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Old 07-14-2011
md44stewart md44stewart is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
md44stewart
Default Why are my head and shoulders sinking as I rotate to breathe?

I'm 29, 6'3" and 189 lbs. I have managed to perfect my swimming technique well enough to cover 20 yards in 10 strokes.

I have no trouble keeping a streamline position. I have no trouble constantly propelling myself through the water as long as I keep my head relaxed and under the water.

My Problem: My head and shoulders sink as I rotate to breathe.

Here are the issues I have pin-pointed and think I have corrected:

1. I have my head relaxed and aligned with my spine.
2. Shoulders are completely relaxed.
3. I rotate (not lift) my head just enough to get my mouth above the surface of the water.
4. I lift my shoulder out of the water just enough to rotate (shoulders are never stacked / elbow never comes directly over my body).
5. The hand out of the water is relaxed and just barely grazes the surface of the water.
6. I make a conscious effort to hit the X and Y coordinate with the hand that is in the water.

Possible problems:

1. I am wondering if I am taking too long to breathe?
2. Previous posts have mentioned that some swimmers tend to pull the arm, that is in the water, back too early causing the head to sink. For me, I noticed that because I begin to sink I start to pull the underwater arm back too early. I tried to keep my underwater arm extended until my rotating arm got into the water, but it didn't matter. I still began to sink.

Anyone have any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks,
Mike
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2011
md44stewart md44stewart is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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md44stewart
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I figured it out!

For any new beginners that are having this same problem here is how you correct it:

The reason I was sinking with my head and shoulders first was because I was rotating my spine AND FLEXING my spine. When one arm comes out of the water the only thing you want to be doing with your spine is rotating.

Spinal Rotation - Rotary movement around the longitudinal axis of the spine
Spinal Flexion - The act of bending the spine forward.

I was sinking because as I would rotate my spine to the left I would also pull my right shoulder towards my left hip. I would then rotate to the right and pull my left shoulder towards my right hip. Pulling my shoulder directionally towards the opposing hip would cause my head and shoulders to sink.

To avoid sinking head first stick with just spinal rotation.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2011
solothesailor solothesailor is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 15
solothesailor
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by md44stewart View Post
. . . .
The reason I was sinking with my head and shoulders first was because I was rotating my spine AND FLEXING my spine.
. . . .
Thanks for sharing the solution. I discovered the same thing but approached the solution slightly differently. I figured that my reflex was to 'sit up to breathe' so I was doing the flexing of the spine no matter how much I told me not to do that and to rotate only.

My cure was to establish the feeling of safety and comfort in water (superman glide, etc etc) first and watched video clips and read over and over, like self hypnotherapy, how to feel the joy of leisurely gliding about taking my time and 'sipping a bit of air'. Then I 'just became' relaxed enough not to go into the reflex.

I noted though, that when skating there's not enough speed and momentum to create a bow wave so, just like you can see clearly in Easy Freestyle DVD and also what Terry said in one of the forums, after rotating you may need to lift the head just that little bit to get to air.

Cheers
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