Swimfit Training Camp: Keep Your Head Down
Breaststroke is a the most common stroke used by recreational swimmers but many people like to take a steady pace without submerging themselves fully in the water.
It may be you like to have a chat with your swim buddy or simply don't want to get your beautiful hair wet.
But, while in the short term there is not much to worry about, swimming head-up breaststroke over a longer term can cause serious damage due to the extra stress and strain on your neck and back.
Out Of Water
To put it in perspective, can you imagine staring at the sky as you were walking around the high street shops?
After a short period of time, you would end up with a pretty awful neck ache! This is basically the position your head is in when you breaststroke with your head out of the water.
Efficiency and Confidence
But there are more reasons to perfect your breaststroke technique other than just giving your neck and back a break.
Firstly, swimming with your head out of water increases drag so it slows you down and makes the whole process a lot harder and more awkward. You might find you enjoy swimming breaststroke a lot more and that it becomes a lot smoother for you once you have learned a more efficient technique.
The second big advantage is submerging your head will give you a much greater confidence in the water. It might not seem it at first but a good breaststroke technique will ensure you have a regular breathing pattern and is good practice should you ever be swimming in deeper or choppier waters like you might find at sea.
Another common excuse for head-up breaststroke is for swimmers who wear contact lenses and want to see the end of the pool before they hit it head first!
But it's an easy fix! Prescription swimming goggles are increasingly available and will make a huge difference, allowing you to see clearly underwater and freeing you up to learn a good breaststroke technique - your back and neck will be appreciate it!
Ask your optician for advice on prescription goggles.
What are you waiting for? Click one of the links below and watch the videos to get your breaststroke just right
- The Breaststroke Basics - make sure you've got the basics of breaststroke nailed with our exclusive Swimfit video introduction.
- Perfect Your Technique - time to perfect your stroke. Read further tips and watch videos isolating the different aspects of the stroke.
- Kicking King - screw kicks can haunt breaststroke swimmers of all standards. Luckily, you can fix them yourself.
- Tips From The Top - if anyone knows breaststroke, it's Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson. Read his technique tips.