Are you swimming correctly? Some adult swimmers feel that they have not really seen much improvement in their swimming ability despite regular visits to the pool. Other say that they are gasping for breath and exhausted after just a few lengths. Recent US research shows that 98% of recreational swimmers do not make gains in aerobic fitness due to poor form.
5 common bad habits
- ‘Sinky’ legs
Body position is extremely important in swimming – ‘sinky’ legs cause a lot of dragging which slows you down, so you expend more energy to progress through the water which in turn tires you out.
- ‘Bendy knees’ kicking
You think you are kicking hard but because you are only using the lower half of your leg, again progress through the water is inefficient and you tire more quickly.
- No bubbles under water
Holding your breath underwater means you must inhale and exhale when coming up for breath. This often results in not getting enough air in and/or disrupting your rhythm.
- Lifting head to breath
What is wrong with lifting your head to breathe you might ask – everything! This messes up your body position and rhythm; lifting your head too much makes your legs sink. Your head only needs to be level with the water to enable breathing.
- Moving too fast
This sounds counter-intuitive but you need to slow down first to be able to swim efficiently. Pulling your arm out too quickly means you have a short stroke which makes you tired faster without moving very far.
Most bad habits develop because of self-tuition or not getting enough quality swimming lessons as a child. Swimming is all about technique, so small tweaks by knowledgeable instructors can make a world of difference in your ability and stamina.
Break old habits and develop new ones and change the way you enjoy swimming for life!