Posts Tagged ‘Breathing’

Take a Breath…

22/10/2009

Here is a photo of Terry Laughlin, founder of Total Immersion Swimming:

Breath 1

He once told me that ‘Freestyle breathing’ is the most challenging skill to master out of all 4 strokes.

There are several reasons for the difficulty. Lets face it, human beings are about as well designed for exercising lying flat with our face underwater as we are for driving a double decker bus wearing ski boots! We have two choices when it come to swimming and the ‘Instinctive‘ way is certainly not the same as the ‘Optimal‘ way. Talk about counter-intuitive!!!

Instinctively we lift our heads up out of the water when we breathe. Part of us wants to get our head the right way up, lift our mouth up to the air and take a look where we are going at the same time. If you observe closely you may notice a) that your hips and legs sink as your head lifts b) this means you push down on your front hand to avoid ‘sinking’ c) your kick switches to ‘survival’ mode d) you lose your relaxed patient rhythm and d) that your forehead will actually be the highest point with your mouth only just clear of the water. YUK!

Optimal breathing looks deceptively easy and it is once you have learnt how to do it. An unbroken rhythm, chin leading the turn of the face, the back of your head closing the gap to your patient front arm so that your body stays perfectly balanced with a perfectly timed inhale positioned perfectly in the ‘dip’ created by your bow wave with your one goggle still out in the water. Done well it looks as thought you couldn’t possibly have gotten a breath and that’s why we refer to it as a ‘sneaky breath’.

The overwhelming majority of swimmers have a high potential for improvement. You can start by s-l-o-w-i-n-g your stroke rate a little so you have time to notice what happens for you. Notice what happens when you take a breath… do you feel like you begin to sink? You may be surprised by the number of highly skilled swimmer who are yet to master this skill (have a look the next time you go for a swim if you don’t believe me).

The good news is that we can help you to master this skill. Relaxed breathing allows you to enjoy open water swimming in glassy lakes and rough seas alike. Contact us via our Website to find out how!

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