Competitive swimmers train up to 6 days a week, averaging 5000 meters per session. With increased load and repetition, efficient technique is important to prevent common shoulder injuries. Three typical swimming technique mistakes are listed below for freestyle (front crawl).
- Swimming Flat.
Rotating from the hips allows a more streamlined position through the water rather than swimming flat. Also through rotating, it increases the stroke length by allowing the hand to enter farther out front and therefore generating more power through the underwater pull. By rotating from side to side it also creates less stress on the shoulders at hand entry.
- Raised head position.
A neutral head position with an extended neck adds to the desired streamline body position creating less resistance in the water. With a lifted head the hips tend to be lower in the water creating an uphill swimming sensation. This then affects the body and head position for breathing, rotating and flip turns.
- Crossing over on the underwater pull.
The underwater pull is used to anchor or catch the water as the body propels forward. At entry, initiating the pull with a high elbow with finger tips down and holding the high elbow through the pull allows a catch of the max amount of water. When the finger tips cross the midline of the body, the arm is no longer in its strength zone which results in a shortened stroke, less rotation and therefore the streamline position is compromised.
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