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Nice Breathing Routine

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Post by cottmiler on Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:30 am

For a while now I have been doing the following breathing routine because I need more air when I first start swimming in order to do multiple laps.


Let's say my target for the session is 40 laps.

The first 10 laps I breathe 4 times to the right then switch over and breathe 4 times to the left then back to the right for 4 breaths and so on.

The next 10 laps I breathe 3 times to the right then and breathe 3 times to the left and so on.

The next 10 laps I breathe 2 times to the right then breathe 2 times to the left and so on.

The next 10 laps I breathe 1 time to the right then breathe 1 time to the left and so on, which is now Bilateral Breathing!


What becomes apparent is that the switch over from one side breathing to the other isn't as tidy as it should be. This obviously needs work doing on it. Otherwise, just doing bilateral straight away in the first place seems to be incorporating faulty technique somewhere leading to loss of balance and streamlining.





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Post by cottmiler on Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:41 pm

This routine is going really well.

It enables me to do up to a mile of pool swimming in less overall time because I start with the most air and gradually get down to bilateral breathing.

I am learning to 1) roll more, 2) recover the arm higher in the air, 3) "throw" the shoulder forward on extension forward and 4) improve the paddle effect of the right arm particularly.

And other technique tweaks too.

Isn't swimming wonderful!

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Post by cottmiler on Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:13 am

Another thing that came out of my 1-2-1 with SwimSmooth in Perth was the importance "tapping the big toes together".

Horrified by seeing other swimmers' legs diverge by a metre and a half when swimming the crawl, I realised I ought to correct any fault of mine.

Tapping toes together needs a lot of effort in keeping the legs straight not wiggly and keeping the toes pointed inwards. However I am beginning to get this right now!

At the front end I try and keep one google under water when breathing. The result is a much more arrow shaped body through the water.

Why are we slow to learn all this!


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Post by Sprinter on Thu Oct 17, 2019 7:33 am

[quote="cottmiler"]Another thing that came out of my 1-2-1 with SwimSmooth in Perth was the importance "tapping the big toes together".
Horrified by seeing other swimmers' legs diverge by a metre and a half when swimming the crawl, I realised I ought to correct any fault of mine.
Tapping toes together needs a lot of effort in keeping the legs straight not wiggly and keeping the toes pointed inwards.  However I am beginning to get this right now!
[/quote]

In my (own) experience the purely passive measure of "tapping toes" (or something similar -- with a hard kick tapping toes might be quite dangerous) did not work, since it doesn't yield a real sense of what is going on. For me it was important to get a really consistent and propulsive kick, on which the whole stroke can be based. Only through this active steering of the water position of the body by the kick did I develop a good awareness of what my legs and feet are doing. And for fast swimming (with strong effort for each stroke) you need *dynamic* steering.

Perhaps if one doesn't do really fast movements with the legs, the tapping might be enough to prevent the worst. But with the fast movements, one can tap the toes AND have a wide scissors kick.

But I believe that fast swimming absolutely needs a fully developed kick. That's what differentiates a competitive swimmer from the late starter, where the latter, due to endless negative propaganda, typically never develops the kick, but the legs and feet are just dead wood. While the former is formed by a lot of (subconscious) kicking. Even if he doesn't use it later, it develops the understanding of the body as a whole.

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Post by Mike A on Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:09 pm

I agree, fast swimmers tend to be good kickers (even if they don't always "switch on the outboard" all the time, like Sun Yang who saves it for the last few laps). The exception is endurance swimmers (by which I mean channel swimmers, like 15+ miles distances). Many of them don't seem to kick much at all, especially the women (for example, the incredible Sarah Thomas was swam the English Channel 4-ways non-stop last year!).

I think toe-tapping can be helpful feedback to get a sense of streamlining. I see it more as a drill than an element of normal swimming style. Another good drill for this is what SolarEnergy on the old forums used to call "hide the foot". I call it "crossing the ankles". It only really works for a two-beat kick, but the idea is that after each kick, the other foot should cross over the top and rest, then uncross before kicking. It's a bit like doing an ankle-band glide between each kick.
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Post by nightcrawler on Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:30 am

Just adding 10 minutes kick set to the end of the swim session can help you to improve your kick.

As an open water swimmer I can say that having the power of a strong kick is important if you already have adequent horizontal position in the water. Otherwise an open water should first learn how to keep the body horizontal by the help of the core such as lats, scapula, abs, erector spinae, hips. In the open water you may assume yourself as a leaf swinging on the water rather than an engine with propulsion.

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