How to Perfect Your Freestyle Stroke
If you want to improve your freestyle swimming technique, you may want to work on three major things—head position, body roll, and hourglass pull—which are some of the keys to help you become a better swimmer. While this doesn’t guarantee success in your next competition, these three pointers could help you perfect your strokes.
- Check if your head is positioned correctly
Your body position is the most important element when it comes to freestyle swimming, and your head dictates how your body should be positioned. There are two correct positions, but only one will work for you. To find out which, you have to try both.
The first head position is where you look forward, with your hairline just above the surface of the water (or your forehead just below the surface, whichever works better for you). Try not to raise your head too much as your face might end up serving as resistance making it harder for you to swim. Meanwhile, the second head position is where you look down.
To know which head position works best for you, check how the rest of your body is. If your legs seem to be going down the pool forcing you to stand up, then your head position is wrong. However, if the rest of your body is parallel to the bottom of the pool, then this is the best head position for you.
- Get the right amount of body roll
Body roll, in swimming jargon, is the rotation of your shoulders, torso, and hips. If you want to learn efficient freestyle swimming, make sure that these three parts of your body roll all together as one. This would also mean that your kick will go slightly on the side as you rotate.
When freestyle swimming, it is rare to see someone with too much body roll, but it is quite common to see swimmers inadequate in this area. Most often, swimmers also tend to roll only on one side but not on the other.
Another thing to remember is that you must keep your head in steady position and not roll with the rest of your body unless you are breathing.
- Do the “hourglass” pull
With the other techniques in check, you have to remember the third key to faster freestyle swimming, which is moving more water each stroke. The more water you move, the more power you transfer, and thus the faster you go. To make a successful hourglass pull, do the following steps:
- Maximize the extension of your arm in each stroke as you reach forward.
- During the stroke, move your arm to your belly button, then out again—this is specifically the hourglass pull—thus maximizing the amount of water you pull in each stroke.
Each stroke should feel like you are climbing a ladder. Make sure that your arm is extended downward as you complete your stroke, and that your hand should brush your thigh as it exits the water.
Also check out : What is Freestyle Swimming Stroke?
To learn proper swimming techniques, one needs a good instructor. If you have are going to swim first time, we recommend you to get started with private swimming lessons. It is important to learn swimming from professional instructors.