Questions and answers about swimming technique

by Ahmad
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Dear Dale,


I appreciate the effort you have placed in producing this excellent website. I'm trying to learn to swim for 3 years know (3 months actual period) with no success and I wish to hear your feedback on the following:

1- My legs kick very quickly when I breathe as if I was drowning? How do I stop it?

2- I can't relax my body and I start losing focus and stamina as I progress in my swimming after 5 meters? Sometimes one leg will kick while the other will just float!

3- Should I breathe from the nose or mouth? My nose gets blocked quickly and I felt more comfortable breathing with my mouth. However, it is difficult to breath from the side. I'm more comfortable breathing even though there is air in my lungs than waiting for it to finish and then breath.

I've started 1 hour session this week and I'm in part 2 of freestyle stroke as your site indicates.

I'm passionate about swimming and would appreciate your advice.



Dear Ahmad,
Thanks for your question and thanks for the complement about my web site and yes it did take some writing and I’m very proud of it. I’m glad you feel so passionate about swimming it is very important to learn to swim.

I’m also glad you’re following my advice and following the practices I’ve show. Keep up with it and you’ll get there in the end.

About your questions I’ll take them one at a time. First you say your leg kick’s very quick that’s fine. May be its the position of your legs and the movement of them. Make sure that your legs are straight without bent knees. They must be together and kick fast but not too deep. Toes touching, your body must be vertical in the water. Think of a sea saw, if your head is high your legs will sink so your arms will drag and pull you down. If your head is too low then your legs will make lots of splashes and the legs are what keep you balanced and vertical.

If you feel like you are drowning when you breathe? May be it’s because your technique is incorrect and you need to breathe at the correct time, if you follow my pages about breathing that should guide you in the right direction.

At the end of the day if your technique is not good and you are having all these difficulties swimming you should not be breathing at this moment you should concentrate on the stoke technique. When you can do this correctly, then you should start the breathing. Then there is less to think about. You should concentrate on swimming and style/technique and breathing comes after this. This will give you less to think about.

You may be feeling you are drowning if your legs are sinking. Having your head in the water will help with your body position, but only if the technique is correct, it will stop your legs from sinking and bring them up to the correct level.

The second question is quite simple, you can only swim a short distance because of your technique. It is probably inefficient causing you to be breathless. In turn you’ll lose focus because you’re not getting anywhere. The idea when you swim is to use as little energy as possible whilst gaining the most distance.

There are different types of breathing, normally you breathe to the side in through your mouth and out through your nose. Make sure you’ve expelled all of your air before you breathe again. To decide when to breathe you must take into consideration how far and fast you are swimming. So if you were swimming long distance you would breathe in a rhythm say every other stroke. This gives you a steady flow of oxygen. If you were in a race and wanted to sprint you would breathe not as much so that the breathing doesn’t interfere with the stroke.

I would suggest that you should breathe through whatever feels more comfortable but also think about learning your technique before you start breathing practices.

I do have an EBook about swimming it about teaching your child to swim but it can also be used to teach yourself. The practices are no different to how you would teach an adult apart from the learning games. There are more advanced practices to learn that are not on my website. It only £4.79 and if you’re not happy with it then you can have a refund no questions asked. Just click on the nav bar buy EBook there is a page about the book and instructions to purchase

Anyway thank you again for your question and i hope I’ve managed to answer your questions and you can carry on with your swimming without any problems. If you have any more questions I’d love to hear from you again and give details of your stroke and the problems you have and I can give more detailed answers.

Thanks Dale :)

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