We’ve teamed up with our friends at Swim Smooth to bring you some fantastic hints and tips on how to improve your swimming. In this edition, Swim Smooth have come up with a really simple hack that could help revolutionise your freestyle swimming technique.
Make this one simple adjustment when swimming freestyle and you’ll go more quickly and use less energy, too, allowing you to go on for longer, while it could also help you avoid injury. Keep reading to find out more.
The Freestyle Swimming Technique you were taught is wrong
If you were taught your freestyle swimming technique in the ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s then you would have probably been taught to enter into the water with a “thumb first entry”. This is where the palm of the hand is turned outwards:
The idea was that this was a smoother way to cut through the water’s surface and to get you ready to pull through the water with an ‘S’ shape, a concept that has since been discredited – more on this below.
Why is this the wrong Freestyle Swimming Technique?
We now understand that entering thumb-first in this way causes internal rotation of the shoulder, placing a huge amount of repetitive stress on the joint. In fact, shoulder injuries are the most common form of injury in swimming, and a thumb first entry is the leading cause of shoulder injury, so it really is time to make the change and stop swimming this way.
So what is the Correct Technique?
Instead of entering thumb-first we should enter fingertips first, with the palm facing downwards:
This allows us to spear through the water’s surface easily without any stress on the shoulder.
What’s more, once through the surface, this position immediately sets you up to catch the water and press it back behind you:
Thinking about pressing backwards is great technique because it propels your body forwards through the water. In the ‘70s it became fashionable to press the water out, in and out again underwater:
This was called the “S” pull. Don’t try and do this, it will cause your body to snake through the water adding lots of drag! Think about pulling straight back and there will be a slight natural curvature to your pull without you even having to think about it.
So, there you have it. Just make this one simple change to your freestyle swimming technique and you’ll get faster, more efficient and less likely to get injured at the same time. Why not give it a go at your local Everyone Active pool today?