Swimming is a great sport and playing by the beach or pool gets more fun when you get in the water. Whether you swim as a hobby or a sport, twitching your strokes here and there can significantly improve your swimming skills and experience. Polishing your freestyle strokes not only makes you a better swimmer but also helps you glide through the water faster and further without getting tired. Take a look at these expert tips for improving your swimming skills.
Normalise wading in
Unless you have been practising, the high chances are that you haven’t swam adequately since last summer. That means you need to take your time and set realistic expectations once you get back into the water. Note that being in good shape doesn’t translate to being a great swimmer. Always start slowly in the water by floating your stomach or back to familiarise yourself with the weightless sensation. You can use a snorkel and flippers to allow yourself to focus solely on your strokes.
The high chances are that you don’t give much thought to how you breathe while swimming. But you have to understand that breathing is deliberate when swimming, and it can mess up with your strokes when you do it wrongly. The basic rule remains: exhale in the water and inhale outside the water, and it is the hardest part for many people.
Graeme Servantes advises that you first familiarise yourself with the feeling of blowing bubbles under the water from the shallow end. You can achieve that by gently exhaling through your nose and mouth, then tilting your head to the side and inhaling through your mouth. Practice breathing consciously on both sides, and the motion should feel rhythmic.
Roll your head to the side to breathe as you reach out far
When swimming, try to extend your arm as far as you can ahead of you as you tilt your head to the side to catch some air. It comes naturally. When you extend your hand far, your entire body twists, making it easier for you to roll your head and catch some air. Twist your body from the hips to the torso to get the most out of your strokes.
Maintain your body in a straight line
When swimming, you should try as much as possible to keep your body in a straight line, including your head and legs. Note that if you lift your head above the waterline, your body starts to sink, resulting in unnecessary resistance. For instance, you can request a friend to film you as you swim to know what your body looks like in the water and what you need to work on.
Kick your legs from the hips
As you freestyle in the water, ensure that your legs are straight as you kick. Try to put your legs together and kick from the hips to avoid getting tired quickly. Please avoid kicking from your knees as if you are kicking a soccer ball. You must engage the proper muscles from your hips.
You may not be a great swimmer, but you can become one with the right swimming tips.