PDA

View Full Version : Swimming w/ Head Above Water in Breast & Freestyle OK/Safe?



creativelogic
July 10th, 2013, 04:35 PM
Hello,

I'm a new swimmer, who is currently self-teaching myself (while awaiting trained instruction to begin next Tuesday at the local city rec. center).

A quick question I have that I have not found good answers for online thus far is whether or not one can safely swim with their head above water (at all times) doing the breast or freestyle strokes? I am aware that "normal" instruction and competitive swimming has the head and/or face in the water at some portions of those respective strokes, but am wondering if there is a safe variation that would allow a head-above-water swim?

To be sure, I have seen some in my local rec. pool do the freestyle in that way, but had wondered whether that was just improper form on their part or if there actually is a safe/viable variation like that.

I appreciate everyone's time and help and thank you very much in advance for the help!

Rob Copeland
July 11th, 2013, 08:29 AM
[Yes it is safe to swim with your head out of the water. One reason you don’t see a lot of people swimming like this is because it is inefficient. It takes a lot more effort to keep your head out of the water when you swim.

It is more a matter of what you want to accomplish through swimming. If your only goal is as exercise, then form and efficiency shouldn’t matter, in fact the more inefficient your stroke the more calories you burn per length. However, if you want to improve to swim longer faster further, then working on your technique will come into play. And that will include getting your face in the water.

__steve__
July 11th, 2013, 09:38 AM
If you must keep your face up and out of the water in the meantime, a good idea would be to grab a kick board and learn to kick strong. Rest enough between lengths to maintain form and momentum to the wall. Bringing a solid, narrow kick to your lesson might make things progress smoothly

knelson
July 11th, 2013, 09:55 AM
A quick question I have that I have not found good answers for online thus far is whether or not one can safely swim with their head above water (at all times) doing the breast or freestyle strokes? I am aware that "normal" instruction and competitive swimming has the head and/or face in the water at some portions of those respective strokes, but am wondering if there is a safe variation that would allow a head-above-water swim?

Yeah, it's safe, just really inefficient. It's sort of like deciding to go on a 100 mile road bike tour using a mountain bike or fixie.

orca1946
July 11th, 2013, 06:48 PM
It's "safe" as in do you carry heavy bags around the store while holding them overhead?? You really need swim lessons ---soon. You will like to swim ALOT MORE when you can put your face in the water. Good Luck - join a team soon also.

mcnair
July 12th, 2013, 06:44 PM
It's much more comfortable not to be craning your neck to keep your head above water; and I would say it's safer in the long run to get out of the habit of trying to keep your head above water because that inefficient stroke might get you into a situation that only an efficient stroke can get you out of; in deep water, for example, away from shore.

Also, if you don't like having your face underwater for long periods learn an efficient backstroke too... that might be more comfortable for you anyway. I've seen folks at the Y who do at least half of their yardage as backstroke, just because they can breathe more easily and find it more comfortable.

Michael Heather
July 13th, 2013, 12:47 PM
It is both safe an OK to swim with your head out of the water if you prefer to do so. Water Polo players do it all the time. It is not fast or efficient, but that was not your question. Welcome to the swimming community!

creativelogic
July 17th, 2013, 12:39 AM
Just started my first swimming lessons today and it was exciting!

I read through everyone's comments and wanted to thank you all for the time you put into answering my question and the explanations & advice that came with it. :banana:

------------------------------------------------------------------

We used a kickboard to learn how to kick, floated on our stomach and backs, and started learning the basic freestyle.

I did find face-in-the-water was easier! It felt more natural to me and relaxed that way, despite looking hard when I first was experimenting. I realized that you float easier and have better form/movement when you're parallel to the pool bottom. The stroke flows so much better and smoothly compared to have your head up.

Ironically, when I was also using the kickboard with my head up, I kept getting water splashed into my nose where I was breathing out of as well. Head up turned out a less pleasant and efficient position.

knelson
July 17th, 2013, 01:21 AM
Good to hear. Keep it up!