Coming up to Breathe

4 Drills – Coming up to Breathe

Please practice and perfect  Watching your Buddy before attempting this drill

       

Note:  These pictures were taken on dry land – see comments below!

Drill 1 – Coming up but Not Breathing

Stage 1

  • First please note the angle of this shoulder in the dry land photo.

  • With the support of the water you should maintain this angle through stages 2-5.

  • As you complete the 3rd drill from Watching Your Buddy check you balance:

  1. Am I looking straight down at the bottom of the pool?

  2. Are my hands on my thighs?

  3. Is my top arm to the air from shoulder to finger tips?

  4. Is my kick appropriate, leisurely but fast enough for progression?

  5. Is my whole body, head excepted, facing my buddy?

Stage 2

  • Begin gently breathing out through your nose as you begin to rotate you head.

  • Imagine a sweatband around your forehead and keep this close to your extended arm.

Stage 3

  • Do not think at all about breathing

  • Continue blowing gently out

Stage 4

  • Be aware of you head position – remember that sweatband!

  • Maintain your kick (easy to forget when concentrating)

  • Keep the pressure on that lower shoulder (to keep you upper hip at the surface)

  • Keep blowing out

Stage 5

  • As your face breaks the surface of the water, exhale strongly.

  • For this drill DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BREATHE at this point

  • Hold this position for a second or two and make yourself aware of your body balance.

  1. Where is your head in relationship to the surface of the water?

  2. Where is the back of your head in relationship to the extended arm?

  3. Where is your chin in relationship to your shoulder?

  4. Where is upper hip in relationship to the surface of the water?

  • Now come slowly onto your back, bringing your arm to your side.

  • Check  and correct your balance if needed.  Now BREATHE!

  • Continue for a few seconds or more to reinforce good balance.

Discuss your progress with your buddy.  Please note that in the water, your shoulder will probably be close to your chin than is shown in the later photos.

Discuss with your instructor whether should roll slightly onto your back as you come up to the air.  This will depend on your physical make-up, your age and/or flexibility and your current ability.  Do not be in any rush to assume you need to roll onto your back to breathe,  Far better to persevere until you get this right than take the easy way out!

Once you can comfortably complete this drill and your face is clear of the water EVERY time then you can move on to drill2.

Drill 2 – Coming up to Breathe

Complete as drill 1 but as the face begins to clear the water continue as follows:

  • Blow out strongly through your mouth and nose as you clear the surface of the water.

  • Once your lungs are empty, the in breathe, through the mouth, should take care of itself.

  • Continue in this position, checking your balance and breathing normally to the end of the lap

Drill 3 – Extending the Drill

Complete as drill 1 but as the face begins to clear the water continue as follows:

  • Blow out strongly through your mouth and nose as you clear the surface of the water.

  • Once your lungs are empty, the in breathe, through the mouth, should take care of itself.

  • Continue in this position, checking your balance and breathing normally for 10-15 seconds

  • Now turn your head down to the bottom of the pool and begin the whole cycle again

   

Notes:

Take time to balance with each movement.

If at any time you struggle to clear the water or your hips start sinking etc., go back to drill1.

Begin with 15 seconds up, 15 seconds down.

As you perfect this, shorten the time to 10 seconds up, 10 seconds down, and so on.

Drill 4 – Extending the Drill

As drill 3 but do not extend the arm.

You may have a tendency to rely on the arm for balance and this drill will ensure that you don’t get into bad habits.

Your balance in this drill will be critical and small imperfections will be magnified!