Improve Your Freestyle Swimming
Freestyle is one of the most common strokes in swimming. The freestyle stroke is not as hard or complex as butterfly or breaststroke but some aspects of this stroke can be tricky for beginner swimmers. In this article, we will learn how to improve your freestyle swimming technique and we will also see what you should and not do to perfect your swimming.
The swimmer represented in the images is Marian and she is at the very beginner stages of learning Freestyle stroke. Today, we will see how to improve and correct her technique.
Stop Crossing Over Your Body Line!
Crossing over your body line will slow you down.
The first tip to improve your freestyle is to stop crossing over your body line every time you take a stroke with a breath. You will notice in the above image that Marian’s hand crosses the middle line of your body which slows her down. When the hand crosses the body line, it goes to the side breaking the hydro-dynamic position of your body and increasing the resistance with the water. It’s exactly like putting on the brakes.
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Correct hand position which is parallel to your body line.
Keeping your hand parallel to the rest of your body line is very important. This will make you more hydro-dynamic in the water which will result in better speed and efficient swimming.
Fix Your Head Position.
Keep your head still if you don’t want to serpentine down the lane like a snake.
We can notice that a lot of time your head wiggles or constantly moves when swimming. This is the case with a lot of beginners. You should not that your head works like a steering wheel when swimming. If you move your head to the left, your body will go to the left, and the same with every direction. This happens because water is redirected back depending on the position of your head. If you don’t keep your head still you will serpentine down the lane like a snake.
It’s to keep your head still all the time if you want to swim straight. The only time you should move your head is when taking a breath. That should be a very quick movement.
Hand Position When Breathing.
Keep your hands up when trying to breathe. Hands going down is equal to applying brakes.
When you breathe to the side, your hand which is supposed to be staying up tends to drop down. Dropping your hands down is like applying brakes in the water. It creates a lot of resistance with water which will slow you down when swimming and you will get exhausted. You will also fail to swim straight due to the wrong hydro-dynamic position.
It is important to keep your hand up because your hand is more hydro-dynamic than your head. Your hand is like the front of a boat which is constantly displacing the water around your body. You need to keep your hand up when breathing to swim faster and stabilize your body in the water.
Don’t Over Rotate When Breathing!
Don’t over-rotate like you are swimming backstroke!
When beginners get exhausted or tired they tend to rotate their bodies all the way to take a breath. This is also the case with beginners who have fear of water rushing down their nose or mouth. This over-rotation creates a lot of problems when swimming freestyle. The first problem is that over-rotation will destabilize your body in the water resulting in breaking your lane. The other problem is it takes time to rotate on your back, then take a breath and again rotate back to your belly. This is not an efficient way to swim freestyle.
It is very important to stay on your belly or on your side for your breath. Don’t over-rotate like you are about to swim backstroke! Keep your breath sneaky and low. Try to stay more on catch-up freestyle zone or front quadrant swimming. That’s when both hands stay out front and wait for the other one to start the pull.
Watch the following video to improve your freestyle swimming.