Try to learn swim from a coach

Update History:

  1. 2017-01-10 /First draft with Day1 Content/
  2. 2017-01-10 /Add Day2 Content/
  3. 2017-01-25 /Add Day3 Content, overview and course tips/
  4. 2017-02-05 /Add Day4/5/6/7 Content and bonus content/

I am 29 years old, I learned swim from my father when I was young, he is not a professional swimmer like many fathers, but he is my first coach, I never learned swimming in any training course from high school , but I can say I can beat many friends in pool, but it’s not efficient way to learn this sport, I know I was so bad on body control, kicking or other poses.

From the beginning of 2017, I wanted to make good use of WPI’s recreation center, so I found on online training called 7Days-Swim, I will take the learning notes on blog.

Day 1: Breathing & Relaxation

Day 1 consists of 4 parts based on breathing and relaxation. In Part A we will learn proper breathing techniques by blowing bubbles. In Part B we will learn how to recover safely in the water. In Part C we will learn how to do a front float and finally in Part D we will learn how to do the back float.

Part A - Blowing Bubble /Breathing

  • Difficulty Rating :🏊🏊🏊

Efficient breathing comes from the diaphragm. To do this place on hand palm in front of your mouth, place the other hand on your belly. As you breathe in you should feel your belly expand outwards. Your chest and shoulders should remain still which indicates diaphragm breathing. If they rise or expand then you are not utilizing your diaphragm. Blow into your palm and you should create a steady stream of air hitting your palm

  • Tips:

    • Breath with the diaphragm, avoid chest breathing, to keep the shoulder remain still.
    • A article shows: how to develop a good breathing habits
    • In order to swim we must first become comfortable and relaxed in the water; if we are comfortable and relaxed we float better, if we are scared and tensed we are more likely to sink

    • Breathing in water is unlike breathing on land; it follows a set rhythm and pattern where you must breathe 100% in / 100% out

    • The more consistent our breathing pattern is in the water, the more swimming (laps) we can do; the more sporadic our breathing becomes, the less likely we will be able to swim for long periods of time

    • Efficient breathing comes from the diaphragm. To do this place on hand palm in front of your mouth, place the other hand on your belly. As you breathe in you should feel your belly expand outwards. Your chest and shoulders should remain still which indicates diaphragm breathing. If they rise or expand then you are not utilizing your diaphragm. Blow into your palm and you should create a steady stream of air hitting your palm

    • When entering the pool for the first time find a quiet corner or area in the shallow end of the pool and practice blowing bubbles. Start with placing your chin and mouth only in the water. Once you are comfortable blowing bubbles into the water for at least 5 to 10 seconds then place your nose into the water, then your eyes (with goggles on) and finally your entire head

    • Breathing in water uses only the mouth. Do not inhale or exhale using the nose while swimming and instead focus only on the mouth. Training your nose not to breathe in or out takes practice, you could wear a nose plug but I personally do not recommend it because you will become dependent on it.

  • For Me:

    • I think it is difficult for me to breath right with diaphragm with the rhinitis situation, to make sure I have the enough air I have to use my mouth to breath as the first choice, I should change this to the right way.

Part B - Recovery Stance

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊- Diff
  • Tips:

    • When you fall backward into the water
    • Being underwater (weightless) for the first time can feel a little scary and disorienting however the recovery stance allows us to recover confidently from any underwater position

    • First sit down underwater and curl up into a ball. You’ll notice that by doing this your body aligns itself into an upright position. Simply place your feet wide apart onto the ground and slowly stand up with your arms apart

    • Do this a few times until you are ready to move on and remember to breathe in using the diaphragm and exhale into the water using a steady flow of air

    • Next fall forwards and recover. Your body will take a few seconds to align into an upright position and then place your feet onto the ground

    • Finally fall backwards into the water and repeat the process until you are ready to move on

    • For Me:

      • It’s easy to do, but it teaches me the movement more efficient with control my body underwater.

Part C - Front Float

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊
  • Tips:

    • Doing front floats are a great way of relaxing the body. They help us to stay loose, calm and focus on our breathing

    • Grab the wall with one arm and the other arm holding a kickboard. Place your head into the water blowing your bubbles and lift your feet off the ground. When finished go into the recovery stance

    • Do this a few times until you are ready to move on, then switch sides and try holding the wall with the other arm

    • If your feet sink to the bottom it’s normal, simply tap off the ground and try to maintain a horizontal position in the water

    • Next grab a kickboard with both arms, place your head into the water blowing bubbles and lift your feet off the ground. Do this for about 5 to 10 seconds until you are ready to move on

    • Finally put your whole body into the water with your arms apart and feet wide apart blowing bubbles

    • Your body should be nice and loose like seaweed in the water. Relax and no tensing of any muscles

    • For Me:

      • It’s another easy part if you know how to stay in the water and know how to swim (even learned from a amateur coach like my father).

Part D - Back Float

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊
  • Tips:

    • RELAX
    • Focus on deep breathing using the diaphragm.

    • Back floats are a little more challenging than front floats because you are on your back with your face out of the water

    • Your ears and back of your head should be submerged but your face should not

    • Start with holding the wall with one hand and a kickboard with the other. Lean back and lift your feet up from the ground. If your feet sink simply tap off the floor and maintain a horizontal position.

    • Next hold the kickboard with both hands and place it near your belly as you lean back into the float

    • Finally sink your entire body back into the water unassisted with arms and legs wide apart

    • Focus on deep breathing using the diaphragm and no tensing of any muscles

    • The advantage of doing back floats versus front is that you can remain in the float for as long as you want. Simply do the recovery stance when done

    • Congratulations on completing all 4 lessons in Day 1. Now it’s your turn to do these exercises in the pool. Make sure you download and print out the Day 1 PDF Summary and take it with you to the pool as your action guide

  • For Me:

    • Like the front float said, not a hard session.

Day2: Glides

Day 2 consists of 3 parts based on moving in the water using basic propulsion aka glides. In Part A we will learn how to execute a proper front glide. In Part B we will learn how to perform a perfect back glide. Finally In Part C we will learn how to combine both the front and back glide into a flip glide.

Part A - Front Glide

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊
  • Tips:

    • The first step to moving quickly in the water (i.e. propulsion) is to learn front glides. Basically a front glide is a front float in motion where we use our forward momentum to move our body forwards against the drag of the water which will eventually slow us down

    • Instead of being loose and relaxed we now must make our body firm (but not too tensed) tight and long like an arrow in order to cut through the water drag

    • Maxing out our body horizontally with our arms and legs stretched out will give us the most effective glide. Legs should be together, toes pointed out, arms stretched forward, head tucked in and looking downwards. If we ignore any of these then we increase our chances of creating more drag in the water thus slowing us down

    • Start with your butt touching the wall and hands placed on a kick board. Make sure the kick board stays on the surface of the water at all times or else resistance drag will be created

    • Next sink your head into the water blowing bubbles and lift both feet quickly off the floor and pressing against the wall and push off as hard as you can

    • Elongate your body as you push off the wall and make yourself as thin and firm like an arrow in the water

    • You will eventually stop and then do the recovery stance after. Do this exercise a few times until you are ready to move on

    • Next do the same exercise without a kick board with one hand placed on top of the other like an arrow tip

  • For Me:

    • Easy part.

Part B - Back Glide

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊

    • Tips:
    • Like the back float, the back glide requires us to place the back of our heads and ears in the water and our face out

    • First grip the kickboard like a holding a burger with your feet near the wall. Position the kickboard on the surface of the water with your shoulders submerged.

    • Slowly sink the back of your head and ears into the water with your chin up and eyes looking up to the ceiling. Quickly lift your feet off the floor and place them onto the wall and push as hard as you can

    • Elongate your body with your legs together, toes pointed and stretched outward with the kickboard placed near your belly

    • When you’ve slowly come to a stop simply go into the recovery stance

    • Do this a few times until you are ready to move on. Now attempt this without a kickboard with your arms tucked into the sides of your body

  • For Me:

    • Easy part.

Part C - Flip Glide

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊
  • Tips:

    • Turn Quickly
    • The final part now is to combine or interchange between the front and back glide positions with a flip turn

    • In order to turn we must turn with our shoulders very quickly and aggressively so that we do not lose any of our forward momentum

    • As you are in your front glide with a kickboard, pull the kickboard towards your chest and turn aggressively onto your back placing the kickboard onto your chest then belly as the final position. Do this a few times until you are ready to move on

    • Next try this without a kickboard with your arms pointing outwards during the front glide and then tucked to the sides of your body in the back glide

    • Next start with the back glide position with your kickboard placed on your belly and then flip aggressively onto your front with the kickboard stretch in front

    • Finally attempt this without a kickboard where one or both arms will stretch forwards as you turn from back to front glide.

    • You will notice that front to back glide is a lot faster whereas back to front slows you down more because we have not incorporated our pulling arms into the stroke just yet

    • Congratulations on completing all 3 lessons in Day 2. Now it’s your turn to do these exercises in the pool. Make sure you download and print out the Day 2 PDF Summary and take it with you to the pool as your action guide

  • For Me:

    • Easy part.

Day3: Kicking

Day 3 consists of 3 parts where we can now apply kicking to our glides. In Part A we will learn how to perform the front kick. In Part B we will learn how to perform the back. Finally In Part C we will learn how to combine both front and back kicking with a flip kick.

Part A - Front Kick

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊🏊🏊🏊
  • Tips:

    • There are a lot of common misconceptions when it comes to kicking while swimming. First, when it comes to propulsion or power in front crawl, the ratio between kicking and arms is not 50:50

    • In actual fact, kicking amounts to only 10-20% of our propulsion whereas 80-90% comes from our arms pulling

    • We must keep this in mind that as we kick that our purpose is only to support the arms and maintain our lower body’s horizontal position.

    • Very little effort or energy is needed for kicking and you will notice that as you front kick you will move very slowly in the water compared to incorporating your arms in front crawl at a later lesson. Strong or aggressive kicking is not necessary and makes you more prone to exhaustion

    • Second, kicking involves the whole leg as one instrument extending from the hips all the way to the toes. Movement is created from the hips and the energy is delivered all the way down to the toes

    • Propulsion is created by the front and back flat part of our feet much like the surface of a row paddle. Flippers extend this surface area which makes it easier for us to move further

    • To kick properly, imagine lying face down on a mattress. Lift one leg up using your gluteus muscle without bending your knee. When your leg has reached it’s maximum height let it drop down and smack the mattress using the flat part of your feet. Repeat this process with both legs

  • For Me:

    • I still don’t know how to do the right kicking.
    • Lessons from Fangyu: Thigh sway take the calf sway, when you kicking downward, curve your knees and keep legs unbend to kicking upward.
    • Lessons from Fangyu: When you kicking, feet should keep closely from beginning to the end to make the propulsion power.

Part B - Back Kick

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊🏊
  • Tips:

    • Back kicking is a bit different from front kicking. Again we apply only 10-20% of our energy onto our kicking and we kick from the hips extending our energy all the way down to our pointed toes however the motion is not the same

    • Instead of lying face down on a mattress as we do with front kick, imagine kicking a sock off your foot in a flicking motion when on your back; that is the movement we want to visualize when back kicking

    • In back kicking we are able to bend our knees a bit more giving us a wider range of motion underwater. Also when we finish we want our pointed toes touching the surface of the water

    • The easiest way to indicate if we are back kicking correctly is to feel splashing on the water surface. If there is no splashing then our feet are positioned too low into the water which will make it harder for us to maintain our horizontal position

  • For Me:

    • As part A.

Part C - Flip Kick

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊🏊🏊
  • Tips:

    • Turn Quickly
    • The flip kick requires the same turning motion as the flip glide.

    • Start with the front kick with a kick board and as you run out of breath simply turn onto your back and finish with a recovery stance. Do this a few times until you are ready to move on

    • Next try to continue alternating from front to back and remember to visualize separate kicking patterns for each: front kicking is smacking a mattress, back kicking is flicking socks off your feet

    • For an added challenge try this without using a kick board. Without using arms it can be quite challenging maintaining a front kick so you can adapt by spending less time on your front and more time on your back

    • Congratulations on completing all 3 lessons in Day 3. Now it’s your turn to do these exercises in the pool. Make sure you download and print out the Day 3 PDF Summary and take it with you to the pool as your action guide

  • For Me:

    • As part A.

Day4: Frontcrawl Beginner

Day 4 consists of 2 parts that will allow us to perform freestyle swimming aka frontcrawl for the first time. In Part A we will learn how to perform frontcrawl arms in a standing or walking position and then afterwards with the front kick. In Part B we will learn how to perform side breathing and then side kicking aka scissor kicks. Finally we will be able to combine both Part A and B and perform our very first frontcrawl.

Part A - Frontcrawl Arms

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊🏊🏊
  • Tips:

    • Power in frontcrawl comes mainly from the arms, particularly your hands as you pull and scoop the water with each crawl

    • Make sure you gently cup your hands not letting any water escape through your fingers and feel the force of the water with every pull

    • Keep your arms straight and reaching outwards throughout the entire circular motion. Use your shoulders and back to pull with no bending of the elbows. As you pull you should feel your tricep muscle flexing

    • Start with 1-2-breath pattern. One complete windmill arm and when your hand touches the kickboard it counts as 1. Start the second arm and when it lands on the kickboard with both arms securing the kickboard come up for a quick breath

    • When you are ready to move try 1-2-3-breath pattern which is the standard count for frontcrawl

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part B - Side Breathing

  • Difficulty Rating : 🏊🏊🏊🏊
  • Tips:

    • In order to maintain our new 1-2-3 breath pattern we must adapt our breathing as well. Coming up for air in front kicking can be detrimental because it requires us to lift our heads up putting strain on our necks. Also in order for our head to come up our body must go down in order to compensate the off balance which breaks our horizontal position

    • Side breathing alleviates these problems as we breathe onto our sides. When we come up for breath we instead tilt our heads to the sides with half of our face still in the water. This will cause some water to remain in our mouths which is normal, the key is to control the air vs waterflow as we breathe

    • Remember to keep HALF of your face submerged which includes the top of your head halfway in as this prevents us from straining our neck muscles. Submerging half of our faces in the water allows us to take the weight off our necks and allow the water to bear the weight

    • As you breathe on your side, aim for resting your ear onto your shoulder of the arm reaching forwards with the other shoulder facing the ceiling with the arm placed inwards (imagine putting your hand in your front pocket) to prevent from flipping onto our backs

    • Side kicking aka scissor kicks is a useful exercise for maintaining a side breathing position. In order to side kick imagine your legs as scissors crossing equal distances back and forth with toes pointed

    • First use two kickboards to do side kicking with one placed in front of the lead arm and the other resting below the other arm as support. Do this several times until you are ready to move on

    • Next try with only one kickboard placed on the leading hand and finally for an added challenge attempt side kicking unassisted

    • Congratulations on completing both lessons in Day 4. Now it’s your turn to do these exercises in the pool. Make sure you download and print out the Day 4 PDF Summary and take it with you to the pool as your action guide

  • For Me:

    • Quick Breath, I need to figure out why I always making water in my ear.
    • I need more muscle power to make continue frontcrawl.

Day5: Frontcrawl Advanced

Day 5 consists of 3 parts that will enhance our frontcrawl. In Part A we will learn how to perform the frontcrawl independently without a kickboard. In Part B we will learn how to refine our arms for more efficiency. Finally in Part C as an extra challenge we will learn how to perform the headup frontcrawl.

Part A - Frontcrawl Advanced

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • Doing frontcrawl unassisted can seem intimidating as there is no kickboard to support us as we breathe onto our sides. Side kicking alleviates some of this however the side breathe itself is a lot quicker than it seems

    • In order to perform frontcrawl unassisted two things are required. The first is to maintain a continuous motion of the arms. Arms should remain in motion at all times; like an engine they never stop moving with one arm in front and the other in the back. Any pause in our arms and we start to lose our forward momentum

    • The second key is to ensure that your lead arm is always reaching and stretching forwards as much as possible. This ensures that we gain the maximum crawl or pull and that we are propelling our bodies forward

    • Once we incorporate these two concepts into our strokes we are then ready to perform continuous frontcrawl

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part B - Frontcrawl Continuous

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • In order to save energy and perform continuous frontcrawl for long periods of time we can refine our arms for more efficiency

    • As your arm reaches the 12 o clock position (or is facing the cieling) bend your elbow and cut into the water like a knife at a 45 degree angle

    • As you slice into the water straighten your arm out by curving upwards towards the surface of the water reaching forwards as much as you can

    • In order to make a proper incision into the water our arm must start off really high before bending. The key is to expose your armpit to the side and tilt your body slightly to the other side in order assist with the exposure

    • As you expose your armpit you’ll notice that your shoulder will rise as well with the other shoulder sinking. Shoulders are never even during frontcrawl with one slightly higher than the other creating a rocking side to side motion

    • Your goal now is to swim from one end of the pool to the other without stopping or assistance ( =1 lap). If your pool has a deep end I recommend wearing a floatation belt for safety

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part C - Head up Frontcrawl

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • Two things happen as we do head up frontcrawl. One is that our body is positioned now at a vertical position; almost at 45 degrees leaning forwards. Arms still do 80-90% of the work whereas the legs support the arms

    • Second our head is totally out of the water so that we can see where we are going so blowing bubbles or using goggles is not necessary

    • In order to do head up frontcrawl we must make two adjustments. First we have to twist side to side with each pull of the arms. This allows us to make it easier on our upper body being positioned higher on the surface of the water

    • Second, we must lower our legs into the water in order for us to expose our upper body towards the surface. This requires a greater amount of energy and stamina to maintain and should only be used during emergency or rescue situations where seeing underwater is obstructed

    • This is an optional stroke for you to learn, however it is a useful survival skill plus a great upper body workout

    • Congratulations on completing all 3 lessons in Day 5. Now it’s your turn to do these exercises in the pool. Make sure you download and print out the Day 5 PDF Summary and take it with you to the pool as your action guide

  • For Me:

    • ~

Day 6: Breaststroke

Day 6 consists of 3 where we will learn how to perform the breaststroke. In Part A we will first learn how to perform the breaststroke arms. In Part B we will learn how to use our legs in breaststroke with a technique called the whip kick. Finally in Part C we will synchronize both techniques and perform the perfect breaststroke.

Part A - Breaststroke Arms

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • If frontcrawl is jogging then breaststroke is walking

    • Doing breaststroke arms is very different to frontcrawl arms. The pull itself is not very strong in comparison; it is more for supporting and carrying our upper body forwards as well as allowing our heads to come up for a breath.

    • As a result, you will notice that breaststroke is a lot slower stroke compared to frontcrawl; it is not a race but a leisurely stroll in water

    • The timing of the breaststroke arms is also completely different. Instead of frontcrawl arms set to continuous motion, breaststroke arms have a pause to promote gliding

    • To perform the pull start with your arms out in front pointing forwards with your hands beside eachother. Next imagine the timing of the pull as if you were going up a rollercoaster hill. You want to slowly separate your hands and incrementally increase your speed as you reach 90 degree angles with your elbows. The pull comes from your hands being cupped and part of your forearms

    • Next when your elbows have reached 90 degree angles bend your forearms inwards so that your fingers touch first and then your palms touch and finally like going down the rollercoaster hill you shoot out into a front glide. It is here that we pause and allow the front glide momentum to carry us forwards for 1-2 seconds. Do this a few times in a seated position in the water until you are ready to move on

    • Next attempt this motion with your head in the water. Blowing bubbles from the starting position and come up for a breath when your arms both reach 90 degrees in the pull, quick breath and back into the water as your arms shoot out and assume the front glide position

    • Next try this with front kicking but increase the speed of the breaststroke arms as seen in the video

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part B - Whip Kick

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • Whip kick can be a difficult move to master and may take some time getting used to. The most common mistake swimmers make when doing whip kick is allowing their knees to expand wider than their hips which is actually a frog kick which can be detrimental to our glide

    • To perform whip kick, try practicing lying belly down on a mattress. Both legs together bend your knees and raise your feet up until your knees are at 90 degrees. At this angle flex your feet making a V shape. The inner sides of your feet and calf area are the parts we will be using to push us forwards

    • Next draw a ball with your feet by making an outwards circular motion. Finish by bringing both feet firmly together and toes pointed. Pause in this position for 1-2 seconds which is the glide part of our breaststroke

    • Next attempt this in the pool with your arms gripping the wall as seen in the video. Finally when you are ready to move on test your new whip kick by holding onto a kickboard. You will notice that you will move slowly which is normal but form is more important than speed

    • Try to get as much push in every whip kick that you do versus doing as many as you can. The more distance you glide the better your whip kick is

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part C - Breaststroke Complete

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • There are essentially three parts to a complete breaststroke: pull (arms), push (legs), and glide (whole body)

    • When we pull our arms are at 90 degrees, our head up for a breath and our legs bent and flexed into a V shape. This is the first part of the breaststroke. In this stage our arms are in charge of pulling us forwards while our legs prepare to do its push

    • The second is the push. Our arms shoot forwards like an arrow, our head back into the water, and our legs push out and around like drawing a ball with our feet together and toes pointed. In this stage our legs push us forwards while our arms assist by keeping us streamlined

    • The glide is the final part of the breaststroke and is often neglected. To maximize the breaststroke effect we must take full advantage of the glide where we allow our momentum to carry us forwards and allows us to rest. When gliding remain firm, tight like an arrow and wait 1-3 seconds before commencing another pull

    • Congratulations on completing all 3 lessons in Day 6. Now it’s your turn to do these exercises in the pool. Make sure you download and print out the Day 6 PDF Summary and take it with you to the pool as your action guide

  • For Me:

    • ~

Day 7: Advanced Tactics

Day 7 consists of advanced techniques which will further benefit our swimming. In Part A we will learn how to perform the dolphin kick. In Part B we will learn how to use our arms in sculling. Finally in Part C we will wrap things up and combine forms we have covered in the last 7 days.

Part A - Dolphin Kick

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • The dolphin kick is used in the butterfly stroke and is great for extending our glides in the water

    • You notice that when swimmers perform laps they first start by pushing off the wall and into a front glide; they can prolong their glide by adding a dolphin kick. This allows a swimmer to save energy and gain some distance before commencing their stroke

    • Start by holding the wall and feet together, toes pointed. Bend you knees bringing your feet up and push down fast and as hard as you can. You can feel the water resistance as you push down as seen in the video. Do this a few times until you are ready to move on

    • Next grab a kickboard with both arms and practice doing dolphin kicks going forwards. Like the whip kick try not to focus on speed; instead try to get the maximum push and glide with every dolphin kick

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part B - Sculling

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • Sculling is used for treading water as well as moving backwards with little energy expenditure. When on our backs, I personally recommend sculling versus backcrawl because it is easier to learn and perform with less energy needed

    • Start by standing in the water, cupping your hands and pretend smearing peanut butter onto the surface of the water or waving goodbye in a windshield wiper motion moving side to side in equal distances. You will notice the water changing into a white color as you perform this exercise. If not then it is an indicator that your hands are too low in the water

    • Next lean into a back glide and perform sculling while looking up to the ceiling. Finally try going into a seated position and perform sculling

    • For an extra challenge, try sculling from one end of the pool to the other while seated and practice changing directions as well

  • For Me:

    • ~

Part C - Combining Strokes

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:
  • For Me:
    • ~

Bonus 1: Backcrawl

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • Backcrawl is essentially a reverse frontcrawl. Instead of blowing bubbles our face is out of the water and instead of using windmill arms pulling forwards we are pulling backwards

    • Start with your back kick and practice tilting your shoulders from side to side with each shoulder that comes out of the water touching the side of your chin; the other shoulder should be in the complete opposite direction facing down

    • You will notice that your legs will sink lower into the water as it is harder to maintain kicking onto the water surface as we incorporate our shoulders

    • Next apply windmill arms with arms fully extended, no bending of the elbows; make sure your fingers are cupped and your pinky finger is the first to slice into the water; pull using your shoulders and cupped hands with every stroke

    • You can later refine your pull by pushing downwards with the arms instead of in a circular motion. To do this, extend your arm in front and then bend your elbow with the thumb grazing your sides push downwards and away.

    • To visualize this, raise one arm up with the thumb facing forwards and pink facing behind. Next, lower your arm by bending your elbows and slowly bring your thumb towards your armpit and elbow towards your ribs. Next slap your hand down with fingers cupped and push downwards until your arm is straight. That is the refined backcrawl arm. This will take some time getting used to so take it slow

    • Like windmill arms make sure your arms are continuously in motion; no stopping

    • For an extra challenge try combining or alternating between backcrawl with frontcrawl by using the flip kick


Bonus 2: Butterfly

  • Difficulty Rating :
  • Tips:

    • Out of all 4 strokes butterfly is the most challenging because it involves a lot of complex movement, power and stamina however it is also the most rewarding.

    • It is a combination of frontcrawl and breaststroke as well as combining dolphin kick so I recommended that you can do all 3 strokes well before attempting butterfly. Take your time while learning this stroke and make sure you understand all of the mechanics.

    • First start off in the standing position with your arms in front and head in the water looking down. Position your arms bent a little and palms facing outwards to the sides (thumbs down, pinkys up) in 30-45 degree angle. As you enter quickly into the water with your hands at this angle water resistance will be significantly reduced

    • Next start the arm pull with cupped hands just like in breaststroke and as you reach 90 degree angles with your elbows pull your hands past your hips as if your arms were 2 brooms sweeping water behind your body and away. Make sure your pull is close to the sides of your body as if you were brushing water past your hips

    • Now that both arms are out of the water imagine having double frontcrawl arms. Both arms are out with pinky facing up but at the same time your head is coming up for a quick breath much like in breaststroke

    • Next bring your arms to the front, straight or bent is fine, bent arms are easier to begin with as there is less tension mounted upon the shoulders. As your hands insert back into the water bring your head back into the water as well

    • Next practice butterfly arms using front kicking, it will take some time getting used to because our breath is now dependent on our arms swinging out, around and back into the water in a much longer duration compared to breaststroke arms

    • Next attempt butterfly arms without kicking. Try to go as far as you can by just using your arms and stop whenever you’re tired. Without kicking you’ll notice that you won’t move as fast so focus only on form instead. This exercise will help develop power in our arms and coordination

    • Next combine your front kick with dolphin kick. This will help us to transition into using only dolphin kick in the final progression. There are 2 dolphins kicks: first when our arms enter the water, second when our arms exit the water. Standard breath is usually one for every 2 arm pulls: pull once, second pull lift your head up. For beginners I recommend 1 breath for every arm pull

    • Finally combine butterfly arms with only dolphin kick. Your goal will be to complete one lap using butterfly. Combining both butterfly arms and dolphin kick is a lot like attempting a complete breaststroke for the first time. It will take some time getting used to so be patient

    • When doing laps I recommend pairing butterfly with breaststroke if you get tired


Bonus 3: Flip Turn

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    • The flip turn is an excellent way of reducing time between laps if endurance or time restraints are a motivating factor

    • Start by practicing standing somersaults in the water. Imagine doing the recovery stance while pulling downwards with your arms. Bow your head down and make sure you blow all your air out consistently during the flip unless you want water up your nose. Repeat this move a few times until you are ready to move on

    • Next practice placing your feet flat onto the wall by using the somersault. The positioning of your feet on the wall will determine the direction of your glide after. Make sure your feet are planted comfortably on the wall before extending. The optimum angle is your body being perpendicular to the wall before pushing off which will take some calibration

    • As you push off the wall twist your body by using the flip glide and finish on your front. Getting the perfect flip turn takes some practice and calibration. It is a blind move because you can’t see where you’re body is as you perform the somersault so you have to trust your instincts and get a feel for the timing and movement

    • Practice by starting further and further away from the wall: 1m, 5m and then perform a regular lap incorporating the flip turn. I recommend incorporating the flip turn now and then during lap swimming and then resting on the wall whenever you need to take a break


Bonus 4: Diving

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    • To perform a dive can be both thrilling and exhilarating if done correctly. If done poorly, it could lead to a painful and otherwise embarrassing bellyflop

    • The most common mistake most people make when diving is by leading into the water using the head. It’s a common reflex when you’re nervous or scared because it can be pretty scary when you can’t see where you’re going

    • To correct this, I recommend performing 45 degree handstands. To dive you need to imagine yourself as a whole arrow falling into the water. Your arms are the arrow tip while the rest of your body is the arrow shaft. If we break this form when tend to do a belly flop

    • First start off with your arms up, straight and locked together. Next, with your upper body remaining straight, bend over and touch the floor with your hands. Your head should also be locked and NOT looking towards the ground

    • As you bend down lift your lead leg up. Your lead leg will be the one leg that naturally comes up first. For me it’s my left leg. Your lead leg should be parallel to your upper body and arms

    • As you touch the ground your lead leg should now be up in the air, followed closely by your supporting leg. Do not go into a full handstand, instead hop with the supporting leg as seen in the video

    • Practice this a few times until you are comfortable with this motion and ready to move on

    • Finally we can attempt this motion into the water. Take a deep breath and bend over and into the water. Imagine your hands touching the ground as you enter the water

    • Your legs should naturally slap the water surface which is normal and now curve your body upwards towards the surface in order to start your desired stroke

    • If we do not curve upwards we risk shooting straight down and smashing into the pool bottom potentially leading to serious injury

    • For an extra challenge try doing leap dives by adding a hop to the leading leg, then straighten the legs with toes pointed for increased diving speed, finally try incorporating this technique onto the diving board if you want


Bonus 5: Treading Water

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    • Holding onto the wall, lane ropes or floatation gear can be useful but in order to be comfortable swimming in deep water effectively we need to be able to tread water

    • The purpose of treading water is mainly to sustain ourselves in an upright position as we search for more stable support i.e. wall, shallow water, boat, etc. It is also primarily used for screening our surroundings and monitor where we are; something which we are unable to do when performing strokes

    • Treading water in a pool should ideally last no more than 1-5 minutes (unless you are playing water polo) because it can be exhausting to maintain however if you want a good cardio workout then test your limits

    • To use our legs in treading we must learn a technique called eggbeater. Draw a large circle with your legs in a seated position (pool edge or even sitting in a chair). Your knee is the center axis and your feet draw the circumference

    • Flex your feet; the sides of your feet is what captures the water much like in whip kick. Practice drawing large circles and it should almost feel like peddling a bike. No extreme force or power is required, just smooth circular motions just like peddling a bicycle on a flat road

    • Next plant your body in the water with your arms resting on the edge as support. Practice drawing your circles in the water with your ankles extending around and behind your knee towards your butt, knees wider than your hips as seen in the video

    • Next we can attempt this in the deep water with one arm grabbing the wall. The other arm will do sculling while we test out our new eggbeater. Slowly let go of the wall a few times until you feel comfortable supporting your whole weight by yourself

    • Next we can perform the same exercise by using a kickboard to support one arm or just unassisted but near the pool ledge

    • Finally for an extra challenge (and workout) attempt treading unassisted and without using your arms. The higher your arms go out of the water the more eggbeater you will need to perform

    • You will notice that you need to perform eggbeater faster and more frequently in order to compensate for the loss of your sculling arms. Do this last exercise to develop power in your eggbeater


Bonus 6: Deep Water Swimming

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    • Swimming in deep water unassisted in a pool (or in an emergency situation) can be a challenge especially when we are forced to maintain treading or strokes for long periods of time

    • To alleviate this we can apply feet first diving and backwards treading which allow us to rest temporarily. Diving feet first downwards into the water allows us to rest and conserve energy by depending on momentum and gliding

    • To dive downwards imagine being a needle by bringing your arms and legs together and compact. Force your body up and plunge downwards as demonstrated in the video. As you descend bring your arms up over your head in a clapping motion. This will force your body lower into the water

    • As you reach the bottom use your feet to push yourself back up to the surface much like performing a glide off the wall. As your feet push off pull the water with your arms by bringing them back to your sides

    • Repeat this technique several times as seen in the video and you will start to notice that you are able to maintain treading for longer periods of time

    • Backwards treading puts less weight off our arms and legs and directed more to our backs. As you lean back almost in a back float position you will start to move in reverse. Couple this with regular treading, feet first dives and back floats in order to conserve more energy

    • Finally as an extra challenge try changing directions while backwards treading while looking to your sides for direction


Bonus 7: Lap Swimming

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    • Now that we know how to swim and how to confidently maneuver in both shallow and deep water we can now focus on doing laps

    • Much like working out in a gym we should plan out our time in the pool, set attainable goals and strive to improve our health and performance

    • First we should create a swimming schedule. For optimal results, my recommendation is to swim 2-3 sessions per week, each session lasting 30-40 minutes. Going beyond these numbers is not really necessary however if you want a challenge feel free to do more

    • When we’re in the pool I recommend doing 1-2 laps as a warmup using a stroke(s) of your choice; me I prefer warming up using frontcrawl. Next do some stretches to your arms and legs. Your back muscles will be doing a lot of the work pulling your body forwards so give them a good stretch

    • To stretch your arms and back grab the edge of the pool and place your feet high up against the wall in a crouching position. Tuck your head in, sink back and feel the pull and full weight of your body hanging onto your arms

    • To stretch your legs keep the same crouching position and try to extend your legs outwards by pushing into the wall while still holding onto the ledge. You can also do eggbeater treading in order to prepare your legs for whip kick

    • Your goal now is to complete one lap without stopping. For a standard pool size one lap equals 25 meters. Most competitive swimmers and lifeguards can perform 20 or more laps (500 meters) in one session. Our goal on the other hand is to take it slow and steady. Steadily increase the amount of laps you can continuously perform using one or more strokes

    • For example I prefer doing 10 laps of frontcrawl and 10 more of breaststroke. It’s up to you how you choose your strokes. If you want more of a sprinting workout do more butterfly, if you want more of a jogging sensation do mostly frontcrawl and if you want a more leisurely walking experience then focus on breaststroke

    • The key here is consistency. The more more laps we can do, the better our workout performance. Challenge yourself and try to increase the amount of laps you can perform every session.

    • My sample session goes like this:

      • 2 laps - warmup
      • 1 minute rest on wall
      • 4 laps - 2 frontcrawl, 2 breaststroke
      • 1 minute rest on wall
      • 6 laps - 1 butterfly, 3 frontcrawl, 2 breaststroke
      • 5 minute rest in sauna
      • 8 laps - 5 frontcrawl, 3 breaststroke
      • and so on…
    • Stacking sets is a great way of slowly building up your endurance. Aim for 3-5 sets, 2-5 laps per set taking breaks in between. Also keep a journal and record your goals and results

    • Before every session review how many sets, laps and what strokes you did last session and what you have planned for today’s session.

    • After finishing, record what you accomplished and take notes of what you did well and what you need to work on


谢谢您的喜欢和认可,我会继续努力!