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Swimming freestyle with perfect technique is certainly not easy. It takes years and years to fine-tune your stroke, polish your body positioning, and build more power in your kick.

If you’re not focusing on your technique, your swimming progress will plateau, you’ll get out of breath quicker, and you might have a higher chance of getting injured.

In this video, watch as Coach Fares Ksebati shows examples of wrong vs. right in swimming freestyle. You might get a few tips for how to improve your technique and reduce injury!

How To Swim Freestyle: Avoid These 5 Mistakes

  1. Neglecting Hip Rotation

Have you ever focused solely on your kick, neglecting the crucial role of hip rotation? Many swimmers make this mistake, unaware that efficient freestyle swimming requires more than just powerful leg movements.

Instead, top swimmers emphasize hip rotation, allowing for a smoother and more streamlined stroke.

So, next time you hit the pool, remember: think less kick, more hip rotation.

  1. Dropping Your Arm When Breathing

Maintaining proper arm position is essential for maximizing efficiency in freestyle swimming. Yet, one common mistake many swimmers make is dropping their arm when taking a breath.

This not only disrupts your rhythm but also compromises your stability in the water.

Focus on keeping your arm extended and balanced as you breathe, ensuring a seamless stroke cycle.

  1. Crossing Over

Imagine a laser slicing through your body as you swim. If your hand crosses over the midline, it’s like walking into that laser beam – not ideal.

Crossing over not only hampers your stroke’s efficiency but also increases the risk of injury.

Speaking of getting injured in the pool – muscle aches, joint pain and inflammation are some of the most common issues that swimmers experience from training without proper technique.

Regardless of how much or how often you are training, living in pain or discomfort should not be considered normal.

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When it comes to reducing injury in your swimming technique, it’s great to start with your upper body rotation. In freestyle, you do thousands of strokes, which can lead to some pretty bad overuse issues if you’re poo technique is not properly fixed.

Keep your strokes symmetrical, aligning your hand entry with your shoulder to maintain optimal technique and minimize strain on your body.

  1. Lifting Your Head

Your head position plays a significant role in dictating your body position in the water. Lifting your head disrupts this alignment, causing your legs to sink and creating unnecessary drag.

Instead, focus on looking down towards the bottom of the pool, maintaining a neutral or slightly angled head position. By doing so, you’ll enhance your hydrodynamics and swim faster with less effort.

Related: How To Do a Flipturn >

  1. Incorrect Hand Entry

The way your hand enters the water sets the foundation for each stroke. Too often, swimmers overlook the importance of proper hand placement, opting for a flat, ineffective entry.

Aim to enter the water with your fingertips first, followed by your wrist and forearm, in a smooth and controlled motion.

This optimal hand entry maximizes your propulsion and sets you up for a powerful pull through the water.

Whether you’re a novice swimmer or a seasoned athlete, addressing these five freestyle mistakes can significantly improve your performance in the water.

By prioritizing hip rotation, maintaining arm position, avoiding crossover, keeping your head down, and perfecting your hand entry, you’ll swim more efficiently and effectively. So, next time you hit the pool, remember these tips and watch your swimming prowess soar.

How to Practice Your Freestyle Stroke

There are hundreds of swim workouts and drills that you can try in the water to practice your freestyle. Check out our YouTube channel or download the MySwimPro app for more tips and workout ideas!

Sign up for Coach to unlock all of our AI Swim Workouts, Training Plans and Technique Videos. 

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