Tips To Make Your Freestyle Stroke As Efficient As Possible
Whether you’re a beginner swimmer, or a competitive swimmer looking to enhance your freestyle stroke, there are many tips and best practices you can take under your wing so that you can achieve the results you so rightly deserve and desire.
In freestyle swimming, a great technique is essential for success, so if you haven’t quite mastered swimming at a fast pace without feeling tired quickly, we have a few tips which can help. In a few of our previous articles, we have covered how to improve your speed in freestyle swimming, and how swim accessories help for a faster swim. Thanks to Funkita and Funky Trunks, they’ve covered the basic tips, so let’s dive into them, shall we?
The entry will determine the rest of your swim, which is why it’s so crucial that you have a smooth one. You can achieve a smooth entry by holding your hand and wrist in a line and pushing your fingers into the water first. This technique avoids splashing with the hand and in return give you a nice free flowing technique as you push your arm forwards into the stroke.
This alone allows you to move quickly through the water, and to combine that with an effective and strong stroke contributes to your overall performance. You focus with a smooth entry is to create minimal drag so you can be in the correct catch position nice and early. A common mistake for swimmers is that they tend to enter too early or too late. Once you perfect a smooth entry, it is a gamechanger.
Rotating your body to help you reach as far forward with each arm stroke as possible is a small technique that makes a big difference. If you possess a long stroke and have perfected this, you will glide through the water more easily and therefore take fewer strokes to cover the same distance. If you are trying to perfect a better stroke, ensure you are rotating your body as much as you can to achieve a longer stroke. Monitor your performance and count how many strokes you perform during each lap in training.
3.Catch & Pull
You should engage the muscles in your lats and shoulders to pull your oar through the water grabbing as much water as possible with your hand. Then push your hand behind you to your hip in order to generate as much power as you can with each stroke. This is known as the catch and pull, and if you imagine that your arm and hand is like an oar that pulls a boat across water, it gives you a much better view on how your technique has an impact on performance.
Many people think that your kick is what contributes mostly to your success. News flash though, it only adds up to 20% propulsion to your speed! This shouldn’t be your number one focus or priority. You should, however, get in the habit of kicking with straight legs and only a small bend at your knee so your hips remain high in the water. This ultimately helps your streamline position and won’t make you as tired. The most common kick technique is the flutter kick and there are also a variety kicking rhythms you can opt for too!
By keeping a high elbow through the recovery of your stroke, it reduces the distance your arm travels and avoids excess pressure on the shoulders. A popular training tool for this is to practice coordinating your arms so that one is pulling hard through the water while the other is relaxing through the recovery above the water in order to ensure you get a nice, smooth stroke. A high elbow also helps you become stronger and faster in the pool.
There are many theories around the efficient high elbow technique, but there is a reason you should learn to master it, and practice makes perfect.
Ready to reach your peak performance by mastering all of the tips mentioned above? We thought so. Why not take a look at our diverse range of swimwear to further enhance your performance in the pool?