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Old 10-24-2017
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Default Swimming too deep


I'm trying to find someone who can give me some advices. I'm beginner swimmer, learning only from youtube videos. My problem is that I'm swimming really deep under water and I have problems breathing to one side. Anyone can look at my swimming and tell me what drills or what should I change to improve?

I'm swimming from 2:02 in this video:

PS: If you have any advices for first swimmer as well it will help him :)

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Old 10-25-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647

I wouldn't say that you're "really deep under water" - you're actually pretty close to the surface. And you're keeping a fairly narrow body shape and are doing a good job of keeping a patient leading arm (not dropping it to begin your catch until your recovering arm is entering the water).

But your body is sagging in the middle. If you stop the video at 2:09, for example, you'll see that your left hand and left foot are both pretty near the surface, but your body is dipping in between. You are arching your back forward in an effort to keep your hips up, and are also bending your knees to get your feet up.

Your principal problem is the way your recovering arm is entering the water. You are extending your recovering arm over the water to nearly full extension, and are then laying your forearm on top of the water and then dropping it. This has the inevitable effect of pushing your upper body up, which in turn causes your hips to drop. This puts your shoulders higher than your hips, which causes your upper chest to become a constant source of drag as you move through the water.

I don't know whether you have any of the Total Immersion training materials, but if you get the 1.0 Effortless Endurance Self-Coaching Course (which is available through this site - click on STORE at the top of the page), it will introduce you to what we call the Skate position, which should become the anchor point for your freestyle stroke (as you stroke, you should be going from your Skate position on one side to your Skate position on the other side).

The principal difference between Skate and the body position you have at 2:09 is that your leading arm needs to be lower in the water. Think about keeping your wrist lower (rather than higher) than your shoulder. If you do this, your hips will automatically rise to the surface, and you won't need to arch your back and bend your knees. Instead of extending your recovering arm over the water and then laying it on the surface, you want to slide it in at an angle (piercing the water with your hand and then sliding your forearm in through that same hole, aiming it toward the position you use for Skate).

It may seem counterintuitive to have the wrist of your leading arm lower than your shoulder, because it means that the top of your arm will be creating a slight amount of drag. But doing this will raise your hips, making your core body horizontal, and this will reduce the much greater amount of drag that is caused by your body being at an angle.

The training materials also have drills that are designed to help you master bilateral breathing. It begins by teaching you the interrupted (sweet spot) breathing position on both sides and then gradually transitions you to regular bilateral breathing. Note: When I went to a Total Immersion weekend freestyle workshop in February of 1999, I couldn't swim a length of the pool breathing to my left instead of my right. But I came out of the workshop the following afternoon breathing on both sides, and have been doing it ever since!

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Old 10-25-2017
daveblt daveblt is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 820

Also, the arm entry in to the water is way too narrow .You are entering almost in front of your head Enter at least in front of the shoulder or wider .

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Old 10-28-2017
che9194 che9194 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Wakefield, MA
Posts: 49

There is a lot of good in the video. But I would say your principal problem is that your lead hand and hip rotation are unconnected. It's creating a situation where you are swimming with a separate "arms department" and "legs department". I don't think depth has much relevance to your improvement at this point.

Your hip rotation is nicely driving your spearing hand forward, however none of this energy is creating propulsion during your pull. Your pull is all arms.

Concentrate on *connecting* the spearing arm, the weight shift/rotation, the pulling/anchoring arm, and the kick to produce the greatest propulsion from one integrated body move.

The first part of this video is as good of a demonstration as I've seen. He has a patient lead hand in the drill, but in a very connected way.
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