Last week we looked at how posture really can affect body position, control and the ease at which you swim. This week we just focus on one of those elements – where your optimal head position is.

There are four things that head position will affect in your swimming – freestyle or otherwise.

  1. General body position and balance in the water will change
  2. Breathing can be altered – its far easier to turn your head to the side with a neutral spine
  3. Looking too far forward too much of the time causes tension in the neck and shoulders
  4. If you’re wetsuited, you’re more likely to rub your neck and cause a rash.

As mentioned in previous blogs, every individual is different, and their own optimal head position will be different again – due to flexibility and personal buoyancy. However the majority should have a relatively large similarity in that the spine should remain fairly neutral to some degree, and things should be relaxed!

Head position

Swimming looking down – maintaining long neck and back

Alternating Head Position

Swim a length of freestyle with your eyes looking straight forward. Notice what happens to your hips. And notice the amount of effort it takes.

Next swim with your eyes looking straight down, keeping your neck long. Focus on the tiles…and notice what happens to your hips.

Swim half a length looking forward…

…and half a length looking at the bottom, with the neck relaxed and head in neutral.

Compare your speed…and the ease with which you swim.

You can also try this doing streamlined kick, changing your head position:

Do a length with your ears tight between your shoulders kicking, looking down.

Follow this up with a length keeping your eyes looking almost up toward your hands.

Next do a length “surf kick” with your chin on the surface surfing the water. You can even do a length changing between the 3 head positions.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in  the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!