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-   -   Proper Head position?? (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=709)

jacoby 08-18-2009 07:07 PM

Proper Head position??
 
I took a swim lesson, and was told my "head is too submerged"

On the TI videos, it appears the head is submerged under water

I try to look "straight down" but should I be looking down but keeping my eyes on the "bottom but in front of me versus straight below me?

It is a subtle difference but I practiced under switch drills today with a snorkel, and with a snorkel it works better to keep your eyes fixed a lttle ahead of you but still towards the bottom

Any suggestions?

THANKS in advance!!!

daveblt 08-19-2009 12:50 AM

Ideally you should look straight down with the head and neck relaxed and in line with the spine.The question may be how far can you look ahead and get away with . I think that a slight gaze ahead or at least every so often can't do much harm .However the more you have a tendency to lift your head will probably have an effect at the other end plus the extra effort of the neck to hold the head up. Keeping the head down more also helps to counterbalance the lower end .

Dave

shuumai 08-20-2009 02:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jacoby (Post 5286)
I try to look "straight down" but should I be looking down but keeping my eyes on the "bottom but in front of me versus straight below me?

I'd say your eyes should be aimed anywhere between straight down and slightly forward. Just don't over-do it either way.

splashingpat 08-20-2009 04:30 AM

with the snorkel. you don't need to swivel your head!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jacoby (Post 5286)
I took a swim lesson, and was told my "head is too submerged"

On the TI videos, it appears the head is submerged under water

I try to look "straight down" but should I be looking down but keeping my eyes on the "bottom but in front of me versus straight below me?

It is a subtle difference but I practiced under switch drills today with a snorkel, and with a snorkel it works better to keep your eyes fixed a lttle ahead of you but still towards the bottom

Any suggestions?

THANKS in advance!!!


when you lose the snorkel...
you will have to learn how to swivel your head
and take a breath....

take one step at a time and keep us posted!

Nicodemus 08-21-2009 05:52 PM

Who told you your head was too submerged??? Too submerged relative to what 'correct' position??? What explanation was offered???
Be very wary of any advice about the 'right' way to swim that is not backed up by a solid argument.

The traditional argument is that the head should be slightly raised so the waterline is at your forehead. I have come across two justifications for this -
1. To see ahead
2. It lowers your feet slightly to stop them splashing the surface, which is less propulsive.

[Actually there is a third common 'argument': "I don't know why, it just is; that's what I was taught." I think we can safely ignore this one!]

The counter-arguments (and the TI view as I understand it are) -
1. You don't need to look ahead when you are trying to swim as ergonomically & streamlined as possible. In the pool there are marks on the bottom for that very reason. In open water, you can take a sighting every 15 strokes or so, or 'cheat' by just staying in the same direction as the swimmers to either side of you.
2. Raising your head does indeed lower your feet, which is a BAD thing because it increases drag. This idea of avoiding surface splash only applies to the out-of-date style of swimming flat on your front. When you swim with rotation, your body position means that this is simply not a problem.

Therefore you should swim with your head aligned neutrally with your spine in order to achieve fore-and-aft balance which will keep you streamlined.

BUT if you are burying your head with your chin on your chest, then you are too submerged, and this will create a whole load of other problems.

So without seeing your actual head position, no one can say definitely whether the advice is good or bad. But I would bet a lot of money that the advice is from a traditionalist - and best ignored.

weinzwei 08-26-2009 07:39 PM

Hi Nicodemus, could you elaborate a little more on the water line hitting you in the forehead. I thought in TI we where looking for the water to just skim over our caps. My head is about 6-8 inches under water if i look straight down. Please elborate on how i get my head positioned to have the water line hit my forehead? I see most swimmers with this type of head position. I even notice that my TI instructors have had the water line hit them in the forehead. Yet i am confused about the teachings of the water passing over your head when you swim in TI. My wife said that my head was so low in the water i do not produce a bow wave. Hence i do not belive that breathing is as easy as it should be relative to others.

Thanks,

Jon

Nicodemus 08-26-2009 11:34 PM

Hi,
Sorry if I was not clear.

The way I was taught years ago was to look ahead about 45 degrees so the water line is on your forehead. This is what a lot of swimmers get taught by 'traditional' coaches. There are arguments offered to justify this. BUT I NO LONGER BELIEVE THEY HOLD WATER.

The TI approach to balance requires you to 'hang' your head in the water rather than lift it up to look forward. Nowadays I sometimes bump into other swimmers because I look at the bottom of the pool instead of looking ahead. This is a GOOD THING, because I have a better head position (I am learning to check ahead every now and then).

It sounds a bit strange if your head is 6-8 inches below the surface. The back of your head should be at the surface. Which I guess puts your face deeper.

Don't either lift your head or bury it deep. Think about keeping your spine straight but relaxed right the way through your neck into the back of your head.
th

shuumai 08-26-2009 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nicodemus (Post 5500)
Nowadays I sometimes bump into other swimmers because I look at the bottom of the pool. This is a GOOD THING, because I have a better head position (I am learning to check ahead every now and then).

Right, checking ahead... Today I crashed into a kid while swimming full speed. (Thankfully I'm not that fast.) I don't remember if I saw him at the last second or not. He was crossing from my non-breathing side directly in front of me. He was hurt more than I was it seemed, but he was fine in about 30 seconds.

It doesn't hurt to look forward a little before turning to breathe. Some people say to gaze about 5 feet (1.5m) ahead. I still can't easily lift my head to sight over the water. Bi-lateral breathing might have helped since he approached from the left side.

Nicodemus 08-27-2009 12:01 AM

Hi Shuumai,
Running over small children in the pool will not make you popular!

Seriously though.... I am spending time unlearning that bad habit where your neck is unconsciously cranked back to look ahead, which can affect the balance of your whole body.

Now I feel my balance is better, I feel ok to raise my eyes or head slightly every few strokes to look ahead a bit. But usually I know if i am catching up behind another swimmer because of the incredibible turbulence they create in the water!

weinzwei 08-27-2009 02:05 PM

Thanks Nicodemus, i will try and play with my lead hand position some more. As i watched some of the TI videos, i had noticed that in non breathing drills evryone seemed deep in the water. However when breathing was introduced, magically everyones caps were just below the surface and creating a nice bow wave. when i first tried to introduce breathing my head was always 6-8 inches under water. I learned to swim flatter and the problem of breathing went away. However i had almost 0 rotation. So i went back to beinging more rotated in the water about 45 degrees and found that my rotation felt good but my head was back to beinging submerged about 6-8 inches under water which made it harder to breath. I have not yet found the correct combination of rotation and head position. I will take a look today and see if i am forcing my head down when i look down.

Thanks,

Jon


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