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Floating Skills Focus

For freestyle you need to float your body at the surface. Most of us have poor floating skills, so we end up burning valuable energy to keep our boats afloat -- energy that otherwise could be used for propulsion. Like swimming posture, floating skills are fundamental to good swimming performance. Fundamentals are not learned once and then ignored. You need to keep coming back to them.

Technique Focus Points

  • Eyes Down. When not breathing, look straight down at the bottom. Not forward.
  • Neck Long. This keeps your body flat at the surface.
  • Lower Ribs Tucked In. See above.
  • Belly Button In. See above.
  • Kick in the Shadow of Your Body. Your kick should propel you forward or help to rotate around your spine.

What to Watch For

  • Nose-dives. In an effort to keep our hips at the surface, we sometimes tuck our chin and send our head and upper body beneath the surface.
  • Droped Ribs. If your lower ribs are too relaxed, you will arch your back.
  • Drooping Belly. Same deal as above if you allow your belly to sag.
  • Kicking Your Butt Up. If you use your kick to keep your butt up, you are wasting energy.

Floating Skills Focus Workouts

More Information

  • Video Clips - Watch any of the Natalie Couglin video clips and watch how she floats her body at the surface. It is somehting the best swimmers in the world focus on regularly.
  • Video Clips - See the clips embedded in Emmett Hines' article What Floats Yer Boat. Read the section of this article entitled "What’s all this hoo-haw about posture?"

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