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  #1  
Old 10-22-2012
aquarius aquarius is offline
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Default Timing of head rotation

I believe most swimmers and coaches agree that the head has to rotate more than the body for breathing purposes. My question: at what time of the stroke precisely does one rotate one's head? I know the head is supposed to go along. But I'd like to know when to add the extra rotation needed for breathing. I have the feeling that some swimmers wait until they have finished the body rotation to do so, which reduces the breathing window.
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2012
truth1ness truth1ness is offline
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I'm curious about this, too. This was one thing I felt the TI DVD kind of skipped over. In the early exercises like laser lead it has you roll your belly way up to the air. It says to have the belly hit air first and the head slightly after, then both go back into the water at the same time. Then later on it simply says basically 'don't roll as much' for breathing when it gets to whole stroke. I'm not sure if that means replace some of the roll with head turn and whether that order of breathing from the earlier exercise (head trails belly) still applies.
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  #3  
Old 10-26-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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The thread immediately below this one has a lot of breathing info on it, plus I JUST wrote another new blog post on my site addressing this. I'm not sure if my explicitly answered your question, but it's precisely what Erik was working on last night.
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USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #4  
Old 11-23-2012
aquarius aquarius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
The thread immediately below this one has a lot of breathing info on it, plus I JUST wrote another new blog post on my site addressing this. I'm not sure if my explicitly answered your question, but it's precisely what Erik was working on last night.
I just reread your interesting blog entry about breathing and the timing of the head rotation. Do you have any thoughts on my original question, which is about the timing of the head rotation before the breathing and not after? At what moment of the stroke does the head start to turn independently? Of course, the head will go along with body rotation, but when does the extra rotation come? I have the feeling that if it comes too late, when the body rotation is finished, that the breathing window will be reduced.

Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2012
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Default Head rotation when breathing

Aquarius. The extra head rotation should be an extension and continuation of the initial rotation - i.e. don't pause after the initial rotation. Your ultimate head position when breathing will depend on your skill level and how well you're balanced. Ideally your head should lie flat with your eyes facing the side wall. Inexperienced swimmers may find they have to rotate the head a little further.

With regard to breathing in drill practise, students are encouraged to lead the role with the belly as this improves stability and aids maintaining a balanced position. As skill level improves, the head can begin to lead the role. Complete mastery will allow you to get to the air by rotating only the head (google "expert fish drill").

I hope this helps

Toby Haddock
Total Immersion Coach
www.flowswimming.co.uk
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2012
aquarius aquarius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachToby View Post
Aquarius. The extra head rotation should be an extension and continuation of the initial rotation - i.e. don't pause after the initial rotation. Your ultimate head position when breathing will depend on your skill level and how well you're balanced. Ideally your head should lie flat with your eyes facing the side wall. Inexperienced swimmers may find they have to rotate the head a little further.
If I understand you correctly, the head rotation comes after the body rotation, but without any pause, of course. But this obviously reduces the breathing window, because if the head finishes its rotation at the same time as the body or slightly before, the mouth will be out of the water earlier. In other words, wouldn't it be better to rotate the head too early rather than too late?
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Not sure if it can help in any way, but usually when I demo breathing myself to swimmers (as opposed to showing a videoclip for instance), I love having people standing up at the end of a lane. Then I swim toward them, and ask them on which side they think I did breathe. Usually, the answers goes 50/50, some think I did breathe left, others right, basically, they can't really see me breathing so they try their fair guess.

I'm not even sure that my head rotates more than my body, what I'm sure of, is that if I swim toward you, you can't see when I breathe and when I don't.

One other thing I'm sure of, the head movement is independent from the body rotation when the head comes back into the water. It follows body rotation to breathe in, and quickly comes back by its own.
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Old 11-23-2012
aquarius aquarius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Not sure if it can help in any way, but usually when I demo breathing myself to swimmers (as opposed to showing a videoclip for instance), I love having people standing up at the end of a lane. Then I swim toward them, and ask them on which side they think I did breathe. Usually, the answers goes 50/50, some think I did breathe left, others right, basically, they can't really see me breathing so they try their fair guess.

I'm not even sure that my head rotates more than my body, what I'm sure of, is that if I swim toward you, you can't see when I breathe and when I don't.

One other thing I'm sure of, the head movement is independent from the body rotation when the head comes back into the water. It follows body rotation to breathe in, and quickly comes back by its own.
I've watched several clips of good swimmers, and my impression is that they start the independent head rotation when the body is horizontal - I mean the head rotates slightly faster than the body from this point on, so when the body rotation is at its maximum, the head rotation is also finished. This is what I see good swimmers do. But this is not what they, or rather other good swimmers, say.

How many degrees would you say your body rotates? Even the one-eyed breathing, so to speak, needs at least 90°, so if your body rotation is less than 90°, you need to add a bit extra with the head. I believe all the champs turn their heads much more than their body.

(I like your dryland 6B kick drill, where you can see that you turn your head more than your body, and then come back right away.)
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
How many degrees would you say your body rotates? Even the one-eyed breathing, so to speak, needs at least 90°, so if your body rotation is less than 90°, you need to add a bit extra with the head. I believe all the champs turn their heads much more than their body.

Imagine you are in skating position head facing down, left shoulder & hip toward the bottom of the pool, right shoulder & hip near the air. Pick a degree of rotation...30? 45? 60? doesn't matter...

Now do this standing up. Stand in skate position head faceing forward, body rotated to the side hwoever many degrees you feel you naturally do in the water. (or have learned to do)

Now DON"T MOVE YOUR HEAD and rotate the entire body, head with it, to the opposite skating position. the chin stays still relative to the shoulder that was previously down.

How much have you rotated your head? The answer is zero...breathing requires NOT MOVING your head relative to your body as you rotate the entire spine as a unit.

In this position your chin will be pointed towards your back to some degree...translate this to being in the water and your chin is already pointed up to the cieling to a degree.

This is what we teach.

Whether or not there is air there when you go to breath depends upon your posture & alignment, how still you've kept the water around your head & chest (lots of splashes & waves will fill in the space where the air used to be), and what speed you are traveling.

Even swimming or drilling at low speeds will create a bow wave as long as the head remains aligned and the crown of the head pointing to the opposite wall.

any lifting of the head makes the bow wave go away and puts the face right in the water.

Leading breathing with the head will only create a ripple effect all the way down the body leading to a loss of posture & alignment and probably some neck pain as well.

Breath by not moving the head while the entire body rotates as a unit.

(mind blowing, isn't it?)

Here is a decent video of me that shows my breathing...watch to see how the head & body rotate together... Go to the facebook page (like it please :) ) and scroll down to the Nov 7th entry

http://www.facebook.com/steel.city.endurance.coaching
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 11-23-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquarius View Post
(I like your dryland 6B kick drill, where you can see that you turn your head more than your body, and then come back right away.)
Yeah, I was hesitating referring to this stange animal but yeah. You've seen well. And I'm positive, without no doubt, what I teach is what I really believe in, ie that the head most rotate along with the body (not before), and comes back on its own.

BUT. My whole freestyle teaching coaching philosophy evolves around BR, so I tend to insist more than most people on timing everything around it, breathing included. I see no reason why one would be quicker turning the head to inhale than turning the body.

Theory says that body rotation angle could be between 45 and 60degree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
How much have you rotated your head? The answer is zero...breathing requires NOT MOVING your head relative to your body as you rotate the entire spine as a unit.
I agree here obviously
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