Tips to Improve Your Freestyle Swim Workouts

Tips to Improve Your Freestyle Swim Workouts

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If you’re a swimmer and want to get the best times and the best workouts, you’ll want to try these swim workout tips.

To improve your freestyle times, you’ve got to work your whole body and switch up your strokes during your workouts. You’ll need to practice the breaststroke, freestyle (of course), and some kickboarding, along with using paddles. Begin your practice with freestyle laps, being sure to always reach forward, extending as far as possible with each stroke, and letting the stroke glide in front of you before pulling down. Make every stroke count, engaging your muscles as you pull through the stroke, pushing the water behind you, not to the sides. Kick from the hip, keeping your legs mostly straight, with only a slight bend to your knees. Try to glide across the top of the water, not thrash at the water. The smoother and stronger the moves, the better the times.

Use paddles to add resistance and build muscles, trying to get across the pool with as few breaths as possible. Then take off the paddles and swim a couple laps with your hands balled up. Then, resume your normal freestyle stroke, noting how different it feels. You’ll be much more aware of the power of your hands and will find you’re much faster.

Work out until you’ve worn out those shoulders (but not so long that you risk injury), and then switch to using a kickboard. Take this time to stretch out your shoulders as you rest on the kickboard, propelling yourself through the water with strong, powerful, lengthy kicks with straight legs. Push each stroke such that you feel it the entire length of your leg. Kickboard until you feel the burn. While still on the kickboard, switch to a breaststroke kick, exercising your legs in a new way.

End your workout with more freestyle laps, using your best technique. Focus on perfecting every stroke.

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