Quick and Easy Swimming Tips
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#127: Breathe. Practice efficient breathing and make sure you get enough of oxygen. Change up your breathing pattern this weekend. Breathe every stroke or every other or combination of them etc. Just do something different than normal.
#126: Don't forget to practice your reaction time and fast starts, so you don't end up being behind already at the beginning of the race. Lean into the start before the whistle blows and refrain from rocking back on your heels.
#125: Try swimming with straight arms for a change. can u do it?
#124: After you push off the wall, one would think you should kick right away to go faster, however, that is not the case. After you push off, glide it out for a bit to take advantage of the push and only then start your underwater kick to maximize the distance with the speed.
#123: Instead of focusing on keeping your head down on freestyle to raise your legs up, try keeping your lower back flat with the surface of the water to get those legs up http://ow.ly/i/4l4pS
#122: When you start from the wall or do a flip turn, you should always push off the wall already at the depth you want to be in when you glide away from it, so submerge yourself already at the wall.
Swimming Tip #121: When doing your flipturns, spread your feet apart a bit to get more power from the push off. You do not squat with your feet together either
#120: Go through the water on the fly, not high above it. Practice this sequence, one stroke with no breathing, one stroke with only goggles out, one stroke regular breath.
#119: Why not do a reverse catch up on freestyle. Instead of your hands catching up at the front, let them catch up at your hips. Make sure to have a good hip rotation and spend the same amount of time on both sides of your body.
#118: Double arm backstroke is the keyword this weekend. Keep your head and chest at the surface, don't let it fall under the water and pull arms straight back as if you were holding onto concrete blocks.
#117: Practice your breaststroke kick on your back, keep your hips at the surface and knees below.
#116: a dead man's float into a great swimmer float - relax your body and then slowly extend your arms forward to shift more weight to the front of your body and your legs should rise to surface.
#115: Underwater swimming is a good way to feel your stroke. Try swimming a few meters under water and don't slack of on the recovery - work against the water, then pop up for a quick few meter sprint.
#114: Let's work on rhythm and constant arm motion during freestyle this weekend. Do not focus so much on the high elbow catch, instead focus on maintaining a constant cadence without decreasing speed. Each time you glide, your body slows down and it takes extra energy to pick up the speed again on the next stroke cycle.
#113: Improve your dolphin kick by exaggerating the wave. Get on your side with the bottom arm extended and top arm by your side. Dolphin kick from side to side as if you would like to kick the lane rope. The kick should involve your entire body, so get waving.
#112: One of the biggest hurdles we have when learning to swim is our flexibility. Forget about swimming this weekend and just give it a stretch and get in a habit of stretching those ankles, shoulders, lats and neck, so you can leverage your swimming body to full potential.
#111: Training for triathlon might seem insane, but if you break it down to the basics, you just need to do something every day. Be it swimming or core workout or transition routine. What are you up to this weekend?
#110: You should count your strokes when you swim and see if you can decrease the number of them per 25 or 50. There is a balance somewhere for you in terms of how many strokes you should take.
#109: Try this swimming progression swim with fists, then swim with hang loose sign, then move on to swimming with the Vulcan salute and finally with you normal opened hand. Have fun.
#108: To figure out how to keep your hand when swimming to catch the most water, try sticking it out of the car while you are driving and feel the pressure of the air against your palm. Manipulate your fingers and palm until you find the optimal surface area where it provides the most pressure. (at your own risk :))
#107: Don't fight the water! Slow down and find the path of the least resistance. How about pressing your chest deeper in the water to lift those legs up.
#106: Ask a friend to take a video of you swimming and then see how you do. It is priceless to see it. If you want me to have a look, just send me the link to it from Dropbox or Youtube and I will give you some comments.
#105: To practice your breaststroke kick, you can start on your back :). Lay on your back, arms along side of your body and do the breaststroke kick. Make sure that your knees stay below the surface pressing your hips up and your heels can even touch your fingertips when you bring them to your butt. #swimtip
#104: Learning to breathe to both sides is one thing, but being able to maintain a straight body line while breathing every stroke is quite hard. Try it out. Breathe to one side and then right away to the next every so often and see if you can maintain a straight swim.
#103: Don't feel like you have to swim full butterfly all the time. Shorten the distance and do one arm swimming with proper body/arms/legs coordination. This is much better for you than swimming full butterfly.
#102: Watch your shadow on the bottom of the pool when you swim and look for deviations from a straight line (it will keep your eyes on the bottom and help you see the issues).
#101: Swim a longer distance like 300-500 and in the middle of each lap do a 360 degree flip in a nice tucked ball and continue swimming. Make it very smooth, engaging your body, so you do not need to use your arms to continue swimming. The momentum should flip you over all the way.
#100: Can't grasp the butterfly motion? The undulation movement comes out of your sternum and the rest of the body just follows, so next time you are in the pool, lay on your stomach, arms at your side, face into the water and only move your chest up and down and try to create a wave. Don't forcefully kick with your legs, let them follow in the wave. Keep the back of the head at the surface (if that is tough, you can move your head up and down to help with the wave, but eventually you want to get it stationary and only use the sternum).
#99: Change up your freestyle stroke a for a bit and if you swim with high elbows try straight arm swimming and if you swim with straight arms, try high elbow recovery. You'd be amazed how different it feels and you might find something you didn't know before. Furthermore, recognizing that something is off in your stroke or the ability to change your stroke is all part of swimming education and will make you a better swimmer in the long run.
#98: Don't try to struggle with full stroke butterfly. You will get more out of swimming one arm butterfly drills. So, don't feel like you are cheating or being lazy. One arm butterfly will allow you to focus on technique for longer period of time. Also, try breathing to side like in freestyle instead of forward during the one arm swimming :).
#97: Doing a 2 beat kick is not easy to master, so why not start from vertical position. Float vertically in the water with your head out, arms at your side and kick with one foot to rotate your body the other direction (of course you already know you have to use your opposite hip to drive your body :))
#96: Hips Hips Hips. It seems simple, but try to think of your freestyle swimming stroke starting with the hip roll. You have to drive your top hip down in order to have smooth transition from side to side. "Say no to swimming on your stomach and get skating from hip to hip".
#95: While swimming in open water, you need to be able to sight (raise your head) to see whether you are swimming straight or not. When you do this, your legs drop which causes you to loose speed. Next time you sight forward, increase your kick speed for a slight bit during the time you are raising your head, this will keep your legs from sinking too much.
#94: Do not bring your high elbow freestyle approach from your pool to the open water. Open up your stroke a bit more by not bending your elbows above the water too much. Keep those arms more straight when going through the air and you will will feel much better rhythm and by swinging your straighter arm, you will have more momentum in it.
#93: Hips are an integral part of swimming. So use them. Each rotation you do in backstroke or freestyle starts with the hips. Get use to it by doing some vertical kicking while rotating hips from side to side after 6 kicks. Roll your hips :).
#92: Composing your swim workouts isn't easy & even though there is a lot of workout samples floating around on the net adapting it to your ability is not much easier. Keep it simple. Pick one area of your stroke to focus on & just evolve your workout around it. Why not work on kicking this weekend with a good vertical kick set 10x30s ON / 30s OFF and keep the body nice & tall (no toilet sitting postures).
Swimming Tip #91: Get back to basics this weekend and challenge yourself to slow down and work on side balance drills and rotation drills, so basically you only need your legs :). Bring fins to make it more fun and so you can focus on body position and not trying to survive. Keep those hips at the surface and eyes on the bottom of the pool when not breathing.
#90: Let's do some resistance training this weekend. Grab a pair of shorts with at least one pocket and swim a set of 10 x 50 where you have 10meters/yards all out swim for every 25. The rest is easy. Work on rotating your arms as fast as possible while maintaining 6 beat kick (3 kicks for every one arm stroke).
#89: Get your head with your upper body below your knees before you start flipping your legs over. Don't rush the turn and make it nice and small.
#88: Swimming down hill is a cliche, but seriously try it. Push your chest deeper into the water & see what happens. Play with it!
#87: Practice swimming more with your forearm by swimming with only a few fingers. Try 2 or 3 fingers, the rest closed.
#86: To be faster, you need to train at high speeds. Put some fast, but short sprints into your workouts with a lot of rest.
#85: Swim 4x50 freestyle & focus on finishing your stroke all the way to a straight arm. You'll feel a good burn in your triceps.
#84: Start in dead man's float. Start extending your arms forward along the water line, keep your head down and see if your legs rise.
#83: Remember that during freestyle your front/bottom/supporting arm has to be extended while you take the breath, otherwise you have no support.
#82: Kick on your stomach with your arms in the high catch position (like a scare crow). Push elbows in front of your shoulders.
#81: Make sure your head does not sway from side to side when you swim freestyle or backstroke. It will increase your efficiency.
#80: Did you know that blowing bubbles while you swim helps your body relax & get rid off excess CO2? Do u feel all bubbly now? :)
#79: Experiment with keeping your fingers tight together, spread apart as much as you can or somewhere in between :)
#78: Engage your lat muscles during freestyle. Each time you pull, your lat muscle should work hard. Try sculling for a change. :)
#77: Swim freestyle under water with all the elements, high elbow recovery, hip rotation, narrow kick and then pop up and sprint
#76: Rub your big toes over each other when doing the freestyle kick and keep them ankles relaxed.
#75: Try to do a face down snow angel on the surface of the water with fingertips skimming the surface - great for body control.
#74: Remember your head & leading arm on freestyle determines where u will swim. So keep that middle finger pointed to where you swim
#73: When learning to blow bubbles, do an exercise where you hold your breath and open your mouth under water to let the water slush around.
#72: Make sure to press your hips up to the surface during backstroke, don't let you butt do the sinking. Engage your mid section, your core.
#71: Keep your chin tucked in during backstroke. Don't stick it out to the ceiling, you only need your eyes, nose and mouth out barely out of the water.
#70: Should you swim other strokes in your workouts? Absolutely. No matter what you train for or who you are, mix it up with other strokes.
#69: In freestyle, when you return your head back into the water after your breath you should see your other arm moving through.
#68: Always be pressing chest and head into the water to keep your hips up and your body in horizontal position.
#67: Don't forget 2 squeeze your feet together at the end of your breaststroke kick. Kick, squeeze & glide. You'll feel the surge.
#66: Exaggerate your breaststroke and come as high out of the water with your upper body as you can. Let your spine pull you up.
#65: Don't forget to roll your hips during backstroke. The hip actually starts the roll, not your arm.
#64: Keep your head down to raise your hips, but if you need to work on your hand entry, you need to look up to see the hands.
#63: Sinking legs? Practice balance: start in dead man's float, slowly extend your arms forward to get the legs to the surface.
#62: Grab some zoomers and do only side kicking exercises for a couple of days. Arm lead, head lead, arms across chest etc.
Swimming Tip #61: Remember backwards freestyle? Do a few laps this weekend. Roll your hips, press chest into water and keep your legs together
#60: When you return your head from freestyle breathing position back into the water, you should catch a glimps of the pulling arm.
#59: When swimming with hand paddles, get rid off the wrist strap. Only use the middle finger strap. Much better for stroke control.
#58: The illusive breaststroke kick - think of it as pushing water backwards with the inner calf and foot, not kicking to the sides
#57: The statement to "swim down the hill" is a cliche by now, however, it is very much true. It almost feels that way, so dig in.
#56: Do a kick set this weekend. 200 EZ kick, 4x50 sprint kick - 30s rest, 200 EZ kick. Get your legs in shape and keep them there.
#55: Keep your freestyle kick within your body shape. Imagine you swim through a narrow tube and your entire body should fit in it.
#54: During freestyle breathing try to rotate your entire body along with your head - similar to if you were a tree log rolling
#53: During one arm freestyle drill - make sure to rotate to both sides evenly, even if you only breathe to one side
#52: The ability to swim slowly is the key to mastering swimming - balance and control should be your top priority, so slow down :)
#51: When swimming with paddles try grabbing the paddles with your fingertips to strengthen your forearm for a change.
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#50: In order to swim fastest, restrain from using too much power. Instead, feel the water and reduce your resistance.
#49: Try pulling through the water with your big lat muscles instead of just your arms. Swimmer V body is a proof that it works :).
#48: Look forward during your freestyle swim 2 monitor where your hand enters the water. No crossing over. Inline with shoulder.
#47: Restrain yourself from pushing off the wall with your hands during your open turns. Just touch and the rest is done by your body.
#46: During your flip turns, don't snap the feet on the wall. Keep the turn nice and tucked and let the forward momentum turn you.
#45: When pushing off the wall, make sure to sink to the depth you'd like to push off, so you do not push off right at the surface.
#44: Make your vertical kicking more fun by changing position of your arms. Try under water, above water, on your head etc.
#43: Why not try some vertical kicking this weekend? 5 x 1 minute (30 seconds ON/30 seconds OFF). Keep the kick brisk and narrow.
#42: Don't look for the wall when swimming freestyle. Use the black T line instead. When you see it underneath, just stretch and glide.
#41: When a faster swimmer is approaching to turn, restrain yourself from pushing off right in front of them to do your lap.
#40: Rub the tip of your toes over each other when you flutter kick, it might help you with doing the scissor kick for stabilization.
#39: To improve your breaststroke kick, try kicking on your back while keeping your knees under the surface and hips at the surface.
#38: Try looking forward during your freestyle swim to check how your hand/arm behaves (no cross over, no thumb first entry).
#37: 2-beat kick is a must for open water swimming. Snap your leg during the underwater arm cycle.
#36: Kicking like a maniac in freestyle will cause you to fatigue sooner. Do a 2-beat kick, one kick per stroke.
#35: There is a slight arm catch up in the backstroke. Always pause a little with your arm above your head while the other already travels through the air.
#34: If you feel you struggle with some of your kicking balancing drills, put some fins on, so you focus on the drill and not on how tired you are.
#33: Don't fight the water and don't try to get over the water. Let your body sink into the water, keep your shoulder blades back and think about what makes you go forward.
#32: Still scissor kicking during freestyle? Check what your front hand is doing when it enters the water. If it crosses over your center line, this could be the reason.
Swimming Tip #31: Do not be afraid to stick your head under the water during freestyle. Keep your eyes on the bottom of the pool and let water flow over the back of your head.
#30: In backstroke make sure to keep your arm straight and your elbow locked when it moves through the air during the recovery cycle.
#29: When taking a breath during freestyle make sure your front/leading arm does not drop, so you loose support. Keep it extended in front while you breathe.
#28: Swimming freestyle flat on your stomach is not an option. Your body should slide side to side and your stomach is only a transition station where u do not stop.
#27: Get back to the basics and practice balancing on a side. Go out and do your side kicking drills this weekend.
#26: When swimming backstroke, make sure to keep your arms straight, your elbows locked while your arms are moving through the air.
#25: Do you scissor kick on freestyle to keep yourself balanced? Try using a short rubber band around your ankles next time you go for a swim and attempt to keep your body balanced without using your legs for support. You will see how easy you will glide through water.
#24: When taking a breath during freestyle, do you know what your leading/front arm is doing? Chances are the arm is waving around to keep you balanced and supported. Next time you take a breath, pay attention to the leading arm and keep it nice and straight.
#23: Do you exhale out of your nose or mouth when using the front end snorkel? Try only using your mouth, so you get a better workout. It will be harder and harder to breathe as the excess CO2 gets trapped in the snorkel tube.
#22: Bilateral breathing does not mean you have to breathe to both sides, every 3rd stroke. Breathing every 3rd stroke consumes too much oxygen. Bilateral breathing means that you know how to breathe to both sides if the circumstances require it. Learn to breathe to both sides by swimming one lap breathing to left and other breathing to right.
#21: When breathing during freestyle. Keep one goggle in, one goggle out of the water and push the top of your head down into the water, so it feels like you are swimming down the hill.
#20: Don't let your thumb enter the water first on freestyle. Your fingertips enter first with your palm facing back and not to the side. This way, you don't loose the initial catch and you will keep your shoulders healthy.
#19: Prevent your stretched out arm from slapping the water in freestyle. Keep high elbow with fingertips slicing the water first.
#18: Are you like a pecking chicken during breaststroke? Keep your neck nice and tall. Your head is an extension of your body.
#17: Do you know what your forward arm is doing when you take a breath in freestyle? Don't let it deviate from its straight line.
#16:Make sure to release some of your air into the water before taking your breath, so your breathe is quick and you get rid of CO2
#15:You need to see yourself swimming to know what to improve. Get that camera out of the closet and shoot some swimming video. Then get your favorite coach or instructor to give you a few pointers.
#14: How many strokes do you take per one lap? Next time you are in the pool, count your strokes and strive to decrease the count.
#13:Keep your shark drill slow & in control. Be relaxed from elbow down. Keep fingers on your side, don't stick them in your armpit.
#12: Don't be a meter (yard) junkie. Swimming is not about how far you can swim in your workout, but what quality the workout is.
#11: Slow down your kick. Instead of kicking 6-beat (every arm stroke 3 kicks), do a 2-beat kick (every stroke/pull a downward kick).
#10: Drills, drills, drills. Without breaking down the stroke, you can't learn it. Slow down and use 50% of your workout for drills.
#9: If u aren't out there 2 win a triathlon race, don't start in the middle of the pack. Get on the side & draft from your neighbor
#8: Learn to swim in more than one speed. Like in running, swimming has walking, jogging, long distance, and sprinting speeds.
#7: Triathletes and open water swimmers, include some sighting drills into your pool sessions. 4x50 sprint for time with 4 peeks.
#6: During freestyle swimming, keep the top of your head in the water during breathing. It should feel like swimming down the hill.
#5: Perform arm lead side kicking drills in shallow water (50cm, 1.5ft) and walk your fingers on the bottom.
#4: When learning how to do flutter kick, imagine your feet are in a normal size bucket. So the kick is nicely compact.
#3: Keep your body relaxed during swimming exercises. Learn to relax by floating and sinking drills. Pretend you are in bed.
#2: Do not feel bad for spending a lot of time learning the basics behind swimming. It will pay off in the long run.
Swimming Tip #1: Be patient when learning to swim. Perfecting the core technique should be your top priority, so do not rush it through.
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