Improving your freestyle stroke

How is your freestyle looking?

How is your freestyle looking?

The freestyle is one of the first strokes that many swimmers learn. Because they've been doing it for so long, many athletes let their freestyle technique lapse. Executing the stroke properly can help a swimmer get through the water effectively and reduce muscle fatigue. 

If you're trying to improve your freestyle, here's what you need to focus on:

  • Body rotation – It may be better to start your rotation from your stomach rather than thinking too much about which side of the body you're on. Signs that you're not rotating correctly include legs hitting each other during the kick and breathing too late. 
  • Forward reach – An effective stroke requires an almost full extension of the arm. Many swimmers make the mistake of placing their hand in front of their face and beginning the pull movement there. Instead, the hand should be placed about 15 inches ahead, you should then extend your arm from your shoulder to reach forward an additional six inches. That slight shoulder movement can smooth out your stroke, providing the most efficiency. 
  • Head position – Where your head is positioned in the water dictates what the rest of your body will do. You should be looking forward with your hairline cresting the surface of the water. Next, pay special attention to your neck and back which should be relaxed and parallel to the bottom of the pool. 
  • Leg movement – Feet need to be kept mostly in the water and shouldn't be splashing around. During the kick, the knees should bend a similar amount as they would if you were walking. 

If you want to improve your skills in the pool, grab your Dolfin Uglies swimwear and hop in!