Freestyle Swim Technique Breathing

A lot of swimmers don’t think about how they are breathing but it can make a huge difference in your freestyle swim technique. Even at the highest level there are common mistakes in breathing. Nathan Adrian is perhaps the best ‘breather’ in the world when it comes to how he takes his breath in a race. He uses his neck muscles to force the head back down quickly to minimize the amount of drag caused by the head out of alignment. In this video Race Club coaches teach swim drills to help the campers learn the proper way to breath, like Nathan Adrian!

Responses

  1. I have long been a “stargazer” but have recently stumbled on a practice technique that might be helpful while trying to make the transition to correct breath taking. If you keep your “down” eye below the surface, it is hard to find air anywhere except in the trough. But my brain seemed to favor the visual image coming from the up and clearly focused eye making it difficult to be sure that the other eye was indeed below the surface. So…I found an old pair of goggles, traced the upside eyepiece pattern on some duct tape, cut out the tape patch and placed it over the lense. Now it is obvious when my head is rotated correctly. I get only an underwater view and I still get air when I breath. I am planning to practice this way until it is habit. Proving once again, anything can be fixed with duct tape!
    Tim Delehanty

    1. That is an excellent idea for a drill! I think I will bring some duct tape to the next camp and try it. I also like the head clicker that my friend, Steve Friederang invented. It has a ball bearing in a cylinder tube that fits under the goggle strap. If the crown of the head is lifted, the swimmer hears the laudible click of the ball bearing.

  2. I am all about freestyle breathing lately and am breathless to share one more observation. It appears from the Nathan Adrian videos I have watched that he does one other critical thing. Yes, he directs his head back into the trough, takes a low profile breath, and leads with the crown of his head. But he also returns his head to center and below the water level extremely fast. In fact, long before the recovering breath side hand enters the water to begin his catch. Is there no end to all the stuff we must master to go fast? I guess that is one reason masters swimming is such a great hobby.

    1. Timothy,
      Great observation. Nearly all of the elite freestylers of today (at all distances) bury their heads underwater after the breath. Since that is the surge point; the fastest point in the stroke cycle, it is important to get the head down then. Thanks for pointing this out!