a way to make breathing more comfortable and efficient
Here is a dry land exercise that can help you to determine a neutral head position. It seems that the range of motion you have in turning your head to the side while not moving your shoulders is largest when you keep a straight spine with your head neither too far forward nor too far back. Try slouching and see how far you can turn your head to the side. Now sit (or stand) up straight, keep your head on top of your spine, and see how far you can turn your head. I find that I have a larger range of motion when I sit or stand up straight.
This has relevance to breathing in freestyle. By keeping a straight spine it becomes easier to rotate your head to breath without breaking the straight line that your body should maintain to reduce water resistance. By experimenting with head position to see where your head allows you the largest range of motion while looking to the side, you can help imprint this position in your mind and come back to it while swimming.
This does not mean that you don't rotate your shoulders while breathing. A combination of shoulder and head rotation is necessary, but by extending the range of rotation of your head, you don't need as much body rotation to breath comfortably.
Last edited by Danny : 01-16-2015 at 12:34 PM.