Swimming is an effective way to burn calories, tone muscles, and improve your overall fitness. But to get the most out of your swim, you need to know how to perform each stroke correctly.
If you’re new to swimming, it’s important to know the basic fundamentals of each stroke. These basics can help you avoid some common mistakes that beginners make, so you can start out with a strong foundation.
Mistake #1: You don’t complete your armstrokes
When you’re learning to swim, it’s tempting to speed through the water. This can save you time but can also cause injury, especially if you’re not used to doing it.
To fix this, Corbin says to focus on completing your strokes. That means completing your armstrokes, including the part when you pull the water with your arms as they rotate up and down, and then the part when you kick with your legs.
You need to finish every stroke, no matter how slow or fast you are. That’s especially important if you’re using swimming to lose weight or tone your muscles, because not completing your stroke can reduce your workout time and result in a loss of burnt calories that could otherwise be used for strength gains.
Mistake #2: You’re not breathing properly
As you move from one arm to the other, it’s a good idea to breathe continuously in the water. This will help you to maintain a smooth movement and prevent any injuries.
In addition, it will help you to keep your breath steady and relax in the water, so that your body can concentrate on propulsion.
Mistake #3: You’re not putting your head underwater
While you’re learning to swim, it’s important to get comfortable with putting your face in the water. This will allow you to take in plenty of oxygen while you’re in the water, which is essential for long-distance swimming.
When you do put your head underwater, remember to look down and focus on the bottom of the pool. You can also blow bubbles in the water as you exhale.
Mistake #4: You’re not streamlined
A streamline body position is essential for swimmers to be efficient in the water. It can help you to avoid dragging and reduce drag as you dive in or push off the wall, so it’s crucial for boosting your speed and performance.
It’s also a great way to strengthen your core and back muscles.
The breaststroke is a slower stroke than the backstroke, but it’s easier to learn for younger kids because it doesn’t require you to float on your back and place your face in the water.
To perform the breaststroke, start with your tummy facing down in the water and your arms in front of you. Once you’ve got that down, kick your legs in a whip-like motion and extend them in a half circle outward. Repeat this for one lap, then switch sides.