Proper Swimming Technique
Whether you are a triathlete or a beginner swimmer, it's good to know the proper swimming technique. While one's own swimming technique differs from most others, there is an agreed upon standard towards approaching the art of maneuvering through water. To modify your current swimming technique, or to start a totally new one, read on:
- Start with the most basic swim style. For most new people, the "freestyle" technique of swimming works wonders. You will attempt to lay your body horizontally while moving your arms in circles (180 degrees opposite of each other). Every four rotations, raise your face up to take in some air. Use your feet to kick rapidly and get you moving.
- Never swim alone. The proper swimming technique is also the safest swimming technique. Don't swim by yourself; while it may seem safe, no one knows what can happen in the pool. Also, keep in mind that eating or chewing gum while swimming is also risky.
- Cup your hands. Any good swimming technique will emphasize both the need for power and aerodynamics. Cup your hands so as to take more water with you, give a good work out to your arms, and go faster.
- Switch up your breathing. Every now and then, your arms will come up above the water to propel your body forward. When one arm does that, you can breathe by letting the force move your head to its side. An even number of repetitions (such as the most common four, and other numbers such as two and six) allow your head to move from side to side and keep the momentum balanced.
- Rotate with your hips. While using the freestyle swimming technique, be sure to use your hips (yes, in the center of your body) to change sides. When your left arm comes to its peak, throw your hips to the left side. It will feel as if you are gliding on your sides, but that is the most efficient and proper swimming technique.
Obviously, just because you know the proper swimming technique for one particular style doesn't mean that you are an expert swimmer with all forms. Keep up with your workouts to make your swimming technique even more efficient. On top of that, if you can modify your swimming technique to create a personal style that accentuates the proper form. Hopefully, with enough dedication, you too can be at the next Olympics. Good luck, and never give up, novice swimmer!