There’s no secret—just some common mistakes that are easy to make and can be fixed with a little bit of practice. So if you’re having trouble getting your strokes right, or if you just want to improve your swimming technique and speed, read on!
Nobody is perfect. Even the best swimmers make mistakes, sometimes repeatedly, during their time in the pool. We’re hardly ever going to be perfect at something the first time we try it, so don’t beat yourself up if you’ve found the common swimming mistakes listed below to be true! You shouldn’t expect to be as fast as a seasoned swimmer when you’ve just started out. This article will help you know how to avoid swimming mistakes and start swimming like a pro in no time.
Common Swimming Mistakes You Are Probably Making
We all know that swimming is one of the best ways to get in shape, but there are certain things we do in the water that can make us less efficient and potentially hurt our bodies. Here are some common swimming mistakes you might be making:
You’re pushing the clock, not the water
You’re pushing the clock, not the water: If you think about it, this is pretty obvious. If you’re trying to swim faster than the current of the water around you instead of working with it, then of course you won’t be able to move as quickly as possible! When you push against the water instead of letting it flow around your body like it wants to, then it won’t feel natural and easy for you—it will feel like work! If you want to go fast in the pool or ocean or whatever other body of water is near by where there’s no current at all (so just stillness), then go ahead and just let yourself float along like a leaf on its way downstream.
You’re neglecting the basics
Yes, we all want to be better swimmers, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that the fundamentals are just as important as learning new strokes and techniques—especially when you’re trying to achieve that elusive perfect form. The problem is that if you’re not careful, you’ll end up practicing bad habits instead of good ones.
The basics are important—they get you to the hard stuff. The basics are essential. And they can be pretty boring sometimes.
But it’s these simple things that make all the difference in your swimming lessons. If you don’t do them, everything else is going to fall apart. If you have an instructor it is important you follow their advice to the later. Swimming lessons are designed to start from the basics to the most complex concepts.
You’re not breathing effectively
A lot of people don’t know how to breathe when they’re in the water, and it can make them feel like they need to come up for air. But if you’re swimming your laps in a pool, it’s actually pretty easy to stay underwater as long as you’re breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
When you’re swimming, your body has to work harder than usual because it’s moving through water. This means that you’ll need more oxygen than usual in order to keep up with the demand your body is putting on itself. It’s important that you learn how to breathe properly so that you can stay hydrated and avoid getting sick or dehydrated.
If you’re having trouble learning how to swim, consider taking lessons from an instructor who can teach you proper technique and give you tips on how to improve your skills overall!
You’re using the wrong stroke count
If you’re a swimmer, you’ve probably heard that “swim smarter, not harder.” But are you really swimming smarter?
If you’re using the wrong stroke count, it’s possible that you’re swimming harder than you need to be. The most common mistake here is to count your strokes incorrectly. We see this happen most often with freestyle and backstroke—the two most commonly taught strokes in elementary school.
In those strokes, it’s easy to think that one arm pull equals one stroke. But the truth is, one arm pull equals two strokes: one stroke forward and one stroke backward. And that can be a big difference! When swimmers aren’t counting correctly, they may actually be taking more strokes than they need because they aren’t aware of how many pulls they’re making per pool length.
Here are the correct counts:
25-meter pool: 25 strokes
50-meter pool: 50 strokes
75-meter pool: 75 strokes
Your head and spine are misaligned
If you’re swimming with your head tilted back, or with your chin down, it’s likely that your head is not aligned with your spine. This can cause a number of issues including pain in the neck and shoulders, as well as headaches.
You should be able to see the bottom of the pool clearly while you swim. If you can’t do this, try adjusting your body position until you can see the bottom clearly once again.
Takeaway: Don’t make these mistakes and you’ll be swimming like a pro in no time.
Letting Your Legs Drag
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when swimming is letting your legs drag behind you while you swim. This prevents you from moving forward as quickly or as efficiently, and will also tire you out faster than if you were treading water correctly with straight legs.
When swimming freestyle, keep your legs straight and pointed forward throughout the entire stroke cycle. If this feels awkward, try doing a few mock strokes with your legs straight before starting off on your real lap.
Not Performing A Proper Warm Up
If you’re like most people, you probably start your swim by jumping into the pool and starting to swim. While this may seem like a good idea, it’s actually not. As with any other form of exercise, swimming can be very strenuous on your body. An improper warm up can lead to muscle strains, pulled muscles, and even torn ligaments if you’re not careful! In order to prevent injury, it’s important to warm up properly before getting into the water.
You should start by doing some light calisthenics such as jumping jacks or squats, followed by easy stretches and running in place for about 5 minutes. This will help increase blood flow throughout your body and prepare you for the physical exertion that swimming requires.
Relying On Swimming Equipment Too Much
Think about it like this: if you rely too much on your swimming equipment, then how will you know how strong your muscles are? If you don’t know where your muscles are being used while you’re swimming, then how will you know if they need more training or not? And if you don’t know what parts of your body are getting stronger with each passing day, then how will you know if your training program is working?
If you’re new to swimming, it can be easy to rely too much on equipment. But getting into the habit of using your own body to move through the water is a great way to start building the strength you’ll need for future swimming endeavors. Plus, relying on equipment too much can actually make your hands and arms weaker over time, which will make it harder for you to move through the water without it!
Having Limited Flexibility
As a swimmer, you probably work hard to make sure your technique is as good as it can be. But what about your flexibility?
You’ve probably heard that being flexible can help you be a better swimmer, but how do you know if you’re doing something wrong? And what are the real benefits of being more flexible?
First of all, there are three types of flexibility: active flexibility, passive flexibility and dynamic stretching. Active flexibility refers to the ability to move joints through their full range of motion without any resistance. Passive flexibility refers to the ability to move joints through their full range without any resistance or support from outside sources like a partner or elastic bands. Dynamic stretching involves moving joints through their full range while engaging your muscles in different ways (for example, pushing into an extended position).
Another important thing to consider when thinking about your flexibility is how often you should be doing it. Most experts recommend doing some form of stretching every day. Many people find that they get bored with static stretches and prefer dynamic ones because they require more effort than static ones do.
Improper Stretching Methodologies
In a recent study of swimmer’s stretching routines, researchers found that many people skip the full body stretch before getting into the water. The researchers recommend instead doing a full body stretch while standing on the pool deck and then moving into your warm-up routine.
Nothing feels better than splashing around in a pool, lake, or ocean on a hot summer day. However, swimming is no joke. It can be dangerous if you don’t do it right. The good news is that most of the dangers are avoidable if you use a little common sense.
Whether you are looking to improve your fitness, or simply prefer the exercise pool-side, it is always a good idea to learn from the mistakes of others.