Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.
Which way is right? The controversy over this subject has been ongoing for a long time. In elite competition we see both heads tilted forward and heads down in freestyle…yet they both can’t be right. So which one is better?
Finally, a study we did with Olympic champion Jimmy Feigen sheds some significant light on the answer to this ongoing controversy. Jimmy was tested with a velocity meter while swimming at 100-meter race pace for about 20 meters distance, first with the head down. Then again, with the head tilted slightly forward. Here is what we found.
The head down position resulted in an average velocity of .02 m/sec faster than with the head tilted forward. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but over a 50 second hundred-meter race, that is one meter further behind with the head tilted forward than with the head down. That is enough to win or lose a race.
There is more to the story, however. There is a significant amount of additional work involved with one of these techniques. To find out, you will need to go to Lanes 2, 3 or 4 on our new subscription service and check out the video which was just released. There you will find out which technique generates more propulsion and which technique causes more frontal drag.
As far as I am concerned, the debate is over. I hope you will enjoy this new webisode featuring Olympian Jimmy Feigen.
Yours in Swimming,
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