5 TIPS FOR IMPROVING YOUR FREESTYLE TECHNIQUE
BY AMY SMITH
Amy Smith is one of the top British sprinters of the early 21st century. A multiple European and Commonwealth Games medallist, Amy also represented GB at the 2012 Olympics, finishing 5th in the 100m freestyle relay and 9th in the 50m freestyle! Today she runs Swim Swift Elite with fellow Olympian and life partner Joe Roebuck, helping youth and masters swimmers from around the globe improve not only their technique but their confidence and understanding around the sport.
- FIX HEAD POSITION
Maintain a neutral head position with the eye-line always looking down, never straight forwards. Imagine you are wearing headphones, the water line should be where the band goes. This will keep your neck relaxed and stop you arching your back. Think about keeping the back of your neck long.
- FLATTEN OFF BACK AND ENGAGE CORE MUSCLES
Tilt your hips and engage your deep core muscles, these being your pelvic floor, diaphragm, transverse abdominis and other smaller muscles. This will flatten off your back and stabilize you in the water. It could take practice to get the hips to tilt posteriorly and flatten off the back, but try this on land first. Lay on your back with your arms above your head in streamline, and tilt the hips so that you can try to feel the floor with your lower back whilst keeping the rest of your body relaxed. Then try to transfer this to the water (now on your front), floating with a pull buoy between your ankles. Don’t allow your head to dip and your bum to rise, it’s all about the hip tilt. Keeping your core engaged whilst you are swimming will keep your upper and lower body connected and working as one unit, thereby preventing swimmers from wiggling or bouncing. You will also get more power in your stroke
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