Have you recently started swimming? That’s awesome! Swimming is a great sport to get involved with. But there’s a lot about swimming that you may not know. You’re bound to make a few mistakes, as you do with anything you are trying for the first time! Don’t let these mistakes stop you! Here are a few mistakes that are common for beginners.
Holding your breath underwater is the right thing to do, right? A lot of beginners hold their breath when their head is underwater and while you certainly shouldn’t breathe underwater, it’s not good to just hold your breath either! You should exhale through your nose when underwater, helping you to work on breath control which is very important for swimmers. Practice on dry land first. Take a deep breath in through your mouth and hum as you exhale. This helps you understand the pacing of your breathing and gets you used to the feeling of inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your nose.
Swimming is a tough form of exercise, working out almost every muscle group in your body. It’s tiring, especially for people just starting out. Your technique won’t be perfect yet and your awareness of your body position will also not be quite there yet. This often leads to swimmers letting their hips sink in the water. This increases drag, making swimming much more difficult and can increase the risk of injury. It’s very common this happens because a swimmer is lifting their head to breathe instead of turning it to the side.
To get your hips and legs to stay positioned correctly in the water, you can always practice with a snorkel. This takes away the head movement and allows you to focus on technique. Once you feel more comfortable, you can start to add the head movements back in.
A lot of beginners also don’t finish a stroke completely. If you pull your hands and arms out too early, you are bound to lose some of the momentum and energy you could be generating. Focus on moving through each and every stroke before moving onto the next. Your arms should reach back to your hips before pulling them out of the water to begin your next stroke.
Remember, everyone makes mistakes in the beginning! Don’t be discouraged! If you are struggling, attend a few swimming lessons where you will gain valuable instructions and important feedback on your swimming techniques!