It’s all about the BREATH.
By far the most common stroke fault I see across all the people that I coach from the highest level swimmers to the beginner Triathlete, is “late breathing”. In this instance, the swimmer takes too long an inhale, too late after the stroke has finished at the thigh. It sets up a whole host of problems!!! It forces you to drop the lead arm to prop yourself up as you try to breathe in. It limits hip rotation, thereby reducing the length of stroke. It prevents you from getting a proper “catch” on the water and creates a lot of resistance.
Most swim coaches focus on helping you to get a comfortable in-breath as the #1 target and this approach will relegate you to slow swimming forever. Instead, the true focus should be on the out-breath and momentum. We need a stroke that has rhythm and fluidity and the breath should fit in to this stroke effortlessly and smoothly. The more momentum you have, the easier it is to breathe.
There are a few simple rules to freestyle swimming:
- Steal the in-breath and focus more on breathing out
- There is always one hand out in front of your head
- Your body is always rotating around a central axis
- Don’t change the rhythm of your stroke to take a breath
Through a combination of front-snorkel and drill work with fins, the correct timing pattern of the stroke can be programmed in to the swimmers nervous system, allowing them to learn correct hip rotation, arm timing and head position.
If you are still struggling with your swim, consider a one2one session of video analysis and coaching with me. I guarantee that it will revolutionize your stroke. email me to set up a session firstname.lastname@example.org