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-   -   Breathing drills (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=288)

gogglesnoseplugs 03-03-2009 01:23 AM

Breathing drills
 
Many of the forum followers might see that I am trying to start at the basics to swim better, rather than just "diving" back in hoping I'll simply overcome my challenges. I am now noticing I am not breathing effeciently when I do freestyle, which might be a only adding to my already existing problems. To help me improve, what sort of drills can I do without having to go to the pool to simply do those drills? What sort of water drills can I do at home on my spare time? What do you folks suggest?

shuumai 03-03-2009 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs (Post 2025)
Many of the forum followers might see that I am trying to start at the basics to swim better, rather than just "diving" back in hoping I'll simply overcome my challenges. I am now noticing I am not breathing effeciently when I do freestyle, which might be a only adding to my already existing problems. To help me improve, what sort of drills can I do without having to go to the pool to simply do those drills? What sort of water drills can I do at home on my spare time? What do you folks suggest?

Salad bowl drill or bathtub bubbling, maybe. Maybe deep, controlled breathing, meditation-style, or "yoga breaths."

http://www.active.com/swimming/Artic...omfortable.htm

In the pool I use the bobbing drill. Submerge and bubble out, rhythmically surface to take another breath, then submerge again. I focus on only exhaling below the surface. That gets me adjusted to the water and prepares me to breathe, especially for the breaststroke. Sometimes I spontaneously start doing the breaststroke like a fish chasing after food.

gogglesnoseplugs 03-03-2009 04:51 AM

Thanks for your input Shuumai... I suppose that will get me started.

I have had the bobbing thing down ever since I was a kid, but I am now trying to move to the next level and really learn, especially not having to get in the water completely. I will give the bowl drill a try, any other ideas out there in case that does not work or if I master that?

Mike from NS 03-03-2009 02:35 PM

gogglesnoseplugs;

There probably isn't much else to say other than that said in the link Shuumai has offered. However I'd like to offer this personal perspective.

Breathing or knowing I can secure an air supply would be my greatest reason for being able to relax. Until breathing confidence becomes the norm, relaxing on command is difficult. And we all know how important relaxing is when related to swimming. The other day was only my second time at the pool since early December ... the skiing season owns "my" winter ... so the visit was spent trying to get back to whatever ability I had in December. Once I get a handle on confident breathing all else will be practice. So... last week I took a very slow stroke with concentration on getting a good roll for air. (Maintaining streamline position etc. is matter of fact or necessity...) And low & behold it started to work. Nothing pretty for sure but effective in that I managed a pool length on a couple of occasions. And though it was air to the left I was surprised since before this all my efforts were to breath to the right. I suppose this shows my roll isn't as symmetrical as it should be. I rolled far enough (not to sweet spot) to enable a relaxed inhale and exhaled completely (under water) before the next inhale. I had to stay focused, relaxed, slow, in line as much as possible and likely a bit over rolled. With practice the degree of roll will decrease. I had to push myself to complete a length. The key, is to push yourself. Expand the comfort zone.

I sometimes practice the stroke (relaxed hands, high elbow, entry timing etc.) while using a snorkel ( no nose clip or mask) and can travel back and forth all day. So my "plan" is not only to increase ability or technique is small bits but to also decrease use of the snorkel in small bits too. Eventually it will all come together. At least I hope so. I hope this helps and we hear from others with the "at home" drills your requested.

Mike

shuumai 03-03-2009 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs (Post 2030)
Thanks for your input Shuumai... I suppose that will get me started.

I have had the bobbing thing down ever since I was a kid, but I am now trying to move to the next level and really learn, especially not having to get in the water completely. I will give the bowl drill a try, any other ideas out there in case that does not work or if I master that?

Here's an exercise: Try exhaling as completely as you can. Once your regular exhale ends, really use your diaphragm to slowly push more air out than you thought you could. Then, don't inhale, but just completely relax. The air should rush back in on it's own.

Of course, the opposite exercise would be to inhale deeply, then relax to let the air leave your lungs on its own. That one might make you light headed.

You could just sit there and mindfully breathe in through your mouth only then exhale through your nose only.

You can do breathing rehearsals on land and work with a stretch cord, but all that was covered in another thread.

As far as going to the pool LESS, I don't know about that. It's a good idea to be in the pool at least three times a week. It's fine to cut back on the amount of time in each session while increasing the number of sessions per week. Some people call it "spaced repetition."

madvet 03-03-2009 04:41 PM

Manatee Drill
 
I have never been in love with the word "drill" because it sounds so un-fun. But, you have to use some kind of word and I guess it will do, with the meaning of, "anything that is not full-out swimming."

So, I developed this "drill" in conjunction with taking my then 5 year old son to the pool. It is a step above bobbing and is designed to be a breathing drill to make you more aware of how to get to the surface and also to take the anxiety away from it and also to make it less rote.

The description is pretty simple. Hold your breath and drop below the surface. But unlike bobbing you want to keep your body vaguely parallel to the bottom of the pool. Bubble out slowly and stay under for 5 to 10 seconds. Then do some type of movement with your body and/or legs and/or arms to get you up to the surface and take a quick exhale/inhale at the surface and back down again. You can lift your head straight up, roll to one side or the other or try to grab a "sneaky breath" as you would in butterfly. Try to imitate the leisurely movements that something like a manatee would use (you can make a little bit of forward progress), and vary these every time to put some new movement or twist in, using a combination of whole-body movement, some degree of graceful movement, and a fairly minimal amount of expenditure of energy.

There are several lessons to learn about breathing -- that the surface is never very far away and that your body will naturally guide you there, how to use your body's rotation to help bring you to air and also how to inhale/hold/exhale without tension, and to move the air correctly so you don't hyperventilate.

It seems simple but there is a lot to learn there.

I used to worry about people thinking that I was acting a little strange in the water by doing this, but I am convinced that hardly anyone ever notices.

shuumai 03-03-2009 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madvet (Post 2041)
The description is pretty simple. Hold your breath and drop below the surface. But unlike bobbing you want to keep your body vaguely parallel to the bottom of the pool. Bubble out slowly and stay under for 5 to 10 seconds. Then do some type of movement with your body and/or legs and/or arms to get you up to the surface and take a quick exhale/inhale at the surface and back down again. You can lift your head straight up, roll to one side or the other or try to grab a "sneaky breath" as you would in butterfly. Try to imitate the leisurely movements that something like a manatee would use (you can make a little bit or forward progress), and vary these every time to put some new movement or twist in, using a combination of whole-body movement, some degree of graceful movement, and a fairly minimal amount of expenditure of energy.

Ah, this reminds me of the technique that made me comfortable in deep water. Sculling in a horizontal position. That would give me enough lift to raise my head to breathe. (It's like being a Harrier.) Laughlin-sensei can be seen doing a minimal scull in the Betterfly video as he ends a drill.

gogglesnoseplugs 03-03-2009 08:01 PM

All great suggestions... I appreciate them. I have a favor to ask any of you... I have seen snipits of the bowl drill in a Intro film, but not the whole thing. Also the article speaks of the drill. But, can someone provide me video footage of the bowl drill in entirety, or your own homemade version of the video? Seeing the whole dril, not snipits, drill done rather than reading about it would be helpful.

shuumai 03-03-2009 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gogglesnoseplugs (Post 2047)
All great suggestions... I appreciate them. I have a favor to ask any of you... I have seen snipits of the bowl drill in a Intro film, but not the whole thing. Also the article speaks of the drill. But, can someone provide me video footage of the bowl drill in entirety, or your own homemade version of the video? Seeing the whole dril, not snipits, drill done rather than reading about it would be helpful.

You don't have e-mail or private messaging enabled on this forum, so no one can send anything direct.

If I had a large, clear bowl, I'd consider making my own video. It would be useless and maybe a little scary to use a opaque bowl. Hmm... I do have a 20 gallon aquarium that isn't being used... Let me think about that one.

gogglesnoseplugs 03-03-2009 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shuumai (Post 2051)
You don't have e-mail or private messaging enabled on this forum, so no one can send anything direct.

If I had a large, clear bowl, I'd consider making my own video. It would be useless and maybe a little scary to use a opaque bowl. Hmm... I do have a 20 gallon aquarium that isn't being used... Let me think about that one.

I got the messaging/email thing taken care of. Aquarium? Hmm... That would be a little too much, I suppose...


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