View Full Version : Front crawl: Hips sink when I breathe, causing bad things

February 6th, 2007, 09:47 PM
My front crawl (according to my instructor) is GREAT.

My feet stay at the surface. My hands barely splash. I do an "S" pull. I roll.

But when I go to breathe, the following happens:

1. my hips start to sink
2. ... causing me to slow down
3. ... causing my head to sink
4. ... causing me to crane my neck
5. ... causing me to try to "grab" the water in front of me
6. ... causing me to nearly drown.

Now we've tried a number of different drills and I've come to realize that my hips sink on almost ANY kind of rotation from front to back.

If I do the TI skating drill, or even just a simple switch from front crawl to back crawl, or vice versa, my hips sink.

Should I just keep plugging away at it, or is there some particular thing I should do? Kick harder when I rotate to breathe?

February 6th, 2007, 09:49 PM
Also, I find that my kick is generally less powerful on an angle (i.e. not directly on my front or back)...

Is there some different kicking dynamic I should be aware of?

February 7th, 2007, 09:19 AM
without seeing it, i can think of two things that could be causing this.

1 - kick. its not necessarily that your kick isn't strong enough. it sounds like you're keeping with your kick as you try to breathe, which is good. but i am thinking somewhere as you turn your head, your kick has a pause/hitch, and down go the hips.

2 - head. i'm thinking you may be actually lifting your head toward your shoulder. when breathing, your head should still be straight and your spine should be in line from top of head to tailbone. bear in mind that your head is a rudder for the rest of your body, and when it starts moving around, thats when your body position gets all out of whack.


February 7th, 2007, 09:32 AM
Try just kicking on your side with one arm out in front, or if you are really brave try it without an arm out in front. We do side kicking all the time! If you can't do it without a board, try it with a board at first, it puts you in a different position but it might help in the beginning.


February 7th, 2007, 10:30 AM
...But when I go to breathe, the following happens:
1. my hips start to sink
My first guess is head position. The kick does not give all the much propulsion, especially relative to muscle size. The kick does do a lot for helping maintain proper body position however.

Ideally you donít want to lift your head at all to breathe, but it is bound to lift some, especially until you really get motoring. But when you do lift your head, is it more from the top, or from the chin?

As a drill, occasionally try tucking you chin into you chest/shoulder as you breathe. It will likely bring a sensation that you are trying to point the top of your head at the bottom of the pool.

Try that and see how it feels. Feel free to experiment with other things. Lots of people will give lots of advice, and while much of it is similar, I believe you need to find your own stroke.

February 8th, 2007, 02:58 PM
Alpha, why don't you try other strokes? I'm 99% sure you will be better at some or all of them. The problem you have is specific to freestyle.