a swimming system and the fault has not been corrected for, in some cases, years.

The solution in this case is exactly the same. The swimmer will spend time on the side of the pool practicing correct breathing and then with a kick board and then repeat until the problem goes away.

This may take many sessions. It may only take a few. I have one student that is a beginner but because of their hair style has learned to flick their hair on one side and then look forward out of the water, for so long that they do it when they breathe. It is taking a very long time to fix it. But they are getting better.

This is what your breathing should look like:


If you are having a problem with your breathing and you have tried every thing else I have suggested on this blog (look under breathing in the navigation bar), get some one to look at your breathing and if necessary try practicing your breathing on the side of the pool and then with a kick board.

You may want to read up on Breaststroke or Backstroke next.

Enjoy
Richard

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