Friday, May 19, 2006

Proper Breathing - Crank It Up

Keeping with the theme of streamlining your body position during freestyle stroke, it is imperitive that you don't destroy all your hard work when you go to breathe. Too many people - even people who believe themselves to swim well - lift themselves up to breathe, impeding the flow of water past their bodies. Their chests form a wall - creating virtual dams - against the water trying to flow past. Breathing when done properly is part of the stroke - not a separate step. It involves turning the body to the side. Vertically profiled fish are this shape naturally. You must do it deliberately. I have developed a routine which works for me. I'll share it with you here. Imagine two lever-armed cranks that go round and round on a single axel. Your arms are the two cranks - the axel is your collar bone. As you turn the crank, you can turn your body to the side on which you wish to breathe. I usually start turning my body to the side when my arm is near my hip. As I begin the recovery - bringing it forward, I slowly "crank" body to the fish-profile mode. It is here that I am in a natural - not forced - position to grab a mouthful of air. As my arm progresses past the top of the motion, I crank my head and body back to the normal flat - horizontal - position. Notice, I the breathing motion is part of the stroke. I'm finding that doing anything else is self-defeating and very tiring - no wonder people who swim poorly get worn out swimming just half-way across the pool!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome and can be a great contribution to this blog, but comment spam including those with links to external promotional sites may be deleted.