12 Jan Bad habits and quick fixes for adult swimmers
Adults, bad swimming habits and how to correct them is an endless pursuit. Over time people develop, inherit or acquire poor body posture and “short cuts” to how they interact with water. Just going to the local pool and watching a group of adults carry out a general swim will in five minutes demonstrate some bad traits – here are some suggested tips to improve your swimming results:
Dry Hair/Dry Face/Dry Ears/Dry Neck – GET IT WET
Wow this looks hard and probably is hard for those that avoid getting their head wet. Get immersed fully in water at the start. Sit on the bottom, blow bubbles, count to five and stand up. Swimming must involve getting a wet face or head, anything else uses the wrong muscles.
Stop sitting, start swimming
Lean forward – practice log floats with your hands and feet stretching face down (sorry time for a wet face again) – you only need a depth of one metre, so the shallow end is fine. Stretch your hands into a rocket position – drop your head forward and drop your body forward – with toes stretched and feel the difference.
Nails, Nails, Nails, Hands, Hands, Hands, Feet, Feet, Feet!
Your hands and feet need to be stretched – (including you men) – as if you are at a nail bar having a dream pedicure and manicure – push your hands out stretched with your fingers together and scoop the water with your hands. Flick your feet as if you are being pursued as the next meal in the water.
Rubber ducks your new best friend
There is always time for rubber ducks in swimming practise – bring a new best friend to the pool. Lie on your back – stretch your feet (again) with toes pointed and place the duck on your forehead. Focus on the duck and keeping it on your head. Push up your buttocks, engage your core muscles (it can be done by everyone) and slowly kick your feet and push your toes (remember those). Propulsion should take place easily and smoothly. Smooth swimming is cool and always the goal.
Finally – think about slow, steady, smooth strokes. All of your actions should be carried out as if you are a totally focussed, thinking swimmer. Each action will generate a reaction – some will produce propulsion some will not. Spend time slowing down your swimming and evaluate what is working, what feels right and what movements are not worth your effort. Swimming and getting better at it is a mixture of small actions with measured results. Get a friend to watch you swim and give you feedback. Breaking your swimming down to a number of stages will make this task easier.
Think about your kit and dress code. Large swim shorts equals drag. Inappropriate swimming costumes equals distraction away from the focussed thinking swimmer. Reduce your clutter poolside, this equals clearer, simpler swimming.