Friday, January 16, 2015

The Causes Of Neck Pain In Swimming

Everything you need to transform your swimming:

The New SS Coaching System



Dorset Clinic March 7th
Full information here

Abingdon Clinic Jan 24th
Full information here

West Lothian
Video Analysis

Full information here

Prague Junior Swim Club
Full information here

Richmond SS Squad
Full information here and here

Acton Video Analysis
Full information here

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
All year round
Full information: here

Upcoming Swim Smooth Clinics / Camps:

Dubai Video Analysis Dec 2014
Full information here

Dubai/Richmond/Wimbledon Workshops
Full information here

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis
Full information here

Salisbury SS Squad
Full information here

Twickenham Video Analysis
Full information here

Lancaster SS Squad
Full information here

Lancaster Video
Analysis Consultations

Full information here




For more info on SS Certified Coaches see here
Our friends at Level Water have launched a new fundraising initiative to get 50 more disabled children swimming in 2015. To support this great charity and get inspired yourself, visit: 50.levelwater.org/


If you suffer from neck tension or pain after swimming you'll know how annoying it is but have you considered it might be something in your stroke technique causing it?

Here's three classic stroke flaws that place a large load on the muscles in your neck, which commonly lead to pain and discomfort in the neck or trapezius muscles.


1. Looking Skywards Whilst Breathing

Here's Clare looking straight up towards the sky (or pool ceiling) when breathing in an effort to find clear air:


Having to twist the neck this far round places a lot of stress on the neck, which can easily lead to soreness after swimming. This is a very common stroke fault amongst Bambinos (and also extreme Overgliders with very low stroke rates).

When we swim we should use the bow wave created by the head as it passes through the water, the bow wave shape creates a trough by the side of the head which we should be breathing into straight across the pool in position A.


Here's Swim Smooth Coach Steve Bailey demonstrating this technique to good effect, angling his mouth to the side ('Pop-eye Breathing') to allow him to keep his head really low:


Notice how Steve's lower goggle is in the water and he's looking across the surface of the pool, not twisting and looking skywards.

If you're quite new to freestyle, keeping your head this low can take a little getting used to but it's an essential skill to master to make breathing comfortable and relaxed. Try developing it whilst swimming with a pair of fins on, you'll be more relaxed with the fins on and your extra speed through the water will exaggerate the size of the bow-wave.


2. Breathing Too Far Forwards

The bow-wave trough only becomes deep in the area directly alongside the mouth, which is why we should be breathing directly to the side in position A:


If you try to breathe further forwards of this point in position B then the surface of the water is much higher and you will have to crane your mouth and head upwards to find air.



This craning position places a large stress on the neck, quickly leading to a sense of fatigue. Practise breathing in position A and you'll immediately feel relief.


3. Lifting The Head To Breathe

Did you know your head weighs around 5kg (11 pounds)? That's a heavy weight to lift out of the water every time you breathe and the effort of doing so places a lot of stress on your neck and trapezius muscles:


Lifting the head out of the water like this actually stops the bow-wave forming, so that trough beside your head disappears - making it feel like you have to lift it up that much or you'll swallow water! Trust that when you keep the top of your head in the water the trough will be there for you and you can keep your head much lower.


Additional: If you're subscribed to the Swim Smooth Coaching System you can follow our full stroke correction process for these faults here: app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/cpq/lifting-head-to-breathe/


Swim Smooth!

3 comments:

D Swimmer said...

Helpful post, especially for swimmers who have gotten past the "learn to swim" stage but who still have several flaws in their stroke. I think I'm getting better about the head position while breathing, but I know I can continue to improve on it.

Anonymous said...

It's easy make mistake during breathing. In this post you can to freshen up the basic of swiming.
Thank you Paul.
Sorry for my poor english).
Albert

Annie Oberlin-Harris said...

Hi D Swimmer, great to hear- keep it up!

Anonymous- Indeed- enjoy!