Common Mistakes In Freestyle Swimming
January 12, 2024

Freestyle technique is a fast-swimming technique that gives maximum speed with minimal effort. However, people make many mistakes while swimming freestyle that affects the efficiency of their performances and might sometimes lead to aches and pains. We researched 5 mistakes you might be making in freestyle swimming and tips on how to correct them.

  • Too much kicking

While kicking, it is counterproductive to lift your legs so high that you end up pressing down too deep into the water. While lifting this high might seem like a powerful kick, doing this reduces your swimming speed. This can pose a considerable challenge, especially to beginners who are yet to find the right balance for their kicks.

You should rather kick without bending your knees in short and quick moves, which displaces less water and will make your movement through the water more quick and smooth. While it is impossible to rule out bending knees even with the adjustment, the bending will be less pronounced and more natural.

  • Incorrect head alignment

Mastering the proper head positioning is vital to a good freestyle. When swimming, most swimmers mistake looking forward at the end of the pool instead of downwards. Looking forward causes a drag because your hips automatically drop, reducing the efficiency of your strokes and your speed. Looking at the black line at the bottom of the pool can help you reduce the need to look up.

  • Incorrect breathing

A common mistake some swimmers make is holding their breaths when their faces are in the water, and they have to inhale and exhale quickly when they turn to breathe. Doing this slows them down and throws their stroke rhythm off. Rather when in water, you should try to exhale through your nose and only Inhale each time you turn to breathe.

Another common breathing mistake is lifting the head forward before turning it sideways to breathe. It adds up to the total time and also creates drag. When swimming, you should try to keep an eye and an ear in the water and contort your mouth while breathing to avoid swallowing water.

  • Incorrect hand alignment

Some swimmers pull water with a straight hand which is less effective and can cause shoulder stress and injury. Instead, it would be best to bend your arms at the elbow when it enters the water and pull backward while keeping your elbows high. Doing this drags a lot more water and creates more fluidity of motion.

  • Midline crossing

When swimming, the body is divided by an imaginary midline, and crossing this line with the arm during swimming makes the arm movements less effective and causes shoulder injury. You should rather try to straighten your elbow slightly while imagining a clock and try reaching for 11 and 1 on the clock with alternate hands.

Freestyle swimming mistakes happen even to strong swimmers, so do not get disheartened if you make many of them. However, with constant practice and review, you will ultimately improve.