Summer is over six months away but now is the perfect time to start perfecting your swim strokes! Take time to focus on your swim technique now and become a better swimmer this winter. Perfecting your swim technique will boost your confidence and help you feel more prepared the next time you’re on lifeguard duty!
5 Points For the Perfect Technique:
- Body Position: It all starts here. Make sure you are parallel with the water from head to toe. Imagine that your body is a straight line. Being parallel decreases drag in the water which slows you down. You should feel balanced in the water as your body glides and rotates through the water.
- Rotation: As you stroke, your body should be rotating slightly at your torso and hips. As you rotate left and then right with each stroke, this will create your opportunity to take a breath as you lift your head to the side and out of the water.
- Hand Entry: Your hand should enter the water fingertips first followed by the wrist and elbow. Your hand should enter the water directly above the shoulder. Do not cross your body line with your hand. Keep fingertips down as you are pulling through the water.
- Kicking: Use your hips to kick. Relax your knees and point your toes, the tops of your feet should “slap” the water.
- Breathing: Inhale on every third stroke to allow your body to get plenty of oxygen. Exhale steadily through your nose and mouth while your head is submerged underwater. Holding your breath will cause carbon dioxide to build up in your lungs, which will slow you down and cause fatigue.
Check out this fantastic video by Speedo for a visual example of what a proper freestyle stroke looks like: