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  #1  
Old 02-15-2015
dupdup dupdup is offline
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Default Holding onto air for buoyancy

I'm struggling to get my mouth to air. I'm am so close but not close enough. I'm ok with keeping half my head in the water, just can't quite get there. If I swim a length holding my breath and just going through the movements for air I consistently get enough of my face about water to breath. As soon as I start to breath out at all I seem to slowly sink during the length to the point where I would just get water. Is it just that my form is missing something (breathing should not be this precise) or is everyone just doing a really good job of air management. I've tried to focus on letting out very gradually but I can't seem to get it right. Terry makes an interesting point in the workbook:

"Make air exchange continuous – never hold breath at any time.
Expel air forcefully as mouth clears. Think of blowing the water away from your mouth.
This helps make the inhale automatic by creating a vacuum. Air will rush in.
Finally, inhale just enough, and exhale just enough. Neither try to fill nor empty your lungs."

Which almost sounds like he is advocating for not breathing out underwater, but I'm guessing he is talking about more aggressive breathing out when you surface.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Dupdup,

Terry's not advocating for not breathing out underwater, nor holding your breath at anytime, as he notes in his first statement: "Make air exchange continuous – never hold breath at any time"

Exhaling too quickly, too early will change buoyancy, especially with guys and heavy hips. It's important "make the air exchange continuous", but clearly there's more time to exhale than inhale; establishing good timing of both exhale and inhale is absolutely necessary.

In short, after quick inhale, begin a slow controlled exhale until you roll to get air on next stroke. At roll is when you empty you lungs as chin follows shoulder to air. Unlike Terry, I like to use "empty lungs" when rolling to breathe to underscore the timing of when to exhale quickly and forcibly, although you don't completely empty lungs.

Here's a video that demonstrates body position with continuous breathing holding enough air back (slow exhale) until chin follows shoulder to air, as well as, exhaling too quickly too soon. SwimVICE - How to Make Breathing Comfortable in Freestyle

Stuart
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Old 02-16-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post

Here's a video that demonstrates body position with continuous breathing holding enough air back (slow exhale) until chin follows shoulder to air, as well as, exhaling too quickly too soon. SwimVICE - How to Make Breathing Comfortable in Freestyle

Stuart
It's interesting how much Mandy sinks on too much exhalation, even given her normal female body fat distribution. Imagine how much worse the problem becomes for us super skinny guys.
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Old 02-16-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
It's interesting how much Mandy sinks on too much exhalation, even given her normal female body fat distribution. Imagine how much worse the problem becomes for us super skinny guys.
Yup - and us not so skinny guys too ;-) A good test each swimmer can do is the buoyancy test. In the pool, fill your lungs, deep breath - then hold knees to chest, face in water and bob on the surface for a moment until body stabilizes. Then begin exhaling quickly and continuously to see/feel when your body begins to drop to the bottom of the pool. This will give you a sense of how much air is needed in your lungs to maintain buoyancy.

I've seen swimmers exhale almost all air in their lungs and remain at the surface (lucky!), while on the other extreme, some will head to the bottom after just a few seconds of exhaling (sinkers!). The majority seem to be within 60%-40% lung capacity before falling to the bottom of the pool.

Its a fun and interesting test - give it a try.

Stuart
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Old 02-16-2015
dupdup dupdup is offline
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Thanks for the replies! I'll need to try that test. That video was the one that got me started on the buoyancy issue.

I was swimming today and what seemed to be sort of working for me was focusing on actually breathing in, not just going through the motion. Trying not focus as much on breathing out. Had some success. Still need to get that control down. Having never been a swimmer at all I don't have breathing established using classic technique either.
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Old 02-17-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Coach Stuart

Partial quote of your post:
I've seen swimmers exhale almost all air in their lungs and remain at the surface (lucky!), while on the other extreme, some will head to the bottom after just a few seconds of exhaling (sinkers!). The majority seem to be within 60%-40% lung capacity before falling to the bottom of the pool.


Just curious, but why does that happen? My husband could not believe that I could not sink to the bottom when exhaling air. He pushed me down and placed his foot on my back. When he released it, I popped up like a cork. Could it be that I still had some air trapped in the lungs somewhere?

Sherry
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Old 02-17-2015
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Hi Sherry,

You are one of the lucky ones! I'm always a bit jealous since I sink much easier than remain buoyant.

Based on observation, I haven't had a female sinker (at lease not yet) and all float quite easily, even after emptying lungs. It's largely understood or accepted that body fat is more buoyant than lean muscle, women are typically 10-15% higher in body fat than men providing that added buoyancy.

That said I've had some very thick, not so lean guys, head right to the bottom with lugs full, as well as some very lean, male (5% or less bf) runners bob effortlessly on the surface, including legs. Body builders (guys) on the other hand, generally sink fairly quickly. It seems the frame, size of bone and its density is also a big factor too. But this is only based on my observations, not necessarily science or fact. Size of lungs I'm sure is a factor as well.

Coach Suzanne, "Dr A" probably has a much better, more refined explanation if she sees this thread.

Stuart
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Coach Stuart

Well I guess that my buoyancy is all (or one of the few) things that I have going for me. I am short. 63 inches, and wingspan the same, small hands and forearms (not much of a paddle), female, and 71 yrs old. But I can't change any of those, so why worry. Got to play the cards you are dealt with.

Sherry
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Old 02-18-2015
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Haaa! I sure like your humble spirit Sherry. You are 71(!), arms and legs are moving freely, you're engaged in a sport like never before, learning and improving daily/weekly, activating parts of your brain that go mostly unused in our senior years --- how great is that? Swimming, or better - "mindful swimming" = smiles, fun, enjoyment and youth. :-)

Enjoy!

Stuart
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Old 02-19-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Thank you Stuart!
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