No matter how physically fit you look, if you cannot master the basic swimming techniques, you cannot call yourself a good swimmer. Coordination is key, and you must focus on the movements of your arms and legs. For optimal efficiency, it is vital that you time your breathing as well as the swimming strokes. Check out what else you need to know.
Master the art of floating in water
While swimming freestyle, you must know how to float in water. The main reasons why people sink in water include lack of flexibility and increased pressure on their legs. Sinking is not a good thing because you will have to overwork your legs, and this might deplete your energy and have you exhausted quickly. Your neck and lower back need to be protected. You can achieve this by keeping your body neutral i.e. positioning your head down and bringing your heels close to the surface.
More tips on how to float in water are as follows:
- Relax and don’t tense any of your muscles. A relaxed body feels light while a tensed one sinks easily. Move your arms gently to stay in balance and kick your legs high inside the water.
- Release your palms to make them loose.
- Glide deeper. As you stretch out your hands in water, your legs float even better.
- Don’t leave your lungs airless. Until you are sure to breathe again, do not exhale the only air left inside your lungs.
Once you start floating effortlessly, you can switch to more techniques to stretch your muscles and the core.
Tread in water using varied styles
Treading in water boosts your swimming confidence, and you feel more secure. It is all about moving your limbs, keeping the body afloat, and positioning your head above. The popular style of treading entails sculling the water with arms horizontally while the legs flutter-kick it vertically. This means that your arms must be stretched out at the shoulder level. Then they should sweep water back and forth while your stretched palms push against the water to offer you a lift, hence keeping you afloat.
Another treading style is keeping your arms at right angles, palms pointed down, and elbows close to the body. From there, push water in circular motion with your hands— up and inward and then down and outward. The feet should also follow the same circular motion like that of breaststroke kick. Start with bent knees and keep the feet rested naturally. Stretch out the legs downwards. Then move them up and inwards.
Learning how to tread in water helps you to:
- Stop while swimming to get the right direction
- Recover you breath in case you guzzle water
- Rinse your goggles when they fog
- Cover small distances
Time your breath
After you master how to stay afloat, it’s time to learn how to breathe underwater. The key to rhythmic breathing is to exhale only after inhaling. It is wrong to hold your breath while your face is still underwater, and then try to breathe quickly and shallowly. This mistake makes carbon dioxide accumulate in the lungs. It is important that you exhale while your face is underwater such that as you turn to breathe, the lung will have a large capacity to accommodate fresh air. You will have to force rhythmic breathing a little by exhaling through your mouth or nose once the breath is complete. Remember that this rhythm is continuous and must not pause.
Don’t forget to prolong your exhalation. It should actually be two times longer than inhalation in order to achieve effective air exchange inside your lungs. If you ever feel tensed while in water, just relax. Alos, in case you swallow water, try to pronounce the letter K. The tongue position will prevent water from going down your throat.
Don’t panic if you breathe in some water. If you accidentally drink in water, there’s actually a way to stop the water from going down your throat. You just have to shape your tongue as if you are pronouncing the letter K.
Find fitting swimming goggles
The ocular part of the goggles must fit your eye socket for a proper seal. The straps must be tightened around your head and the double straps are better off than single straps. To secure them properly, position the first strap a bit higher than the second one. The straps need to stay at the eye level or above but not below. Swimming goggles help you to see clearly where you are headed; thus, swimming becomes more comfortable. You will actually want to stay longer in the water when you have these protective swimming devices. If you swim with your eyes unprotected, they will become irritated and start reddening.
In other words, goggles make your swim more comfortable so that you can enhance your stroke. In the end, you will swim like a pro. Goggles are fundamental swimming accessories and they come in varied designs and colors. You can always choose one that fits your personal style but make sure it fits well.
Track your swimming performance
It is of utmost importance that you know exactly what you are doing inside a water pool. Waterproof fitness tracker helps to monitor your swimming progress so that you can set goals. You might want to accomplish several reps and in a given period of time and the tracker will do the calibrations for you. It is a good motivation strategy, especially if you are training to swim on your own. Getting the results on your hand inspires you to work harder. It is more satisfactory when you know that your swimming accomplishments are measurable. As such, your swimming experience will always be accountable.
After you have learned the basic skills of swimming and feel comfortable in the water, you can proceed to more advanced styles like the breaststroke. There are a lot of benefits you will reap from just swimming. If you didn’t know, this physical activity minimizes the risk of chronic diseases and depression. So, even if you will not become a swimming champion, the above basic skills are a great deal.