Rotating from side to side as you swim is a method that has been around for over 30 years. When Mark Spitz was gaining national recognition in the early 70′s, many critics said his only problem was that he employed a “strange” side-to-side swimming action!
PROPER SIDE SWIMMING TECHNIQUE
Good swimming is about using the core of your body—namely the hips, stomach, lower back and chest. Top swimmers rotate the core of their body from one side to the other, while keeping the head fixed. When you rotate in this way, you move through the water more like a fish, or a boat, reaching further forward on each stroke, and maximizing your efficiency.
PRACTICING THE SIDE SWIM
Here is a drill to begin practicing (you may use fins if you have them):
- Kick on your side with your left hand extended out and your right hand by your side. Keep your head down and locked to your shoulder.
- On the second length, switch sides and extend your right hand, with your left hand by your side.
- When looking down, you should be at about a 90-degree angle in the water.
- When you need air, roll all the way up into more of a 45-degree angle, take a few breaths, and repeat.
- Continue to practice this kicking drill, and add in arm strokes as your side balance improves.
THE BENEFIT OF THE SIDE SWIM
Swimming freestyle on your side may seem like a foreign concept at first. But with consistent practice, you will be able to swim more efficiently, resulting in faster swim times and greater energy conservation.