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Rasengan
August 10th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Hello all of you,
this is my first post here and I wanted some help. The problem is that I can't properly swim the front crawl. I can just a little bit, but I get tired too quickly, I move really slow and I don't know how to properly breathe during front crawl.
But I can swim the back crawl good enough in my opinion and I prefer the back crawl to front crawl much more. But it seems to me that only women swim the back crawl (I'm a 16-year old boy). And is it a shame that I can only swim the back crawl and not front crawl. And because I can't swim the front crawl, I don't want to go to the beach in summer to swim and don't want to go to the swimming pools in winter. My mother always kinda bullies me if I say that I don't want to go to the beach or swimming pools by saying that I can't swim.

Rob Copeland
August 10th, 2009, 09:56 PM
My suggestion is to take swimming lessons. They are not just for yourg kids. Lessons are a great way to learn to swim.

FindingMyInnerFish
August 11th, 2009, 01:14 AM
Agree about the lessons--nothing like hands-on instruction. If you feel self-conscious being in a class, you might want to look into a few private lessons.

As for backstroke being just for women, Ryan Lochte, gold medalist in Beijing in the 200 backstroke, would take issue with that.

That said, why not invest some time/money into lessons so you can learn the stroke you really want to master.

Good luck!

Rasengan
August 11th, 2009, 06:36 AM
I remember when I was 13, I took 1 lesson and there were only kids at the age of 7-10. I was damn embarrased there. That was the only lesson I took.

david.margrave
August 11th, 2009, 10:18 AM
I see a lot of people at public beaches trying to swim, and most of them need to 1) get goggles if they don't have them and 2) put their faces in the water during freestyle rather than trying to do the exhausting 'water polo' style of head-up freestyle. Is this what you're trying to do?

Rasengan
August 11th, 2009, 12:55 PM
Well yes, I can't do the breathing properly and I keep my head out of the water always when I swim the front crawl.

orca1946
August 11th, 2009, 06:18 PM
Wear goggles & blow AIR out of your nose anytime it is out of the water . This will help a lot !

knelson
August 11th, 2009, 06:40 PM
blow AIR out of your nose anytime it is out of the water . This will help a lot !

I think at some point in there you're going to need to inhale! Maybe you meant to say anytime your nose is in the water?

Alexander Hughes
August 11th, 2009, 09:35 PM
I think at some point in there you're going to need to inhale! Maybe you meant to say anytime your nose is in the water?

Haha, the easiest way to think of breathing while swimming is a 2 part sequence. This is what is explained if you ever go scuba diving.

At all times you should be inhaling, or exhaling. While your face is in the water you should exhale a steady stream. If you are in the breathing part of your stroke (freestyle, breast stroke, and butterfly) take a quick deep breath. For backstroke the way I've heard it taught is to inhale during recovery of your dominant arm, and exhale during the push phase.

As far as learning to swim, the swim lessons are the best bet. The Water Safety Instructors in most cases have experience swimming competitively and can teach you everything from basic floats all the way up to competition techniques like flip turns.

Take it one step at a time, and try not to get frustrated. All you can do from this point is get better :) If you have any specific questions toss me a PM I'd be more than happy to give whatever pointers I can.

david.margrave
August 11th, 2009, 11:05 PM
Orca, thanks for bringing that up. It made me remember, learning to swim as a kid, exhaling slowly through the nose whenever your face is submerged definitely helps.

Rasengan
August 12th, 2009, 01:02 PM
Basically I know how do the breathing but I'm scared or I just can't do it. And the swimming lesson in our nearest swimming pool are only for little kids. I went there when I was 13.

Alexander Hughes
August 12th, 2009, 03:24 PM
One thing I found helpful when trying to learn to keep my face in the water was the use of a snorkel. Goggles protect the eyes but I was terrified of keeping my face underwater because I got a little claustrophobic.

Learning any stroke can be frustrating if you bite off more than you can chew. Let's break it down into smaller pieces and tackle just one at a time, and then throw them all together when you're comfortable.

1. Floating: You want to think of your body as a log that is floating on the surface of the water. This is the easiest part, just get a feel for floating on your stomach with your face in the water. You want to keep your head/neck in a relaxed position looking straight down, or slightly ahead of you. The whole time your face is in the water, gently blow bubbles out of your nose. Once you need to take a breath roll onto your back, or move your head to the side to take a breath and then go back to your floating position. If you don't feel comfortable doing the bubbles right away, try holding your breath or using a snorkel until you get comfortable having your face in the water.

2. Propulsion: You have two forms of propulsion while swimming all your strokes (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle). You use your hands/arms, and your legs. You can develop each of these separately. The easiest to learn is the kick.

-2A. Kicking: Take a kick board, or some other object with enough buoyancy to float if you put a little weight on it. Hold it out in front of you and practice kicking with your floating position. When kicking try to keep your knees as straight as possible (a little bend is ok, but the straighter the better). Point your toes away from your body. When you do the kick you want them to be small, fast, and forceful. Forward movement from your kick comes from shooting the water out between your two legs as they cross. This is commonly explained as a scissor kick because each leg is moving in the opposite direction and looks a lot like scissors.
EDIT: Just thought about it, ideally your ankles never come out of the water. Keep your feet in the water the whole time so you can push yourself forward, splashing doesn't really do much for you.

-2B. Stroke: To isolate your arms swimming many swimmers use a small floaty called a pull buoy. This goes between the thighs to keep the legs floating slightly keeping the body as close to a natural swimming position as possible, but without kicking. When you are doing your pulling you want to be in your floating position again, with your face in the water. The stroke needs to be broken down into a couple smaller steps. You have the pull and recovery phases in your stroke. Breathing, and body roll are also part of this.

--2Bi. Recovery: During the recovery your hand exits the water near your waist, keeping your elbow high and your hand just over the surface of the water you extend that arm as far out in front of you as you can and then put it back into the water. You're ready for the pull phase now.

--2Bii. Pull: Once your hand enters the water, if you were standing straight up on dry land it would look like one arm is up, and the other is by your side. Now take that arm and bend it at the elbow until the hand is almost directly beneath the elbow. From there push your whole forearm/hand towards your waist. The reason you bend at the elbow first and then pull back is to give as much surface area pushing on the water as possible. Many people call it the "catch" or "early vertical forearm." This also helps reduce shoulder injuries related to swimming. Once you get your hand to your waist, go back to the recovery phase.

During this whole cycle pulling and recovering your opposite arm does the opposite part of the stroke. Right arm pull, left arm recover. Left arm pull, right arm recover.

3. Breathing: We need air to live, and even more air to do any sort of exercise. Swimming presents a challenge in most strokes on when to breathe and how breathe efficiently. To breathe properly during freestyle you'll again be in your floating position blowing bubbles out of your nose. Once you feel the need to take a breath turn your head to whichever arm is starting the recovery. Take a breath and then put your head back into the water for more bubble blowing. Take your time with this and get the feel for the timing, once you get better you can do this faster. When first learning to swim you should try to work on breathing on every third stroke. This will help keep your body muscles balanced and developing at the same rate so you don't have a dominant breathing side. When you get to competition level, breathe however you find the most efficient.
The way I'm using stroke is on every pull is considered one stroke.

Example:
Stroke 1: pull right, recover left
Stroke 2: pull left, recover right
Stroke 3: pull right, recover left
breathe to your right
Stroke 4: pull left, recover right
Stroke 5: pull right, recover left
Stroke 6: pull left, recover right
breathe to your left

After stroke 3, if you were standing up again on dry land your left arm would be up over your head and your right arm would just be getting ready to leave your waist. Before that right arm comes up turn your head to the right, breathe in real quick, and then go back to normal strokes.

4. Body roll: This is more of an efficiency thing and develops sort of naturally, but it's good to think about it and practice it. Imagine a pole is going straight through the middle of your body, from your head down. If someone pushes you, you're going to rotate on that pole. To roll properly, when you get ready to put your hand in the water and start your pull, roll your body to that side. Doing this will increase how far you can reach to pull water. It also will aid in breathing to the opposite side, and give you more power on your stroke because now you're using your whole body to pull instead of just your hands and arms.

Here's a good video I found that demonstrates all the points I covered: YouTube - How to Swim Freestyle Stroke by JimmyDShea

Let me know if there's any confusion I can help you out with.
-Alex

Rasengan
August 13th, 2009, 06:30 AM
I kind of knew all the stuff you wrote there, but what will people think of me if try all that in a public beach or swimming pool?

pwolf66
August 13th, 2009, 08:32 AM
I kind of knew all the stuff you wrote there, but what will people think of me if try all that in a public beach or swimming pool?

At the end of the day, the only person's opinion that matters is yours. Easier said than done.

Remember, no one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission. So just get in there and do it.

thewookiee
August 13th, 2009, 08:37 AM
I kind of knew all the stuff you wrote there, but what will people think of me if try all that in a public beach or swimming pool?

I agree with Wolf. If you are trying to improve you swimming, don't care what others think.

Chlorine
August 13th, 2009, 10:06 AM
I kind of knew all the stuff you wrote there, but what will people think of me if try all that in a public beach or swimming pool?

I agree with all of the great suggestions so far. I used to always hold myself back for fear of what others thought, and as a result, I missed on alot. I finally kicked myself in the butt and realized that I was giving others way too much power over my life. Fast forward a little bit, and I am in the pool swimming laps (still need ALOT of work) and enjoying every minute. As long as you are careful to observe pool etiquette and practice in an area where you are not in the way of faster swimmers, you should be golden. Have fun!

Alexander Hughes
August 13th, 2009, 10:31 AM
Absolutely, I find most of the time when you're worried about what someone else will think they aren't even paying attention to you.

If your beach is anything like the ones I've been to then you'll have plenty of other people around. No one is going to notice you trying to perfect your stroke. Even things like floating are normal for people that are on the beach (think snorkeling).

Any time that you are spending improving your technique is improvement, and at a certain point your form will start looking just like a competitive swimmer that has been swimming all their life. You may not be as fast as them, but you'll definitely look the part.

A bit of advice though: if there's lifeguards, don't go completely motionless for more than 10 or 15 seconds, they automatically think spinal victim or passive drowning and that may turn into an embarassing situation for ya.

Just stay positive it'll come to ya :)

FindingMyInnerFish
August 13th, 2009, 11:50 PM
For the most part, I'm too busy getting my own yards in to worry what others are doing, although I notice the really fast swimmers (due to a touch of envy!). One day, though, a swim instructor was working with a guy who was using a kickboard. The instructor was giving him all kinds of tips but since I was swimming I caught very little of what he was saying and assumed that the guy with the kickboard was a competitive swimmer just practicing his kick. Later, I was talking to the swim instructor who told me that the guy was just learning to swim. I would never have guessed it based on how fast he was kicking. Anyway, no worries about what others say. Some of them might be too busy being self-conscious also! :)

Herb
August 14th, 2009, 12:01 AM
I remember I used to think this way about golf getting nervous on the first tee because people were watching. Eventually I learned that most of those people sucked worse than me.

gobears
August 14th, 2009, 10:32 AM
First off, most of the time, people aren't paying attention to you. They are busy living their own lives and paying attention to themselves. I think you are exaggerating in your mind how much time anyone would actually spend thinking about what you are doing in the first place.

Secondly, when I was coaching full-time, we would occasionally have a kid (13+) who would just be starting to swim. Our program was set up by ability level and we didn't have a beginning group for the older swimmers. I had two or three kids over the years who were gutsy enough to swim with the Blue team (often 7-8 year olds who were just learning their strokes). I would explain to them that they'd have to buck up and be willing to endure 7-8 year old behavior in their lane but that they would learn faster and move up quicker because they could listen better and would have more developed motor skills. The kids that actually took on the challenge learned quickly, moved up and were soon on the Senior team training with the kids their age. I know of at least one who swam in college.

I always had even more admiration for these swimmers as they were willing to be tough and look past their immediate comfort toward their goal. The question for you is: What is more important to you? Looking cool or learning to swim?

orca1946
August 14th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Yeah, you guys are right exhale IN the water !! HA HA no water in the air !!:D:confused:

Maui Mike
August 14th, 2009, 01:08 PM
I kind of knew all the stuff you wrote there, but what will people think of me if try all that in a public beach or swimming pool?

Saw a quote a few years ago that seems appropriate:
"people spend their twenties worrying about what others think about them, their thirties not caring what others think about them, and in their forties they realize nobody was ever thinking about them."

Rasengan
August 16th, 2009, 04:35 PM
So basically I just have to get there and try it myself. I once though of asking help of the other guys there who were quite good at swimming the fornt crawl.

Chlorine
August 16th, 2009, 04:42 PM
So basically I just have to get there and try it myself. I once though of asking help of the other guys there who were quite good at swimming the fornt crawl.

When I was at the pool the other day, I saw two local team swimmers taking the time to give a few pointers to a woman who asked for some help. It was really nice of them. Most people are glad to help out...just don't become one of those folks who asks for a few pointers and then bends their ears for the next hour :blah: :D

mattson
August 17th, 2009, 11:28 AM
When I was at the pool the other day, I saw two local team swimmers taking the time to give a few pointers to a woman who asked for some help. It was really nice of them.

Question is, would those same swimmers take time if a guy asked for help. :angel:

Chlorine
August 18th, 2009, 01:27 PM
Question is, would those same swimmers take time if a guy asked for help. :angel:

:D Well, in this case, it was two female swimmers helping another female. That being said, most of the people at my pool are pretty friendly, give or take the couple who like to do crunches on the pool deck in an effort to impress the life guards. They usually don't like to be bothered by lesser beings.:bow:

That Guy
August 18th, 2009, 06:36 PM
:D Well, in this case, it was two female swimmers helping another female. That being said, most of the people at my pool are pretty friendly, give or take the couple who like to do crunches on the pool deck in an effort to impress the life guards. They usually don't like to be bothered by lesser beings.:bow:

True swim-crunchers do their crunches *in* the pool. Yes, I have seen this.