Freestyle swimming made easier with new innovative gear
Worn under a pair of goggles, the Arena Freestyle Breather consists of two "fins" that create an air pocket in front of the swimmer's nose and mouth.
Published Sunday, May 18, 2014 8:16PM EDT
This June, the swimming gear specialist Arena will launch a new accessory that may revolutionize the way people learn to swim freestyle. Worn under a pair of goggles, the Arena Freestyle Breather consists of two "fins" that create an air pocket in front of the swimmer's nose and mouth.
When swimming freestyle, athletes must keep their face in the water and move their heads from right to left in rhythm with their arms and their breathing. But as beginners know all too well, this coordinated movement is tricky to master. One of the most common mistakes is moving the head too far to either side due to the fear of inhaling water.
"To move forward in freestyle, it is important to move the water rather than trying to move oneself through the water. It's the water taken from in front and pushed back that propels the swimmer. The movement of the arms and hands forms a 'roll' that makes the motion effective and allows the swimmer to pick up speed. During a breath, this speed creates a wave that passes under the face and makes it easier to inhale. Beginners often push down rather than bringing the water behind them. This improper movement brings them down while they are trying to take a breath, and the result is a mouthful of water," explains Alain Bernard, Olympic champion in the 100m freestyle event and Arena consultant.
The Arena Freestyle Breather aims to remedy this problem. Swimmers simply place the training aid under their goggles so that the two fins are positioned on both sides of their nose and mouth. When the head is rotated, the fins push the water to create an air pocket, making it easier to take a breath of dry air. Arena notes that the accessory can be worn with most types of swimming goggles.
The Freestyle Breather will arrive in stores where Arena swimming gear is sold from this June. Price: around $14.