Insider's Guide to Swimming: Pool Workout
3 Ways to Be a Better Swimmer
1. Focus on form: When swimming freestyle, look at the bottom of the pool, pressing chest down and keeping head, hips, and feet at the surface. If your head and chest are too high, your legs and hips will drop, creating drag. As you take a stroke, reach forward just under the surface, extending your arm from your shoulder when your hand enters the water. Pull the water toward you, then keep elbow high as you pull your arm back. Try to maintain a constant strong, fast, small kick. Begin by kicking from the hips (not the knees), keeping your ankles floppy and relaxed.
2. Breathe better: The smoothest swimmers practice "bilateral" breathing, or breathing alternately on right and left sides. To do it, turn your body to either side every time you take a breath.
3. Roll with it: Avoid lifting your whole head to breathe. Instead, roll your body on one side so your chest faces the side of the pool as your arm pushes down and leaves the water. Keep your ear in the water as you take a breath and the corner of your mouth at the surface.
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