Post in collaboration with On Buy
At the moment, I am training for Swimathon. I make no secret of the fact that I am a poor swimmer and hopefully these tips will help my technique!
Your body position should be perfected if you want to get the correct swimming technique. This means ensuring you are parallel to the floor, which is especially important when it comes to your legs. Leave them too low and it could affect your speed. Keep them straight and relaxed at the ankles. If your head is in the best position (neither too low nor too high) the rest should fall into place. Once you have a perfectly flat position, gentle rotate from side to side (like you see professional swimmers do), this will help you use your stronger back muscles to power your swim- improving your distance.
Although you want to eventually have a great technique without the use of aids, there are some cool swim toys out there that could get you off to a good start. In particular, a kickboard is great for swimming training as using it will help to develop strong leg muscles. It also allows you to focus on your leg technique or learn a new stroke. On the other hand, if you want to isolate your arms and improve your technique there, then a pullkick might be the swim toy for you. Simply place the float between your knees and keep your body in a straight line- this should give more symmetry to your arm stroke.
Possibly one of the hardest facets of improving your swimming technique is getting the breathing right. In fact, authors of the book “Mastering Swimming”, Jim Montgomery and Mo Chambers, have suggested that a good breathing technique will “will achieve a longer, more relaxed stroke”. The trick is to stay relaxed, which will reduce exhaustion, exhale slowly and as your face leaves the water increase the rate at which you exhale. Most swimmers elect to breath uniquely from their mouths, with some even wearing nose plugs.
Maintaining a good distance, and regular distance, per stroke will help you regulate your breathing and generally improve your swim. It also means you won’t be expending unnecessary effort, helping you swim better for longer. Make sure that one hand goes into the water just as the other starts to pull.
The only true way to perfect your swimming technique is to practice, practice, practice! It’s better to go little and often, over just once or twice a week for long periods of time. To avoid getting bored of your swimming training, vary each session by practicing different strokes or using the different swim toys mentioned above!