Swimming Straight

man swimming in swimming pool

Swimming Straight

Swimming straight while in a swimming pool is easy. You’ve got a line to follow on the bottom of the lane. Swimming straight in open water is a little harder. Not only is there no line to follow, the likelihood is that the water is so murky you can’t see beyond the end of your arm! So how do you ensure that you swim straight?

First up, sighting is an important skill to learn, making sure that you are swimming on the right heading in any training or race. But the more you lift your head up to sight the more energy you will use and more drag you create for yourself.

So how do you ensure that you swim straight without sighting too often?

The main thing to do is make sure that your stroke is as balanced and even as possible. Especially if you only breath to one side, you might find that your arms are doing different things.

Try this: swim a length (or as far as you can) without breathing. Watch for your hands coming through under the body. If you have a swim snorkel this would work just as well, you can get used to making sure everything is where it should be. Added to this, ensure that your kick is balanced and even, and that your core is set and working for you, to stop your hips swinging from side to side.

Doing these exercises, getting a feel for being as balanced and even as possible is key because without being able to view your stroke, you can never be quite sure that what you think you’re doing and what you are actually doing are the same!

The next exercise to try is swimming with your eyes closed. Make sure there is the space, and make sure you know how many strokes you take for a length. Push off the wall, eyes closed and swim steady. Put into practice the elements from the previous exercise – whether you do this no breathing, with a snorkel or breathing regularly, feel for where your hands/arms are in relation to your body. Swim to within 2 or 3 strokes of your normal length’s stroke count, open your eyes and finish the length. Did you manage to swim straight? If not, it’s time to work out what is pulling you off line.

You may well find that swimming straight is easy with no breathing, but when you introduce it into your stroke, that’s where things fall down – if so be aware that your hand may well pull across under you as you breath. For instance, if you breath to your left, as you breath your right hand might come across under your body (pulling the whole of you across to the left). The key here is to concentrate on trying not to over reach to breath, and keeping the pulling elbow up and out (as you no doubt do when not breathing).

This should help you go much further for each individual stroke, with less effort – and hopefully by swimming straight you will also be faster! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.

See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!

Are you ready to get in shape? 

If you are interested in one of the training programs with professional coach, you can make an appointment now. You can also submit a video of your training to get a professional assessment of your current performance form.

Share This