The technical implementation is very important in a lot of sports and physical disciplines, but when it comes to swimming , their importance takes on new dimensions. Without proper swimming technique, even someone in excellent physical condition can find themselves struggling to advance without great progress.
Simply moving your arms and legs more quickly on a regular basis will only help you splash more and tire you out sooner. However, once a correct technique is acquired, the feeling is very gratifying: you will immediately notice how you slide at much higher speed and with less effort. If you want to improve your swimming speed, follow these tips:
1. Move the whole leg
It is a very common mistake, when swimming in the front crawl style , to move only the lower part of the leg. If you kick only from the knee, not only will you be losing much of the momentum, but you will throw your body out of balance. The thighs have very powerful muscles, don’t forget about them.
To work this, you can start by using fins. These help you get used to moving your entire leg thanks to the resistance they offer. In this way, your body will assimilate the movement naturally, and then reproduce it without them.
To make even more emphasis on the importance of leg movement, try putting on an elastic that holds your ankles together, as if you were wearing a monotint. In this way, you will avoid one of the most frequent mistakes in swimming and you will be even more forced to swim like a mermaid, which is the movement to look for.
2. Short kicks
It may seem a contradictory indication with the previous one, but it is not. When swimming freestyle or crawl, try not to kick too wide. The foot does not need to go too far beyond the line that forms the rest of the body. It’s all about getting a steady, regular momentum, so you don’t need big, overly energetic kicks to unsettle you.
3. Stay stretched
When swimming, it is also very important that you keep your body as stretched out as possible. It doesn’t matter what style of swimming you choose. Your back is straight, your legs are straight, driving from the hips, and your arms are fully extended in the push phase. Similarly, keep your head straight, pointing downward. Move it only to get air, and only what is necessary for this.
It is very common to see beginning swimmers struggling to keep their heads above the water, but only lifeguards who need to see the helper should swim like this. If you don’t keep your head down, your entire body balance is upset, and your friction in the water increases.
4. Push the water
It seems obvious, but it is not so obvious. Many beginning swimmers focus more on the start of the stroke than on finishing it, as if they were climbers grabbing high rocks to release them once they are at their hips. In water, doing this is a huge waste of energy. Maintain the movement of your stroke until the end, so that you make sure that you get as much momentum as possible from your movement.
One way to work with the stroke movement is to reach into the water with the arm outstretched, scoop it up in a straight line until the hand is at chest level, and then twist around the ribs until the arm is in place. Hand next to the hip, with the palm facing the feet, and there finish extending the arm downwards. It is an exaggerated movement, but its goal is to teach you to maximize the use of each stroke.
Remember that, when swimming, you only advance when you push water at rest. Continuing to push the water that you have already started to move provides less momentum, so you always want to widen the range of motion throughout your stroke.