Swimming is the perfect sport for those who find workouts too difficult and want to incorporate some fun into it somehow. Most of us struggle with finding the kind of workout that won’t be excruciatingly tiring, and swimming is the perfect way to combine our childhood love for pools with our need to stay in shape.
If you’re tired of breaking a sweat with the agony of jogging, swimming is just the sport you’re looking for. It burns a lot of calories, it’s easy on the knees, and is fun too! Whether you’re trying out swimming for the first time or have been a pro for a long time these basic tweaks to your freestyle technique will improve your form, so you glide through the water with reduced resistance.
Here are some tips you need to remember to improve your freestyle stroke:
1. Breathe correctly
If you’re a beginner, it might take some getting used to before you get the hang of breathing during your strokes. The key is to inhale through your nose and mouth outside the water, and then exhale through the nose underwater. Keep your back straight and look straight down when swimming. In every stroke, rotate your head perpendicular to the direction you’re facing so your chin is almost parallel to your shoulder. Take a shallow breath, and look back down to slowly exhale through the nose as you swim. When you master breathing properly with every stroke, you will be able to swim much longer without feeling fatigued.
2. Reach out as far as you can in every stroke
In every stroke, reach your hand out as far as you can. This will do two things for you as a swimmer. That extra amount of water you push back will mean extra propulsion for you to help you swim faster. Secondly, extending your arm will also help you breathe easier because your body will slightly twist with that extra extension, allowing you greater air time for easier inhalation.
3. Keep your back straight
Most amateur swimmers may struggle with keeping their back straight at first. It is important to keep your head in line with your shoulders and hips. If you lift your head above water to look ahead or to the sides while you’re swimming, your body will sink, creating unnecessary resistance. We need to reduce as much resistance as we can. Another helpful tip to reduce drag is to avoid wearing baggy swimming trunks and wearing tighter swimsuit instead. There are no mirrors to help you see your form as you go and it’ll take some practice before you get it right.
4. Point your toes
Point your toes while you swim to make your form more streamlined. Leaving your toes unflexed would create drag as they act as flaps to block the water you’ve been striving to push back to propel yourself forward. So, make sure you do simple calf raises in your spare time to make the toe pointing easier with stronger calves. You can also use flippers in the beginning to kick as they will give you plenty of thrust to work on your form. As you start improving your stroke technique, take them off and use the same kicking motion with pointed toes instead.
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