can't get my mouth out the water, Breast, Fly
I have been working on the first few drills in TI Breaststroke and Butterfly. I still didn't figure out how to get my mouth to clear the water without the strain on my neck. I tried "slower, faster, wider, smaller, stronger" arms and/or legs. Once in a while the mouth clears it, but I can't figure out what I did right!!! I try to just let it happen with the whole body movement, it just doesn't happen...
Watch Hagiwara-san demonstrate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBunYVudRrA
Also see the "Butt Head" drill: http://www.goswim.tv/entries/5345/br...butt-head.html
I remember that same experience when starting breaststroke. Sometimes it still happens during butterfly. I think I used to try to pull to the surface when my head was too deep. The things you do NOT want to do are lifting your head (as opposed to just looking forward a little) or pulling your body to the surface with only your arm muscles. Buoyancy will assist your body in rising to the surface as your body angle changes. Remember, the axis of rotation in these strokes is somewhere around the hips or waist. That means as the head rises, the legs tend sink. Otherwise you would have to bend your torso like a banana and maybe crane your neck back. (I guess the banana torso happens to some degree anyway.)
BTW, I really like the sculling dolphin drill.
Go back to hand lead dolphin. Do it with fins if necessary, but do it very slowly and let your chest and shoulders rise all the way up to the surface between pulses. If you rush it, you will be trying to take a stroke when you are still deep under water. When you have it right, it feels sort of like sliding over the top of a roller coaster. Just do as many as you can before needing a breath at first.
On that note - don't pulse down too deeply, let your neck stay relaxed so that your chin moves forward a bit on the downward pulses. Think of sliding your body forward through a narrow chute, rather than bobbing up and down.
Another thing to be aware of is your elbow position. You want to keep your elbows high when catching. But don't add the catch in until you have come up to the surface on the hand lead dolphins.
Here's an interesting video showing two famous swimmers and two styles of fly. Watch the swimmer in the background - Laszlo Cseh - when he breathes. He doesn't kick so his body has a distinct banana shape as his legs bend at the knees and his torso curls back a bit. (It seems similar to the "Boomers'" style.)
Phelps, in the foreground, kicks every time and seems a little flatter. For me flatter feels better but getting air can be more of a problem. While learning, I'd suggest more focus on undulation, but don't dive then try to climb clear of the water. heh
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