With another new season upon us it is always a good time to hit the basics. Starting the year out with proper technique and form, and instilling those habits now instead of when hard training kicks up in a month or so, is always easier.
Take advantage of this fresh slate to make this the year that your technique rocks with these 3 tips for a more efficient freestyle:
1. Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’.
Rotating properly in the water can be a bit of a mystery. Don’t do it enough and you are plowing your shoulders through the water, causing heaps of drag and turbulence. Do it too much and you lose a lot of the power in your pull as it your hand is either forced to cross the center line or your pull is extended straight down the side of your body, which takes the big power making capabilities of your lats and back out of the pulling equation.
2. Align your spin.
A very common mistake many competitive swimmers make is rising their head. Some of this is preservation; we are surveying our surroundings so that we don’t run into fellow swimmers or the wall. Contrast standing on the pool deck with a straight posture versus one where you lean your head back, stretching your neck and taking your body out of a neutral position. Imagine a straight line from your head to your butt, zipping along the top of the water.
3. Drive your hands forward.
This is another common one amongst even experienced swimmers; when your hand is entering the water you should be driving forward with it. The entry should be an active part of your stroke, and instead of just flopping into the water you should be using the twist and rotation of your torso to punch forwards. This has the added benefit of extending your stroke, and will also help you maintain proper rotation of your upper body.