5 Swim Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making | Fix Your Freestyle Swimming Technique

– Now we are often talking
about how you should swim and what sort of things you
should be doing in the pool. And I’m sure many of you think you’re doing things perfectly as it is, but chances are you’re
likely making some mistakes without even realizing it. – Yeah, we’re going to be
covering the most common mistakes that easily go unnoticed and
then helping you to work out how to identify the problem
and then how to correct it. (gentle upbeat music) (logo whooshing)
(logo bleeping) The front of your stroke often
comes under a lot of scrutiny and that’s because it’s the start which will then have an impact
on the rest of your stroke. So if you’re trying to
overreach in order to compensate for a lack of or a poor catch, you end up with a bit
of a pause in the stroke that can lead to a
stop-start style motion. This can also put more pressure
onto your shoulder joint as you’re trying to pull in
that overextended position. – Yeah, and signs of
having this overreaching present in your stroke can be impingement-type feelings
of pain in your shoulder. You can also develop an excess of gliding out the front end of
your front crawl stroke. And if this is even exaggerated further you can actually develop
a catch-up type of stroke whereby your recovery arm
is effectively catching up with your swimming arm out
front and this, to be honest, can be quite a difficult mistake to alter because your whole timing
of your swimming stroke has to be looked at. Break it down into single arm to start, so you can think of keeping
that continuous movement. It will soon become obvious as
you don’t have the other hand to mask the dead patch in your stroke. Moving back to full stroke
with the arms but no legs, so using a pull buoy, will encourage a more continuous movement for the same reason as before. And you’ll be relying purely on your arms to keep balance and forward movement. Doggy paddle and water polo
are two great drills for this. Partly, because you’ve got your head up so you can actually see what’s happening at the front of stroke, but also having your head
up won’t actually allow you to have pause ’cause you’ll
find it too difficult. Now the shortened back end
is pretty much the opposite to over gliding at the
front of your stroke when you’re pulling. Now you’ve put in that
hard work with your catch and the majority of your pull stroke, so throw all the way too soon at the back end of your stroke. – [Heather] Yeah, it’s a tricky one to know that you’re doing, ’cause you can still have
a really smooth stroke but it can be hidden by
a nice quick turn over. So try doing a few strokes when you brush your leg with your hand as you finish the pull
and begin the recovery, and note the point on your leg. And you can simply check by
facing your arm by your side and seeing if that’s a similar place or, in fact, you are actually
taking your hand and arm out of the water too soon and losing that last part of propulsion. – Now if you feel you’re
cutting your stroke short, a drill that we like to talk
about is a Superman drill, where we’ve got one
arm extended out front, the other arm down by our
side and then we do six kicks and then we swap that over. And this will really force
you to finish each stroke at the very end. – Yeah, so it’s simple and effective, ’cause you’ve got that six-kick time when your hand is by your side, to just reiterate where
it needs to finish. And also, it’s one stroke at a time so you’ve got more time to concentrate. We’re returning to the front of the stroke for the typical start of this problem. If your hand entry is
going across the midline and veering over to the other side then it’s likely to cause
a wiggle of the whole body as it tries to correct this movement. Put a snorkel on and swim,
by keeping your head still you can still look forward
and you should be able to see your hand crossing in front
of you, or hopefully not. But that said a snorkel
can naturally correct it by taking out excessive head movement. Another way to test your stroke would be to swim with one
arm and close your eyes. If you quickly end up on
the other side of the lane, it’s a sure sign your arm
isn’t going in where it should. Now we have made a whole video on snaking, so do have a look at that, but a couple suggestions
that we’ve got right now are using a snorkel for some swimming, as reducing or even
eliminating any head movements should hopefully stop that wiggle that Heather is talking about. And then another drill
is the catch up drill, which by focusing on having one hand resting beside the other at
the front of your stroke, will hopefully make you
stop reaching across and causing that crossing
of the center line. Now having a flat body or lack of rotation often goes hand in hand with snaking, as we’re naturally overcompensating for that inability to get a good catch. Now you might often find
that if you’re struggling to turn your head enough to catch a breath or even you’re not managing to
utilize those big lat muscles these are often likely causes of you sitting too flat in the water. Adding in rotation will
naturally take the pressure off your shoulders as well as allowing the front of your stroke, so
you’re catching your pull, to become more efficient. Now some of the drills
we’ve already talked about will help with this, as
well side rotated kick. Now this is basically kicking on your side so you’re facing the
wall or the lane rope. And it’s an over exaggerated movement, so hopefully when you return
back to your normal stroke you’ll end up naturally
having more rotation. This one is a problem very competent swimmers can struggle with and is probably the hardest to identify, as you can have a stroke
that looks good from poolside and even swim fairly efficiently. However, dropping the elbow below the hand makes it very hard to
engage those larger muscles such as your lats, and, again, puts more pressure on your shoulders. – When so with a snorkel
you can sometimes see what your elbow is doing
and paddles can help identify mistakes here too. If you take off the second
strap that sits by your wrist, then your paddles are likely to come off if you’re excessively dropping that elbow. Now we think that’s
sculling and doggy paddle are two great drills to help you focus on keeping that elbow nice and high, and, also, making sure you
engage the right muscle groups. – Yeah, while self-diagnosis is difficult at the best of times, put yourself horizontal and in water and it becomes even harder. So if you feel that you might be guilty of a few of those mistakes then
try our self-diagnosis tools and if you’re really lucky
you’ve got a friend with a GoPro, then why not watch it
yourself so you know exactly what you need to work on. – Yeah, so hopefully you found this video nice and interesting, so please hit that thumb-up
like button if that’s the case. Find the globe on screen to get all the other videos
we have done on the channel. And if you want to to see
a video that we have done about high elbow swimming
you can find that one here. And if one of your problems is snaking, then you can check out video
to help with that problem just down here.

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