Head Position for Breathing

In our last newsletter we discussed the body rotation and the increase in reach you create by using the combination of the hips and shoulders to enhance this position in your stroke.

As you continue to master the body rotation you want to use it to assist your head position when you breathe.

“The head is such a key influence to the body position in the water.”

Your head is like the bow of a ship – if you roll your head to breathe you create a bow wave and you can breathe into the trough created alongside the head  – like in the picture below:

Breathing position

If you lift your head to breathe, this change in head position will influence the hips and legs in the water to usually be a lot lower.

If you are breathing correctly by rolling your head to breathe you will most likely be:

  1. Decreasing the oxygen demand on your body as it takes less energy to roll your head to breathe rather than to lift it up high
  2. Reduced frontal drag through a long and strong body position
  3. Reduced lower body drag as the legs and core won’t be pushed down in order to lift the head up. This can also result in an improved kick technique.
  4. Create better timing in the stroke, either by:
    a. not requiring you to roll around so far for each breath and pausing in this high position
    b. by reducing the requirement to lift up high to breathe which in return results in a large
    collapse after each breathing stroke

Use kicking drills such as side on kicking to practice the optimal head position and to practice the rolling motion when you take a breath to master your technique. Visit www.boostcoaching.co.nz/kick-technique/ to learn more.

Article written by Andrew Mackay, Boost Coaching