Shoulder Lift to Breath
I'd appreciate any advice that can be given reagrding the following...
I'm 45, 5'10" lean but float quite easily. However, when I try the skulling drill of outsweep / insweep on the butterfly stroke to get a breath I seem to be always struggling to get the shoulders out over the water surface such that I can catch the breath with this lift.
When looking at Terry's video it seems so effortless the way he does it. Stefan, in the same video seems to have a 2nd kick that drives him up a bit, i think?
It's difficult to tell without seeing your stroke (and it's difficult for me to explain in english, I hope you understand my wish-wash).
I'm not really competent, but I know three possibilities (there may be others too):
- Perhaps you "work" against this lifting of the body. It sounds queer, but I did that in the beginning. I never had pain in my back but after this exercise. When I "released" the body, letting this rotation in the short axis happen, it was easy to get air and my back wasn't sore after swimming.
- Or perhaps your arm sweep is wrong. Same as in freestyle, you grip and anchor your hand and forearm and pull your body forward (not pressing the hand and arm backwards). If you don't grip but try to push the water with your hands backwards it's like you try to wipe away any dust or something like that, but you don't get the force to lift the body.
- The timing: the face and shoulders go up with the insweep. If you try to get up with the outsweep, it's a bit like you try to work out of a hole. Your arms/ shoulder girdle and body are not "compact" you cant't use the core muscles to go up, you have to use the arm muscles which are much weaker.
The core body movement that is central to butterfly is the body dolphin. It is initiated by pressing your chest into the water and letting the ripple travel down to your toes. It is the buoyancy of your lungs in the water that lifts your chest back up again.
It's a bit like jumping on a trampoline: When you jump on it, your weight causes the supports for the trampoline to stretch. The tension in the supports then lift it back up, but they overshoot and momentarily lift the surface of the trampoline higher than where it was to begin with, which helps to lift you into the air.
All you should need to do to lift your upper body high enough for you to breathe is to press your chest a little more into the water than you do on non-breathing pulses. The water will react by lifting your upper body a little more on the rebound.
Keep in mind that you don't want to come up all that high, since the higher you go, the more unstreamlined your body will be and the more drag this will consequently create as you move through the water. So you want it to lift you just enough for you to get a breath in. Obviously, you need to be exhaling while you are underwater so that your lungs will be empty and ready to take in air at the precise moment when your mouth and nose come above the water.
Thank you Bob and Inga
I eventually got the hang of the shoulders lifting correctly this evening in the pool.
"- Perhaps you "work" against this lifting of the body. It sounds queer, but I did that in the beginning. I never had pain in my back but after this exercise. When I "released" the body, letting this rotation in the short axis happen, it was easy to get air and my back wasn't sore after swimming"
"The core body movement that is central to butterfly is the body dolphin. It is initiated by pressing your chest into the water and letting the ripple travel down to your toes. It is the buoyancy of your lungs in the water that lifts your chest back up again"
It was allowing the buoyancy of the water to lift me up towards the surface i had all wrong!!! I wasn't allowing this to happen and as a result my arm strokes were completely out of syn with the rest of the Body.
Thank you both very much...
Bob, a side note - when allowing the buoyancy effect on the Breast Stroke I eventually got the knack of the stroke and ended up doing a full length correctly i.e. sweep out / sweep in, shoulders lift, breath taken, thrust arms forward and get head in to water and between arms quickly, thrust legs and feet and glide / streamline: The most amazing sensation I've ever had in the water period!!!!
Congratulations, Keith! Glad to be of help!
That's great! Congratulations!
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