Sunday, 17 November 2013

Most Common Swimming Mistakes - Poor Breathing Technique

So far we have covered two of The Most Common Swimming Mistakes, we have spoken about The Weak Leg Kick and Doing Only Fitness Training and No Technique Work. Today the focus is on another common mistake many swimmers make, ie. Poor Breathing Technique. Poor Breathing Technique could be a result of : you breathing too early or too late; you breathing to one side only; lifting your head to breathe.

Tips to improve your breathing technique:

Exhalation - Don't hold your breath while swimming!   Learn to constantly exhale while you swim.  You should always be exhaling except when you inhale. Why?  Exhaling will relax you while you are swimming and  it will balance you, making freestyle much easier.  It is logical, think about when you are stressed and what you are taught to do, you are taught to take a deep breathe, but it is not the inhale that relaxes you it is the breathing out! The same applies in the water.  Drill:  practise the sinking drill - At the deep end of the pool tread water take a breath and submerge yourself, exhale slowly and constantly as you sink.  Don't exhale to quickly, this will increase your need to gasp for air. You could exhale through your nose or mouth or both, whichever you are more comfortable with.  If you are not exhaling you won't sink!

Don't lift your head - Rotate your head slightly and breathe into the air pocket created by your bow-wave.  If you lift your head your hips and legs will sink!  Practise keeping one goggle in the water and one out when inhaling.  Drill- the superman drill is good for this:  Using fins extend one arm out to the front of you and keep the other by your side, kicking gently on the side of your leading arm, look down and when you are ready to breath simply rotate your head to the side of the relaxed arm, your mouth should naturally find the air pocket.  Remember to keep exhaling smoothly while your head is down.

Breathe Bilaterally -  I am a firm believer in bilateral breathing.  Bilateral breathing evens out your stroke and makes you swim straighter.  In open water swimming it helps you to adapt more easily to the upredictable conditions of open water swimming.  Drill - the balance drill is a good drill for bilateral breathing.

Don't panic - Don't panic when you take a gulp of water, shape your toungue as if you are pronouncing the letter K.  This will prevent the water from going down your throat.

This is a brilliant clip from SwimTherapy

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