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  #1  
Old 04-19-2016
deggy1
 
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Default Different Frontcrawl Technique Due To Neck Problems

Whenever I am looking for a suitable pool to swim in, I ideally want it to be around 15 metres long or slightly less because I like to swim complete lengths with my head under water and I only enjoy front crawl. I've had problems with my neck in the past so I am not a fan of swinging my head from side to side every few strokes to get air. The problem with my technique is, you do get out of breath at the end of each length so you have to take a bit of time to catch you breath. I have seen a vast improvement though the more lengths I do and if I relax with my breathing and get in a rhythm, I only need to come up for a few seconds to compose myself before I swim back the other way. Is anyone else similar to me, maybe because they too suffer from neck problems? I also like this technique as its a lot more tranquil, you aren't pulling your head in and out of the water. Swimming really helps me to relax and think through all my problems, make sense of everything, nothing is more tranquil and calming than my swimming sessions.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2016
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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why not use a front snorkel?
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Do you rotate when you Swim?

I have cervical stenosis and a retrolisthesis and have been recommended a fusion surgery by two different surgeons.

I agree neck discomfort can be an issue in freestyle but my breathing is actuall less stressful than not breathing. When I breath my head stays in the same position relative to my torso smothers is no additional movement.
When my neck is bothering me I have to use breaststroke or fly and not free
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Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #4  
Old 04-23-2016
deggy1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
why not use a front snorkel?
Ah ok, I hadn't realized there was such a thing as a front snorkel. I've tried with a standrad snorkel before but that has got in the way too much. I've just been looking them up, they look really good actually and might be the solution I'm looking for.

CoachSuzanne, sorry to hear about the problems you suffer with your neck. Mine doesn't sound anywhere near as bad as yours and I can understand why with your problems you prefer to swim the way you do. Thanks for responding to my post.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deggy1 View Post
Ah ok, I hadn't realized there was such a thing as a front snorkel. I've tried with a standrad snorkel before but that has got in the way too much. I've just been looking them up, they look really good actually and might be the solution I'm looking for.

CoachSuzanne, sorry to hear about the problems you suffer with your neck. Mine doesn't sound anywhere near as bad as yours and I can understand why with your problems you prefer to swim the way you do. Thanks for responding to my post.
So if I can swim freestyle without hurting my neck, so can you! Here is a video of my swimming as recently as 3 weeks ago...12 months after the car accident & first neurosurgical consultation. IN this swim I had the sensation that my head was barely moving to breath. It moved more in fact when I was NOT breathing (since the body rtates both ways).

Let me know what you think.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOtSZi9lHHc
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #6  
Old 04-27-2016
deggy1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deggy1 View Post
Ah ok, I hadn't realized there was such a thing as a front snorkel. I've tried with a standard snorkel before but that has got in the way too much. I've just been looking up some front snorkels for sale, they look really good actually and might be the solution I'm looking for.

CoachSuzanne, sorry to hear about the problems you suffer with your neck. Mine doesn't sound anywhere near as bad as yours and I can understand why with your problems you prefer to swim the way you do. Thanks for responding to my post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
So if I can swim freestyle without hurting my neck, so can you! Here is a video of my swimming as recently as 3 weeks ago...12 months after the car accident & first neurosurgical consultation. IN this swim I had the sensation that my head was barely moving to breath. It moved more in fact when I was NOT breathing (since the body rtates both ways).

Let me know what you think.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOtSZi9lHHc
Wow! You've got a fantastic stroke technique and fitness. I understand where you are coming from when you are talking about your head moving less when you are NOT breathing and I guess its about technique. Maybe my biggest problem is the technique. Although you have a much worse injury, my problem is where my neck will jar sometimes at it won't go right for days or weeks so that always worries me. When I swim without taking a breathe I just keep focused forward and don't twist my neck at all. I'm going to play around with my technique though as I think I'd benefit more from continuous swimming rather than having to keep having breaks for air after each length. I'll get one of the snorkels mentioned to play around with that too. Thanks for the inspiration and good on you for overcoming your injuries.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2016
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
So if I can swim freestyle without hurting my neck, so can you! Here is a video of my swimming as recently as 3 weeks ago...12 months after the car accident & first neurosurgical consultation. IN this swim I had the sensation that my head was barely moving to breath. It moved more in fact when I was NOT breathing (since the body rtates both ways).

Let me know what you think.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOtSZi9lHHc
Suzanne

Were you swimming in a 25 meter or 25 yard pool? I noted that your first 4 lengths took only about 91 seconds. Awesome!

What I really like about your stroke (and other successful TI swimmers) is the fluidity (is there such a word?) and the obvious forward motion rather than the side to side motion.

Question about spl--your count seemed to be 20 to 23 on some lengths. Is that in your green zone?

Overall you make this look quite easy. If you had to attach a RPE of your swim, what number would you give?

Sherry
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  #8  
Old 04-28-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
Suzanne

Were you swimming in a 25 meter or 25 yard pool? I noted that your first 4 lengths took only about 91 seconds. Awesome!

What I really like about your stroke (and other successful TI swimmers) is the fluidity (is there such a word?) and the obvious forward motion rather than the side to side motion.

Question about spl--your count seemed to be 20 to 23 on some lengths. Is that in your green zone?

Overall you make this look quite easy. If you had to attach a RPE of your swim, what number would you give?

Sherry
Sherry, thank you VERY MUCh for the compliments!

That was a 25yd pool. 20-23 is the high end of my green zone. Effort for the first 4 lengths was a 7.5 to 8/10. I would have gone to 9 or 9.5, but I limited my effort to maintain the streamlining feel that I'd been practicing. What you see esp in teh last 1/2 length of the first 4 lengths is my max effort while keepign things together. I'm on the verge of falling apart there.

that first 100 was actually the end if the 10-15 practice that that video represents.

It looks easy because i've practiced focal points using deliberate practice principals for 7 years now, thanks to Terry's teaching, and jus tprior to that, Maria filmed those other clips, gave me immediate feedback. Tiny changes I made for the 100 included left arm wider and left arm stable while breathing (you can see those flaws after the first 100...the were minimized after I saw them).

Anyone can do it if you let go of time or outcome. The growth is in the practice of the skill, not in the skill itself. Doesn't matter what the skill is, if you practice a skill you'll develop better practice habits. Don't worry about where you are in your green zone or what the time is, find a tiny thing you'd like to improve, do a standing rehearsal, do a drill for 5-10 minutes, do 10 repeats of 4-6 strokes no breath, do 10 1/2 lengths with 1 breath.

i STILL practice this way.

That was a 1:29.95 100yd with open turns according to my watch. Before I swam it, I KNEW with 100% certainty I was going to do a 1:30.00 and no faster, based on many many many many many tiny repeats ... just pushoffs and pushoffs with 1 stroke, and pushoffs with 3 strokes in the week prior. No swim the week prior was more than 700 yards ,and in the prior 3 weeks, all swims were exxactly 1650...I did 5 of those. Prior to that, 500-1000 yard swims, sometimes that distance over an hour.

What you're seeing is not fitness in any way , shape or form, except for rotator cuff stabilization and SI joint stabilizaton for the past 6 months. Shoulders and hips and that's it.

My aerobic fitness is nil right now.

One tiny step forward at a time.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 04-28-2016 at 03:24 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-28-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deggy1 View Post
Wow! You've got a fantastic stroke technique and fitness. I understand where you are coming from when you are talking about your head moving less when you are NOT breathing and I guess its about technique. Maybe my biggest problem is the technique. Although you have a much worse injury, my problem is where my neck will jar sometimes at it won't go right for days or weeks so that always worries me. When I swim without taking a breathe I just keep focused forward and don't twist my neck at all. I'm going to play around with my technique though as I think I'd benefit more from continuous swimming rather than having to keep having breaks for air after each length. I'll get one of the snorkels mentioned to play around with that too. Thanks for the inspiration and good on you for overcoming your injuries.
Thank you very much! Don't be fooled by the appearance of fitness. Read my reply to Sherry, and read my 800yd improvement project thread in this forum.

This is 110% skill and about 0% fitness. The skill is repeating the same movements with accuracy and focus.

With fitness i could do sub 1:20 and make it look just as smooth OR with fitness I could swim 1:40/1000yd and it would loook slow due to a lower stroke rate. Stretch goal for me right now assuming I get back in thw ater (haven't been in in 3-4 weeks) would be 1:40/1000 TT, then building to 1:35/100yd for anything longer than 500yd, and of course beyond that.
100 repeats at 1:25/100 with rest, and eventually a 100 PR of 1:15. Those are my current realistic goals that should come easily when I add fitness to what you see above.

Really...i'm not fit. I'm being completely honest here...skilled yes, I'll take that compliment. No fitness there...and that's not false modesty.

I don't want anyone to watch that video and think they need to "get in shape" to swim like that because that will lead you down the wrong path...the obvious appearing one. Its not in that direction...
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #10  
Old 04-28-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deggy1 View Post
Wow! You've got a fantastic stroke technique and fitness. I understand where you are coming from when you are talking about your head moving less when you are NOT breathing
No it's the opposite...my head does NOT move when I breath. It stays with my shoulders and torso and goes with. It moves MORE when I don't breath...head still and body rotating around it. I breath more when I want to take it easier on my neck.

Watch again adn see fi you can see it. ;)
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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