Toss It: 5 Swim Techniques That Don't Work

images (5)As an athlete, you work really hard to develop your skills and techniques.
With all the long hours in the gym, or field, or pool… you hope it will one day lead you to victory!
Sometimes though, you end up with techniques that you thought were great but really end up hurting you as you compete.
I wrestled in high school and when a technique didn’t work, you knew really fast. Usually by getting pinned or tossed like a rag doll across the mat.
On the other hand, with swimming it can be hard to know if your techniques are slowing you down or straight up letting you down altogether.
Well don’t worry, because you have me! I’m going tell you about 5 swim techniques that simply don’t work. So you can drop them once and for all and blow away your competition!

the s does not stand for super

images (6)When I was learning to swim, long ago, they taught us a freestyle stroke technique called the S-pull.
The S-pull was a complicated hand ballet that was thought to generate more power and therefore a faster swim.
WRONG! Because of the movements of the hands, the S-pull would often slow people down!
So, whatever you do, stay away from S-pull. Instead, go for the catch and pull technique.
This involves a smooth motion and a powerful straight forward pull that moves you quickly through the water!

oh, just stop stretching

images (7)Another technique that will cause you nothing but trouble is stretching your stroke out into a glide.
I see a lot of people do this as they swim laps. It can only lead to heartbreak and you know it.
Lengthening your stroke is fine. But when you start to glide, you lose power and that means more work for you, my friend. Because then you need to get yourself back up to speed.
Make sure that you are always in motion. Never let your arms rest as you swim and your technique will stay strong!

learn to breathe underwater

download (5)You’d think this wouldn’t be on the list at all. I mean how hard is it to breathe in and out, right?
Wrong! The poor technique I see most often that should be thrown in a garbage can is trying to exhale and inhale while in the middle of a stroke.
It doesn’t work and just slows you down. Stop it!
Try exhaling in the water so that when it’s time to turn for air, all you have to is inhale. It’s quick and won’t break your rhythm!

you can’t run face down

images (8)Once again, when I was learning to swim, they taught us to hold onto the wall and kick like we were running.
That was a great drill but it lead to bad habits for me and for many others.
These poor kids look like they are running face down plowing their heads through the water and getting nowhere fast! If this sounds like you, let me tell you something that took me too long to learn:
Kick from the hips and not the knee. When you push from your hips, you generate more power without throwing your body out of position and slowing you down.
Remember: running face down does not work!

Keep the speed, keep the tempo

Underwater Audio ipod shuffleThe hardest swimming technique to master is keeping all of your movements in rhythm. Being able to sustain that through an entire workout is tricky.
Most people’s technique for this doesn’t work. Why, you ask? Because most people have no technique in place to begin with to keep a consistent workout going.
This will never do! If you want a sustainable swim without slowing down, then you need to listen to music! Listening to music while you swim has been proven to improve performance and increase workout times.
You can also use music to cue certain moves and resting spots. That way, you can really monitor your progress! All you need to do for this technique to work is head to UnderwaterAudio.com and pick up a Waterproof iPod Shuffle. Then, you are on your way to a better swim and a better you.

One last thought

It can be hard to toss these bad techniques. But if you can change and try some of these suggestions, you will find a whole new world in your local pool!
If you have any comments, please leave them below and until next time, swim fast and have fun!

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