Freestyle swimming: back to basics


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This blog was inspired by a couple of trips to the local pool with OH. It struck me that many people don’t realise what they look like under water, and there are some very simple things that you can do to improve your freestyle stroke efficiency.

  • Make sure your arm stroke is slow and powerful. Each stroke it water disturbance which slows you down, so less is more. Imagine with each stroke that you are reaching over a barrel.
  • A freestyle kick should be full leg from the hip. NOT THE KNEE!
  • Reach and twist that shoulder just a bit more with each stroke rotation, you get a few extra free inches of reach!
  • Try and keep one eye under water at all times, you should not be looking up when you breathe. Try taping one goggle if you aren’t sure if you’re doing it right!
  • You must still drink water during your workout, you will till sweat, its just that you will notice it less.
  • Always include some backstroke as a warm down, it will help balance and stretch the shoulders, and help prevent that unbalanced hunch of a constant same direction rotation.
  • Swim power comes from shoulders and lats. If your bicep/ triceps are aching, lift those elbows!
  • Topedo drill is brill, for kick, rotation and balance / flotation. Google it!
  • Don’t hold fingers tight together, you get more power from a slightly relaxed hand, slightly gapped fingers.
  • Don’t overdo it. Better to be slow and steady than fast and resting to recover at the end of each lap.
  • Enjoy!

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