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  #11  
Old 06-30-2016
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Salvo,

How could a high head prevent over-rotation? More often than not, it triggers over rotation, especially on the breathing stroke. Also, crossover, better proprioception, higher stroke rate, and better catch; how can a high head help any of these? A high head will trigger higher stroke rate since any imbalance to the middle of the body, the hands (and feet) will move faster to stabilize and right the vessel.

It's really not high head or low head, but holding a neutral and tall posture, no tension in the neck - allow the head to fall into equilibrium in the water. One of Terry's focal point gems "hang the head between the shoulders" says it all and succinctly.

Swimmers can experiment with head position extremes in freestyle, this will give the swimmer a neural library of both good and bad head position and posture. Take a few strokes with neutral posture (no neck tension), then push face down and take a few more strokes, then finally the last strokes release the tension in the neck allow head to pop back up to surface in neutral posture. Likewise, start off a few strokes in a neutral posture, next few strokes raise the head looking forward - then last strokes release the tension in neck and allow the head fall back to neutral. Feel the difference in body position and shoulder tension swimming with both high/low head position extremes as well as neutral spine. No lumber required :-)


Stuart
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2016
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
It seems ZT is independently wealthy and has plenty of free time to scan the internet all day for interesting videos.

Coach Dave Cameron is so right on head position and perceived head position on elite swimmers. There's no reason to bend your neck to get air regardless of speed. But there are still plenty of swimmers looking for the promise land of air as if their mouth is located on their forehead - since that is the human instinct to raise the head for air.

Why someone would advise a swimmer to lift head to be more buoyant and get air easily is beyond me. Almost as if they never paid attention to the body when the head lifts and is driven by perceptions without challenge.

Stuart
Hi CoachStuart,

Maybe if you initially had your head really low like Kris here, it could help with breathing if you elevated it somewhat. He has since made adjustments.

It is indeed true, Zenturtle is great at video mining.

I missed the second link on head tilting and just noticed it now. For some reason, I pictured you could actually raise the head without lowering the mouth and was puzzled at Suzanne's assessment.
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2016
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Hi Lloyd,

I'm not sure about Kris' head position - is there a video I missed? What Suzanne is referring to is when the forehead lifts for air, the chin will be lower in the water. Lifting the head tips us off balance (hips sink, back arches) which triggers the low side arm to press down or pull to stabilize the vessel and buoyant the head higher to breathe. The lower the forehead the higher the chin (the higher the hips), the easier it is to find air. But burying the forehead into the water to easily get air is counter intuitive (and counter instinctive) to us humans.

Here's a SwimVICE video on breathing in freestyle that covers head position, balance, and timing when breathing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21fEXQ1e-VU

Stuart
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2016
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Lloyd,

I'm not sure about Kris' head position - is there a video I missed? What Suzanne is referring to is when the forehead lifts for air, the chin will be lower in the water.

Here's a SwimVICE video on breathing in freestyle that covers head position, balance, and timing when breathing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21fEXQ1e-VU

Stuart
Sorry, I forgot to include the link at (0.07):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3UqGYhbNN4

I got CoachSuzanne's point. I was saying I didn't understand/picture it, until I saw that demo in ZT's second video link.

Thanks for the video!
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Last edited by lloyddinma : 07-01-2016 at 11:50 PM. Reason: ...
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2016
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Ok thanks, and I've seen Kris' video before. Great production and music, he's got a terrific and fluid stroke. But certainly there's tension in the neck pushing head down. Similar to lifting head high, it takes a bit more tension to push head down. Head is like a balloon, takes a lot of effort and focus to push down and hold it there. Interestingly, Kris releases tension in neck just before rolling to breathe. You will see this easily above surface frames, his head just crowns surface when breathing, then submerges immediately after.

It appears Kris pushing his head down is more intentional, not consequential - possibly to help his hips rise to surface. If I were to give Kris any advice, it would be to release tension in neck on both non breathing strokes and breathing strokes - maintain neutral posture on each stroke. Press down gently on collarbone, or press on the front of lung-ball on each stroke (don't press head down) - hips will rise. Pressing down on collarbone is much more effective to right balance than pushing head down.

Thanks for sharing the video.

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 07-02-2016 at 07:02 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2016
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post

It appears Kris pushing his head down is more intentional, not consequential - possibly to help his hips rise to surface.

Thanks for sharing the video.

Stuart
Yes, If I recollect, his explanation was along those lines of being intentional.

Just a quick disclaimer: he does not swim this way anymore. This is a indeed a relatively old video of his. I only brought this up because I had this problem.

Happy 4th everyone!
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  #17  
Old 07-03-2016
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Salvo,

How could a high head prevent over-rotation?
I can't say why but, at least for me, the higher the head the less I can rotate. The extreme case is waterpolo freestyle: almost flat body no matter how much I try to rotate it.
Viceversa with a neutral head I can rotate as much as I want. Say I want to switch from freestyle to backstroke on the fly, I do it with a neutral head. With a high head it would be a mess.
As for the proprioception I guess it's because you see your arms and where you're going.

That's not to say that a neutral head promotes overrotation or bad proprioception, personally I like to keep a neutral head.

Salvo
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  #18  
Old 07-03-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
I can't say why but, at least for me, the higher the head the less I can rotate. The extreme case is waterpolo freestyle: almost flat body no matter how much I try to rotate it.
Viceversa with a neutral head I can rotate as much as I want. Say I want to switch from freestyle to backstroke on the fly, I do it with a neutral head. With a high head it would be a mess.
As for the proprioception I guess it's because you see your arms and where you're going.

That's not to say that a neutral head promotes overrotation or bad proprioception, personally I like to keep a neutral head.

Salvo
From a bio-mechanical point of view, Salvo's self description makes sense. High head is not likely a straight pencil tilted out of horizontal, but rather bent, and not only at the neck, but also including the upper thoracic spine. Much harder to rotate a "J" than an "I" even if the "J" bend is not as extreme as the real letter "J".

Interesting point Stuart is making about Kris's video. Given that this may be out of date now, in trying to see the head pushed down, it seems to me to be happening only intermittently. Certainly the very opening sequence has a bit of head pushed down tension, but in other sequences it seems to disappear or be less, at least to my eye. But back to Stuart's point, pushing the head down at the neck, subtle though it may be, and even if not all the time, would temporarily cause a minor "j" bend in the opposite direction, and similarly inhibit rotation. Best to be absolutely neutral and relaxed. And I get his point, you can still push the front of the pencil down by focusing on the chest or clavicle to push down on, rather than bending the pencil

Last edited by sclim : 07-03-2016 at 10:51 PM.
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2016
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I can't say I'm a fan of TriSwimCoach - but this is a very good piece they put together: http://www.triswimcoach.com/freestyle-stroke-technique/

Stuart
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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All that talk about using trunc muscles is totally OK, but if you cut of arms and legs there is nothing these trunc muscles can act upon.
So the arms and legs have to transmit all that trunc power to the water in the end.
The better the anchors in the water of arms and legs, the better and more efficient the truncmuscles can transfer their power to the water.
Thats where the kicking and pulling technique comes in.
A nice streamlined boat with a big engine but a pesky bent damaged propellor wont move well.
Its true whe dont see whats going on inside, so we tend to neglegt it.
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