I am trying to fix my head and hip positioning by looking down instead of forward and pressing my chest and / or head down.
It's kind of awkward to press your chest down while also looking down and keeping your head at the surface of the water. My friend tells me that I was swimming with my whole body about an inch below the surface. But I'm pretty sure it was faster.
In some videos, Phelps looks like he's looking pretty far forward, so I tried to look a little forward and press only my chest. That felt like it really worked to get my hips on the surface and my head at the top, but I was told that my head was still underwater and it also didn't feel quite as fast. It was also hard to press the chest without feeling like I was looking way too far forward.
I'm sure I'll get used to this, but when I press my chest down, I feel like I have so much less breath. I'm a sprinter, so it's less of a big deal, but I'm hoping that goes away eventually or is at least normal?
Some of the later positions I've tried for head and hip position have made my upper lats through my shoulders through the top of the arm ache/hurt, and this aching is accentuated when I switch to a kickboard for kicking sets. I think I've become lazy in my arm pulls as I work on other technical issues (which may be contributing to this), but part of it I think is that my arm is floating above my head and body so when I rotate and pull the arm, it doesn't have as much power.
Thorpe complicates the whole issue because apparently he lets his hips drop a little so he can use his legs to power him along better.
What can I do to alleviate these issues and how can I get a better head and hip position for sprinting?