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Learning how to do swimming strokes properly is importent. You won't go wrong if you do the backstroke the following way:
• Arms straight out of the water
• Thumbs come up pinkies go in
• Hands enter at eleven and one o'clock
• Slight shoulder roll
• Bend the elbow underneath your body
• Push the water below your hips
• Never stop kicking
When doing swimming strokes, know that freestyle strokes actually have a method to them—you can't just swim freely. Take heed of the following advice when swimming freestyle:
• Push past the hips
• Elbows straight up
• Fingertips close to the water and near your body
• Slight shoulder roll
• Breathe every 3 strokes
• Don't stop kicking
One of the keys to swimming fast, swimming well, or swimming for a sustained amount of time, is proper swimming technique. Generally, the correct swimming technique is whatever is most natural for each person, keeping a few major body positions in mind of course.
Remember that when you are swimming, if something hurts or snaps, you are doing something wrong. If you are swimming a lot, your muscles should ache, but your joints should never hurt.
When you are instructing others on their swim technique, don't change what isn't wrong, improve and alter it to help the swimmer maximize his or her length and leverage in the water.
There are four major swimming strokes used in training and competitive swimming:
• Freestyle (better known as front crawl)
When learning and practicing these swimming strokes, many of the same swim techniques can be applied to several strokes. Everything you learn to do and practice will help you swim each of the four different swimming strokes better!
Freestyle and backstroke are both performed one arm at a time, both with a dip of the shoulder and slight roll of the body toward the side of the leading hand.
The swimming technique for both of these strokes in very similar, one performed on your stomach, and one on your back. Both swimming strokes employ the flutter kick.
In the butterfly and breaststroke, the shared swim technique that is very useful to practice is the hip movement in a wave-like motion.
The hips will rise up as the head and shoulders extend and reach forward and just under the water. The hips push down as the hands and arms pull toward the body, accelerating the forward movement.
Doing swimming strokes correctly is essential. Make sure that you are clear on how to do them. Follow the tips below to properly do the breaststroke:
• Pull, kick, reach, lunge
• Hands make an inverted heart shape under water,
• Kick back not out
• The strongest part of your kick is the closing of your legs together
• Reach, reach, reach
Freestyle and butterfly share a very similar S-curve pull swim technique under the water. The hands enter the water in front of the head and shoulders at almost a full arm's extension. Both hands first start the pull slightly away from the body (the right hand will be making a backwards “S”), then move back in toward the torso, and then finishing out past the hips.
This movement is slightly more accentuated in the butterfly, as it is done at the same time for both hands, and more strength is needed to finish past the hips and lift the head and shoulders.
Remember the following short key phrases when doing swimming strokes and you won't go wrong doing the butterfly stroke:
• Hands make an S-shape under the water
• Push past your hips
• Arms almost straight out of the water
• Breathe every stroke
• Hands enter at full arm extension in front of the body
• Kick from the hips, not the knees
• Relax your feet
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|