Heads Up!

Posted: Jun 05 2015

The effectiveness of all strokes depends on head positioning, and when incorrect, misalignment of your body will result.  If your head lifts too high, your hips and legs drop causing a dragging movement, ultimately slowing you down.  Next thing you know, it feels like you are swimming uphill with your body struggling to make it to the other side of the pool.


Head Position Drill

To improve your freestyle technique, perform the Head Lead Kick Drill prior to your freestyle workout. This drill will enable you to feel the angle at which your head will cause your hips to fall, allowing you to adjust your head position accordingly.

  • Start out by relaxing your body in a floating position with your arms at your side, kicking lightly.
  • Begin floating with your eyes and head pointed forward, towards the other end of the pool.  At this point you will notice your hips and legs will be dragging in the water.
  • Relax your neck until your nose points directly at the line on the bottom of the pool. Here you should feel your hips and legs rising up towards the surface.
  • To breathe, pick your head up out of the water and breathe while looking at the other end of the pool.  Here you will feel your hips and legs drop significantly.  When done breathing relax your neck and you should feel your hips and legs rise back up to the surface.  If you are using a snorkel then there is no need to pick your head up and you should feel your entire body at the surface of the water.

          Using a snorkel while swimming and practicing the drill above will allow you to breathe without forcing you to break your head position.  To get your body and head used to the new position, you should start using your snorkel during warms ups, drill sets and cool downs.  By using the snorkel for some sets and not all sets you are allowing your body to learn the new head position while also working on how to breathe without breaking the head position too much and breaking your spinal alignment.

          Give this drill a try with and without a snorkel at your next swim workout.  If you don't own a snorkel then order your ylon-a YSTI Snorkel for Competitive Swimming or ylon-a YSTA Large Training Snorkel and start improving your body position and swim better today!

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