Correcting common errors

Most beginner swimmers have three distinct problem areas: breathing, kicking, and breathing. Did I mention breathing?

But, learning how to perfect your strokes doesn’t have to be challenging. Below are some easy fixes to the novice swimmer’s most common problems.

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Proper underwater breathing

Learning to properly breathe to the side can be difficult, especially when you aren’t used to it. Oftentimes people seem surprised when they find that they are supposed to be exhaling out of their nose while their face is in the water. When your face in the water your breathing is not at a standstill, instead you should be exhaling slowly into the water through your nose. This allows you to take a full inhale when you rotate your head to the side instead of trying to fit an inhale and an exhale

Lifting your head to breathe

It’s really easy to develop a habit yet really difficult to try and break one once it exists. And that is exactly why you see so many beginner swimmers, and seasoned swimmers alike, lifting their head to breathe during their laps – especially before they do flip turns. In both instances you need to work on getting your lungs into the inhale/exhale cycle. You may find that your breathing gets sloppy as you become more tired, but in actuality the more you breathe the quicker you will fatigue. Get in the habit of breathing every three strokes or once every four strokes if you prefer to breathe to a dominate side.

Lower half of body sinking while swimming

A lot of people have a hard time keeping their legs in line with the rest of their body as they are swimming; this is especially true for men. Men and women have a different center of buoyancy and as a result, men tend struggle to keep their legs from sinking downward while they swim, but the issue isn’t isolated to just males. The best way to keep your lower half from sinking in the water is to keep your head down in the water. Once you rise your head up the rest of your body will sink and you will need to kick harder and more efficiently to keep your body flat on top of the surface.

Perfect flutter kicking

The perfect flutter kick projects you forward in the water and enables a swimmer to have a fluid front crawl or backstroke. Sometimes beginner swimmers find themselves going backwards instead of forwards when they are working on kicking with a kickboard. Make sure your legs are together and alternating with one going towards the bottom of the pool and the other towards the top, they should separate about 1-2 feet apart. Your toes should be pointed and your ankles should be floppy. You can get into trouble if you don’t have pointed toes, if you are pointing them inward, or if your legs aren’t close enough together.

Hope your day goes swimmingly!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Correcting common errors

  1. I see people with the sinking lower body all the time and they really are struggling. Good tips!

  2. Thanks for the tips….I sort of learned how to swim at age 27 at the YMCA. I took several lessons, but I never advanced very far….I was really afraid of the water….even though it was only 4 feet deep!

    I’m not afraid anymore, but I just can’t get the breathing down….I try and try….but I always wind up doing the pop up breath out of water.

    I’m going to keep on working at it!

  3. I LOVE swimming and these are great tips! It took me a while to learn how to breath correctly but before long I was a competitive swimmer! That was back in the day of course but I will always love it.

  4. Pingback: Swim | What Kate Ate

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