It’s summer time! This means water sports are in. We figured all of us could use a little refresher on how to do that perfect freestyle stroke, so the next time you do a lap around a buoy you can beat your PR!
Here are 5 things you should remember for good form, increased speed, and better results when swimming.
1. Where your head goes, you go.
When swimming, think of your body like a boat. Where the boat points, the boat goes. And your head is the very front of the boat, it tells the rest of your body where to go. So make sure to look forward, your forehead just below the surface of the water on the outbreath (under the water). Relax your neck muscles and upper back and make sure your body is parallel to the bottom of the pool/lake/sea floor. Your head should be at about a 45 degree angle, any higher or lower and you increase the drag on yourself and lose precious time.
Picking an apple that is just out of reach, stretching your arm up as far as it will go! That’s the feeling you want when beginning the underwater pull of your stroke.
Arm in front of you, reaching about 15 inches away from your head, push down and swing through. That stretching feeling might be weird at first, but it will ultimately smooth out your stroke and increase your speed. Do it.
3. Hourglass is What We're Goin' For
Pulling yourself through the water with your arms is hard! Make it easier by doing the hourglass stroke. This means as your hand comes down into the water at an angle towards your body, then as your hand and arm become perpendicular to your torso, change direction and push your hand and the water around it out and away from your body. Not too drastic, but if you were to do both arms at the same time, it would look a lot like an hourglass shape.
4. It's All In The Hips. Sort of.
Rotating your body is crucial to the freestyle stroke. You wont get far by staying rigid and unmoving. Make sure that when your right arm is out in front of you (just went into the water) and your left arm is behind you (we will give you a minute to mime this now), your body should be rotated to the right, with your right hip facing down and your left hip facing up. As your right arm goes down and your left arm comes around, your hips and torso will rotate so that your left hip is facing down and your right hip is facing up. Remember: Hips don’t lie.
5. #KeepItUp. Duh.
Swimming is hard. We get it.
But don’t give up at the end of the game! Finish your strokes strong. Keep your arms fully extended behind you and your wrists rigid until your thumbs brush the outsides of your thighs below your swimsuit. Finish strong! If you give up on good form now, you might lose precious time by working harder to keep bad form.
And of course.
6. Fuel Up. Get some INVIGORADE in your system after a long swim. It may not seem like you sweat in the water, but you do!
Maximize your endurance performance and have fun this summer!
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