Swimming is not an everyday activity for humans. They learn this activity through practical practice after understanding the technicalities. Some learn unacceptable techniques by bad adaption of water. These poor habits are there in freshers and seasoned swimmers. It is true that we learn basic strokes and keep afloat in water by propelling oneself. This is not seasoned swimming.
You must have watched lane swimming on mass media or at the local pool. What you witnessed is freestyle stroke. Through this stroke, you can escalate speed and adaptability, and it is for a reason it is included in competitions at national and international level. Flip turns, kick rhythm, entry stroke, exit stroke, arm angles etc. are some of the techniques which are overwhelming.
Prevalent Freestyle Mistakes!
The characteristic freestyle stroke is undertaken in a prone position in the water. The swimmer is faced down in water — the arms alternate in movement in overhead position propelling towards the rear hip and moving you forward. The legs move up and down to keep the toes pointed. Doing all this breath has to be taken at the most appropriate time which is also the recovery phase. The swimmer should inhale when the mouth is cleared of water during recovery recoup. Breathe during the alternate stroke.
Swimming needs plenty of practice, long hours in water, and repetition of strokes to get flawless swimming skill. Hips are vital in swimming. Hip rotation correlates with shoulder rotation to get a perfect stroke and movement. The beginners at the pronunciation of freestyle swimming assume it is easy to master. This is the first method of swimming when we first jump into the water. However, freestyle is difficult to master.
Timely breathing is not easily learnt. Freestyle breathing is of paramount importance so learning the stroke is a must. If breathing rhythm is not established and it is laboured, stroke will not be readily learnt. For all swimming strokes, the body position is vital. For instance, if arms are rotated while not doing so with a body, it can cause shoulder injuries. Kicking errors lead to resistance and drag.
1. Wrong use of Symmetry Line
Symmetry line is an assumed line running through the centre of the body. A large percentage of the swimmers are unaware of this line. So, they use the stroke in the wrong way. Hands invade the water at the onset of every stroke to make sure that it does not cross the imaginary midline; otherwise, shoulders will be strained, and drag will be enhanced.
2. Before palm elbow touches the water
Several swimmers extend their hands without keeping in mind the flexibility level. The beginners make this mistake. Some pull with the straight arm. Their elbow encounters water first, then slips down and drags thus missing the stroke leading to sinking. The neck and shoulders get strained. Elbow must stay high but fingertips down. Such mistakes direct the swimmer down.
3. Erroneous breathing
The breathing takes place at the wrong time of the stroke. Breathing rhythm should be correctly established; otherwise, water will enter the lungs. A common error is breathing early. If you breathe when your arm comes out of the water the arm will be next to your face, and you will swallow water. Breathe once your hand enters the water. This is the pull of stroke. Stop breathing when your hand comes out of the water. Remember to rotate and breathe.
4. Raising of palm correctly
A large percentage of swimmers hold up their palm making a stop sign after every glide. The shoulder and arching lower back and experience stress and strain. The legs sink. To come out of the situation, a lot of oxygen is needed. The swimmer feels very tired.
5. Improper head position
The learners stretch their arm and direct it upward, and then they forcefully hit the water with the hand. The head moves up and down. The back also wobbles up and down. This leads to pressure. The swimmer moves with every stroke, but speed is retarded. Stiff neck angle drops the body down in water.
6. More strokes for swimming
Swimming technique, efficiency, and flotation decide the number of strokes required to cross the pool. In case stretch of the body is extremely hard, the plexus region is affected, and stroke is shortened. Higher strokes are needed to cross the pool leaving you very tired.
7. Swimming Flat
It is very common to swim with belly looking towards the bottom of the pool. It is swimming flat. The wrong is not in alignment of your body but the way you move through the water. It is the right thing to roll to the side with each arm stroke. Once a stroke ends, your navel should look at the side of the pool. You should undertake rotation, and you are correct if armpit faces down.
8. Bend knees
The thought the process of learning swimmers is to kick hard and propel is faster. This is not true. Kicking in the front crawl stroke gives you some thrust. However, its role is to regulate straight position when in water. The huge error is to bend your knees when kicking. By this movement, resistance builds up. Kick from your hips and not legs. Keep angles loose. Keep kicks powerful but restrained. Over-kicking will tire you. There will be no gain in speed.
Keep your strokes as effective as possible. Maintain your stroke with efficiency. If your stroke is short, the forward motion is restrained. You will need more strokes that will tire you. The short stroke will not propel you forward. With a short stroke, hand movement is not correct.
10. The kick
The common freestyle mistakes in swimming regarding kick are that it can be weak-kick or over-kick. A potent kick is one that has ankle flexibility. It has exceptional amplitude but not big width so as not to upset body position. With a weak kick, the swimmer kicks a lot with the hope of doing well. Here he fails miserably to get the right flow. The kick is good if it has rhythm, well timed with stroke and breathing. Over kicking will tire you. Training to learn swimming is a must.
Your legs can aid or retard swimming. The contention with kicking includes bend knees or a lot of kicking. The twosome makes for resistance and drag. Flat swimming or long-axis rotation makes the swimmer not rotate sideways. This disadvantage shortens the pull. An initial hand entry at the beginning of every stroke makes the swimmer drive downwards with arm rather than move forward. Here the straight-arm pull creates little power.
The best way to swim is to put the hand entry in front of the skull to keep the arm outstretched. The hand leaves the water and almost total extension on the back by the hips. Common freestyle mistakes in swimming can be prevented and relearnt with conscious effort and training.