Learning to Swim Freestyle on your Side

Written by Kevin Koskella

When we learned to swim freestyle as children, most of us swim flat inrepparttar water, with little or no hip rotation as our arms are doingrepparttar 144007 majority ofrepparttar 144008 work. Many triathletes and open water swimmers have found it necessary to change their stroke and swim more on their sides in order to conserve energy, swim faster, and get through potential rough water conditions with greater ease.

Rotating from side to side as you swim is a method that has been around for over 30 years. When Mark Spitz was gaining national recognition inrepparttar 144009 early 70ís, many critics said his only problem is that he does this side-to-side action as he swims! Little did they realize just how revolutionary that stroke was. Science has now backed up this style of swimming, and great swim coaches like Howard Furby and Ernie Maglischo have popularized swimming on your side with many successful swimmers overrepparttar 144010 years.

Good swimming is about usingrepparttar 144011 core of your body- hips, stomach, lower back, and chest. Top swimmers rotaterepparttar 144012 core ofrepparttar 144013 body from one side torepparttar 144014 other, while keepingrepparttar 144015 head fixed. When you rotate in this way, you move throughrepparttar 144016 water more like a fish, or a boat, reaching further forward on each stroke, and maximizing your efficiency.

Do You Have a "Runner's Kick" When You Swim?

Written by Kevin Koskella

Can you point your toes and straighten out your feet?

When you kick on your back, do you tend to go very slow, stay in one place, or even go backwards?

Do you have a tough time with swimming drills because your kick is not propelling you forward fast enough?

Do you wear fins in workouts just to "keep up"?

Did you start out as a runner and pick up swimming later to become a Triathlete?

If you answered "yes" to any ofrepparttar above, you may have Runner's Kick!

Have no fear, there are things you can do. Evenrepparttar 144006 worst of kickers can develop an adequate kick for freestyle, which is all you need for a triathlon swim. Here are some remedies:

1. Vertical Kicking. This drill has been around for a long time. Find water that is deep enough for you to kick in place. Let go ofrepparttar 144007 wall, cross your arms, and kick in place in a vertical position (keep in a straight line), pointing your toes and keeping your chin aboverepparttar 144008 surface ofrepparttar 144009 water. Get your power from your quads and hips on this drill. Try 20 seconds at a time.

2. Use fins. Yes! I am a coach telling you to use fins. But not to "keep up" in workouts. IF you have ankle flexibility issues (Runner's Kick), use fins for a few weeks, but wean off them as you get closer to your event. The shorter kind are best. I prefer Hydrofinz (see below) but other brands may work okay as well. Fins can increase your ankle flexibility, allow you to do swimming drills with ease, and strengthenrepparttar 144010 right leg muscles you need to kick.

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