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Old 03-25-2010
bnichols4 bnichols4 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 16
Default Head down

what is the best drill to pratcie keeping the head down for breathing. Not sure why I am lifting but need some help to be more consistent what I am doing wrong?
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Old 03-25-2010
gogglesnoseplugs gogglesnoseplugs is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 63

Originally Posted by bnichols4 View Post
what is the best drill to pratcie keeping the head down for breathing. Not sure why I am lifting but need some help to be more consistent what I am doing wrong?
I always found the "Bowl Breathing Drill" to be helpful for me. It is not in the pool, but the right bowl will help you position your head correctly for breathing.
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Old 03-26-2010
ewa.swimmer ewa.swimmer is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ewa Beach or Kona Hawaii
Posts: 147
Default Popeye

I heard this drill at open water camp last week. (Thanks, Dave) Only one eye should be above water when you breathe. Close the eye that should be above water (if you are breathing on the right side, you close your right eye). When your eye is closed and you breathe you should see only water. If you see above the water your head is too high.

This works better if you only breathe on one side for awhile. I found if I breathe every 3 strokes I have to think too hard which eye should be closed.
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Old 03-26-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 787
Default the nodding drill

I use the nodding drill and that helps a lot. I managed to do a few really good breaths on my good side, without lifting the head at all and without a sinking spearing hand. But it is not consistent yet.

What I do is this: after the usual suspects that I do in the beginning, which is warming up, core balance drill, spearing drill etc I go to the shallow part of the pool. Than I just push off and glide into spearing position spearing the arm on the same side where I want do drill breathing, do a few flutter kicks until I gain a stable balance, stop kicks, do a slow but kick-and-hip initiated stroke and turn my head to the water surface with the rotation, without breathing, do the next stroke and then stand up. This I do again and again, so always a couple of strokes (meaning: two) on both sides, always turning the head a little more, up to the point where the mouth clears the water. Only then I start to take a breath. Yes, I swallow quite a lot of water, because my mouth often is partly under water, and I hate it, but it does get better slowly. It is actually the nodding drill from the 'Easy Freestyle' DVD, just not done in an endless pool.

It is quite amazing when I manage some good breathings without lifting the head, it gives me a very good feeling, it is very relaxed and feels very streamlined. Probably is.

Hope it might help. I don't know if you are doing only OW swimming (somehow your name indicates that, ewa.swimmer...), but maybe there are shallow parts at the beach. I think the drills are a lot easier in a pool.

Last edited by haschu33 : 03-26-2010 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 03-26-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804

I would recommend making the decision to be completely relaxed while going for air. If you find the head is underwater when there should be air, don't worry. Stayed relaxed and try again. I think all head position problems are rooted in anxiety about the air not being there when you go looking for it. I think this also explains why so many non-TI swimmers have a very high head position. Something inside them says try to avoid having the head in the water, if you can. On that basis, staying calm would seem to be the solution.

In addition, and many here won't be surprised to hear me say this, ensuring that you're swimming on wide tracks makes breathing much easier.
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