View Full Version : Freestyle Head "Jerking"

February 17th, 2007, 09:56 AM
After watching a video on my freestyle, I seem to have an upward lift or jerk with my head when I breathe. It appears my head may be a little low in the water (hips are up ok) and when I go to breathe I get this jerking motion instead a smooth roll. I have about 1 + 1/4 goggles out of the water at the top of the breath. I've been all over the map with head position........is there any drills or imagery which could smooth out this? Or is this related more to a potential problem with arm swing and trying to vault over the anchor? thanks

February 17th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Are you rolling your body to breathe of just turning your head?

February 17th, 2007, 02:47 PM
useing a snorkel can help you with head position. I use one

February 17th, 2007, 06:19 PM
I, too, would like to know if you are rolling your body enough to breathe; that is a pretty important component. I'm just glad you got to see a video to find out the culprit. Swimming and breathing can be a hard thing for lots of folks because it feels unnatural for awhile. If your body can roll toward the breathing side, it should help to correct that jerky motion you have. Each of us have to find our own best body and head position during swimming. My head and body position are slightly higher than most others, but it works so well for me. Make sure your non-breathing arm is not traveling past your centerline and figure out a way to turn your head to the side, not up. Doing some short 25s is where you could work on this.

I am not sure a swim snorkel is the way to go because at some point, you will have to turn your head to breathe without it. I also look forward about 2 yards in front of my body when swim, instead of flat and low. Works for me.

Keep us posted as to how it is going!!


February 17th, 2007, 07:01 PM
yes i am rolling my body at 35-45 degrees on both sides, yet the head still jerks up at the last moment. my non breathing arm is not over the centerline per the video.

i have been trying to press my head forward when i breathe to counteract the jerk, but with only modest success. i'm told i was much worse before?? OMG

February 17th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Well, then knowing you are rolling is a good thing! You know, it may just be that you are not "sure" you will get that breath and are doing only what you know for sure will get you that breath of air; jerking forward and up before breathing. When I breathe, my mouth is just barely clear of the waterline but it was developed over a lot of swimming time and I found I could trust it in that position. It may just be your brain doesn't accept it yet and is doing what it knows will work.

We all have "little things" that we have to work on a lot and it is different for each of us. For instance, I am a right-side breather and really want to breathe on the left side, too, and I spent a full year trying to do it and I still can't; I get physically dizzy when I breathe on the opposite side plus my neck is now not flexible on that side and I get a headache. So, I will work on it for another year (sigh)....

Here is a chant for you: breathe to the side, not up...


February 18th, 2007, 08:03 AM
My daughter has a tendency to do this, and one of the issues she has is a weak kick. When her kick weakens, her hips sink just a bit, and that is when I see her do this lurch. It is only to her right side, and when the coach stops and talks to her, it makes her think and she can correct it. It also smooths out on distance swims, so I think she finds her balance, and goes. Her kick tends to be too big at time, and not effecient. She also crosses over her mid-line at times on her stroke, which may also affect this.

Without seeing you swim, check your hip position, and see if you are doing this because your hips are sinking at times.