Most of us know how to swim, but few of us actually master a technique that could help us either swim for a longer distance, or swim at a higher speed. Let’s have a look at some of the things you could do to improve your swimming, regardless if you ever want to compete or simply show off on holiday.
Tips to improve your swimming
The best swimmers actually don’t swim faster because they increase their number of strokes per second. They do that by making sure each stroke is getting them further away, sooner. For this you need to reduce drag while at the same time maximizing efficiency. Good head position will ensure that drag is reduced, and it will also give you the advantage of being able to breathe better. In proper position, the water should break just over your forehead as you swim. When you breathe, don’t turn your head more than 90 degrees. Craning your neck not only strains your muscles, it slows you down.
2. How do you use your body?
Since we made is clear that efficiency means moving more with less strokes, let’s dispel a popular myth about swimming. Many claim that to get moving faster when you swim you need to kick your legs harder as well. There is a bit of truth to it, since legs are in fact able to help. However, 80% of the work actually comes from the back, the shoulders and the arms when you are doing front crawl. The legs are there first of all to help balance you, so that you don’t put too much strain on your lower back when you swim, and to increase your efficiency.
Good timing is essential, as it helps you maintain a streamlined position, increase the distance that a stroke will take you and at the same time it creates the time to breathe without being too rushed about it. If your hands are working at opposites like a windmill you are not improving your swimming. Ibstead, you should make sure that one hand enters the water just as the other beging oulling.
You should aim to breathe in 2 steps. While your head is out of the water, you breathe in. You can easily spot a beginner swimmer when you see they try to breathe in and out while they have their head out. Of course that is too little time so very quickly they become exhausted and they start gasping. Instead, make sure you inhale while your head is up, and you exhale while your head is under the water. Try to exhale the whole time your face is submerged- it’s important to not rush that too much either.
What techniques did you use to improve your swimming? Share your wisdom with us in the comments section below.