Always

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What is the first and most imporant thing to learn when learning to swim competitively or recreationally?

Always

Streamline, streamline, streamline! This is the most important position you need to learn and practice every single time you swim, every single wall you push off. This is the most aerodynamic position for your body in the water, hence the name, streamline. You need to be in this position when you dive, when you do a backstroke start, and every time you push off of a wall, whether you have done a flip turn or not, whether you are on your stomach, side, or back.

The streamline position is hands over your head, reached as far above your head as possible. Your shoulders and biceps are squeezing your ears. Arms are straight, not bent and your hands are positioned hand over hand. This is the longest body position your can be in, and will thus allow you to create the greatest distance between you and wall when you push off and flutter, dolphin, or breaststroke kick. Streamline!

   

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