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View Full Version : Help w/ freestyle over rotating breathing



kathygirl
November 6th, 2011, 11:47 AM
I have a new swim student who learned a "version" of TI for his triathlons. He over rotates(turning almost on his back) when he breathes. I have worked with him on a couple of drills but they don't seem to be helping... I would love some suggestions for an effective drill that would help with this problem. He is committed to improving his swimming and I really want to help him improve.
CoachKathy

rtodd
November 6th, 2011, 12:06 PM
For starters, have him swim with a snorkle so he gets away from rotating too much to breathe.

Many times over rotating comes from a lack of kick and a lack of speed in the water. Get him to do 50's free using a six beat kick. Also do 25's free all out using this six beat kick no breathe with plenty of rest.

What's his stroke rate? Is it 1 second per stroke or ~60 strokes/min or slower? Get his tempo up to 70 strokes/min. Higher tempo brings down rotation.

Is he doing strokes? I think fly and breast will help get him used to the idea you don't need to be on your side to swim fast.

smontanaro
November 6th, 2011, 12:28 PM
I would have him try a six-kick-switch drill (with fins if necessary to generate the necessary speed). Breath right before the switch and focus on as small a head turn as possible. Ideally, he should be breathing behind his head wake and only one eye should be out of the water. When his head is in the water and he's kicking on one side, his head and eyes should be facing straight down. Catch-up or fingertip drag drills, again, modified so the focus is on "one eye out" might also help.

Skip

orca1946
November 9th, 2011, 03:09 PM
Try to have him look his fingers WHEN BREATHING SO AS TO FOLLOW IT LOW in he water

Ex-distance guy
November 9th, 2011, 05:49 PM
I am currently trying to re-gain my 6-beat rhythm kick and find a balance for my one sided breathing ultra-drawn out stroke cycle. My usual race pace DPS for scy used to be 9-12; swimming freestyle warm-up-pace w/good turns I was 9-11 DPS scy. I am a one side breather, I breath to the left ONLY. Many of the world's best freestylers (non-sprinters) are one side breathers, and I stand behind that. (I have made several training attempts with different coaches trying to breath to the right, and it just doesn't work if I want to retain good momentum with consistent stroke 'cycles'. In my earliest years on the summer league swim team learning rotary breathing, my coach never stressed bi-lateral breathing ,so the habit formed. It formed to the point of not being able to efficiently swim while breathing bi-laterally; years and millions of yards later causing my freestyle to be a two stroke cycle. Consequently, my abs started to develop slightly unbalanced. My lateral left side row of abdominals is set almost a half inch higher than my right side. (A little wierd to look at but has never seemed to effect flexibility/rotation or anything else)

About three weeks ago I started swimming again for the first time in 5 years and my legs/kick are not synchronized with my stroke cycle like they used to be. I used to be able to 'get into' a rhythm where every stroke cycle would be complemented by a well-timed 6 beat kick, which would provide lift and stability to support and balance my exaggerated stroke length. -Every two strokes was one breath, 6 kicks, all timed in one motion. Each 'cycle' felt like one single articulated movement, this is the only way I could swim free at a fast pace. Now I feel as if my legs, core, and upper body are all disconnected, acting(flailing freely) while just trying to cruise and keep my technique clean.

Currently I am trying very hard to do a good job at keeping a long/high catch with a full follow press through with my pull....but it seems "feels like" my legs are moving almost randomly just to maintain the balance of my DPS/upper body. I don't even have a proper 2-beat anymore (which i used to only use for the 800 - mile) or just whenever I felt lazy in longer sets in practice (too often).

I need to find drills associated with freestyle kick-beat timing, because after 3 weeks I have made little to no progress on freestyle kick-timing.

Debugger
November 10th, 2011, 04:55 AM
I would have him try a six-kick-switch drill (with fins if necessary to generate the necessary speed). Breath right before the switch and focus on as small a head turn as possible. Ideally, he should be breathing behind his head wake and only one eye should be out of the water. When his head is in the water and he's kicking on one side, his head and eyes should be facing straight down. Catch-up or fingertip drag drills, again, modified so the focus is on "one eye out" might also help.

Skip
Thanks.
That sounds good idea. I was teaching to swim my daughter she seems to make good progress in swimming breaststroke and backstroke, but she's over rotating when she swims freestyle when I tried to explain her how do it correctly she answered that she breath in water if she doesn't rotate enough and I guess you are right - that's because of lack of speed. Perhaps fins should solve this problem.

Debugger
November 10th, 2011, 06:39 AM
I would have him try a six-kick-switch drill (with fins if necessary to generate the necessary speed). Breath right before the switch and focus on as small a head turn as possible. Ideally, he should be breathing behind his head wake and only one eye should be out of the water. When his head is in the water and he's kicking on one side, his head and eyes should be facing straight down. Catch-up or fingertip drag drills, again, modified so the focus is on "one eye out" might also help.

Skip
Thanks.
That sounds good idea. I was teaching to swim my daughter she seems to make good progress in swimming breaststroke and backstroke, but she's over rotating when she swims freestyle when I tried to explain her how do it correctly she answered that she breath in water if she doesn't rotate enough and I guess you are right - that's because of lack of speed. Perhaps fins should solve this problem.

norascats
November 13th, 2011, 07:36 AM
Since he sounds like a relatively new swimmer, I would suggest making sure he is breathing out under water. expelling all the air minimizes the time required to take a breath above water and can help a lot with the over rotation. All the other suggestions sound good too.

SolarEnergy
November 13th, 2011, 02:25 PM
TI side effects....

Normally, given a high elbow recovery, finger trailing drill can certainly be used to set the ideal angle of rotation. On each side that is.

Normally, the body shouldn't rotate more than what it needs to rotate to allow for the arm to recover outside the water whilst keeping the fingers very close to the surface. Since finger trailing drill gives the swimmer an immediate bio-feedback on how close the hands are from the surface, it can certainly be used for this purpose.

Herb
November 16th, 2011, 11:38 PM
True or False: Most swimmers under-rotate if anything? (I thought I read this in Mags book or somewhere)

Also, I wonder - if I have a dominant side of breathing am I more likely to over-rotate when trying to breathe to the other side? I have done a lot of finger tip dragging over the last year and then started alternate breathing to the left side to try and rid myself of my lazy left arm. Although I would always still breath to the right in a race, I think I have really gained some symmetry to my stroke and overall improvement with the high elbow. And yet, it never does feel quite comfortable breathing to my left and I can feel an over-rotation (and I think I pop more of my head out with two goggles on that side). At the same time a coach told me a while back before all this that I was plowing through the water and needed to do a lot of switchback drills to generate the power.

Don't know if that makes any sense as I am obviously a little lost. When I am swimming real easy like I can't even decide on whether to focus on exaggerating the rotation or reducing it. I suppose I need to post another video for feedback.

slow
November 17th, 2011, 06:44 AM
Some quick ideas:

Is the swimmer holding their breath under water? (Someone else already said this.)

Are they trying to take big breaths or just enough air to last until their next breath?

What is their breathing pattern? I am guessing it is exclusively to one side every two strokes. If so, they might be over-rotating to compensate for chop that might be coming at them. An alternate is that they learn to breathe every two strokes to both sides, so that they can pick a side depending on the water conditions.

How do they sight? It is wild but this over-rotating might be some botched attempt at sighting. They can be given a variety of sighting drills and then pick two techniques to develop more thoroughly.

marksman
November 22nd, 2011, 12:03 AM
I would recommend checking out this youtube video:

Freestyle Breathing with Michael Phelps, Katie Hoff, & Bob Bowman - YouTube

It's probably been linked many times already but it's awesome advice on the topic.

I don't see phelps or hoff rotating all that much in the videos. I think what's notable about the Phelps and Hoff strokes is how absolutely steady their center line is even when breathing. Rotating along their axis to breathe rather than lifting their heads or twisting their necks probably helps them stay on a perfect center line.

Phelps' one-sided breathing and lope may help him spend a bit more time on his side though on the breathing side.