This week’s swim session – Breathing, Rhythm and Timing

Developing a good breathing technique is one of the biggest challenges for beginner and intermediate swimmers. Do you have a strong side and a weak side? Why is that do you think? Problems with breathing can have an effect on other parts of your stroke. For instance, breathing can cause scissor kicks, a poor body position, cross-overs and lop sided strokes.

Here are 7 tips to improve your breathing from the coaches at Swim Smooth.

  1. Focus on your exhalation not your inhalation.
  2. Keep your head still when you are not breathing.
  3. Breathe into the pocket – the bow wave your head creates in the water.
  4. Don’t lift your head.
  5. Don’t over-rotate your head.
  6. A lack of body rotation could be causing problems with your breathing.
  7. Learn to breathe bilaterally.

Rhythm and timing are all about moving seamlessly from one phase of the stroke to the other. It’s all about finding the right balance between stroke length and stroke rate. Try counting your stroke rate (strokes per minute – SPM). A good way to this is to have someone count the number of strokes you take in 10sec them multiply by 6. You will also need to know your pace (secs/100m). Now use the Swim Smooth’s Stroke Rate Chart to see what you might have to work on – stroke length, stroke rate or both. The chart works for any effort level e.g. easy, steady or sprinting.

Remember your fins! See you Saturday. Tim (LFTC Coach)