How to Swim Freestyle
Do you struggle with or do not even attempt freestyle swimming? Can you only manage a couple of lengths of the pool before you are out of breath? Does it seem that it is too much of a struggle to swim freestyle when you can swim comfortably up and down the pool using breaststroke?
Wouldn’t it be good to be able to swim freestyle like that person in the next lane? I think it is only when you learn freestyle that you truly appreciate the feeling as you glide through the water with a fast, smooth and powerful stroke. Also, your swimming times per length will reduce, and with it the number of strokes you take with each length. That’s right, when you develop a proper swimming stroke you go faster, for longer with less strokes, looking and feeling good in the water.
In order to develop a good freestyle technique the main areas I keep in mind for each swimming session are:
Body Position: I believe this is the most important basic to learn. I often see people swimming with their head out of the water and the rest of their stroke suffering as a result.
Breathing: To achieve the correct body position it is imperative to learn how to breathe correctly. A good breathing technique allows for a smooth stroke as you are no longer feeling breathless or struggling for air.
Correct Arm Entry: It is important to concentrate on the whole stroke, not just the arm entry, but faults in this area will lead to a poor stroke. I only keep two thoughts in mind, to enter the left/right hands at roughly 11 and 1 o’clock respectively and to think of pushing my arms into the sleeve of a shirt when they enter the water.
Body Rotation: Correct body rotation allows you to complete the whole stroke, giving you forwards momentum whilst enabling you to breathe more efficiently.
Kick: A good kick will again help with your forwards momentum, but it has to be controlled and to be in time with your stroke.
Also, some of the health benefits if you can learn how to swim freestyle:
* Low impact exercise reducing the risk of injury.
* Longer swimming sessions leading to an improved level of fitness.
* A more powerful and efficient swimming stroke that brings you confidence in the water.
* A complete upper body workout without those weights, watch those muscles grow.
* To be able to participate in open water swimming events or triathlon.
* Respect from others now that you have learnt how to swim freestyle.
All the above are perfectly achievable by swimming freestyle and to learn does not have to be a frustrating or difficult process. The key is to know the correct drills and to practice these in the correct order until a freestyle stroke becomes second nature to you.