It’s never too late to take up swimming, and if you ever needed proof of that you only have to look at 99-year-old George Corones, who broke two world records last week in Queensland for his age group. And to think he only started swimming for health when he was 80.
George told BBC in an interview that he attributed his success to pacing and technique. “My first dozen strokes were well balanced and the trick is to just carry it on progressively, putting a little bit of increasing effort in each stroke.”
Focus on putting the following techniques into practice next time you plunge into a pool, whether you’re swimming for fitness or striving to break your own personal best.
Fingertips enter the water first
At the front of the stroke, your wrist should be above your fingertips and your palm facing the water. Your elbow should be held high. Keep your hand relaxed and make sure your fingertips break the water surface first.
Use your forearm to catch water
As your arm powers into the water, use your forearm to catch as much water as possible and power you forward.
Use finger paddles to improve technique
Finger paddles, also known as power paddles can be used to train your hands to enter the water at the right angle.
Roll your head to the side
When breathing, roll your head to the side until your mouth clears the water and then go a little further before taking a breath. Be sure to have long hair tied back or wear a swimming cap, this will prevent you from ingesting water.
Use a nose clip
If you are having trouble with your breathing coordination, a nose clip can be useful. It allows you to relax and concentrate on mouth-breathing.
Make your shoulders and arms do a majority of the work
Don’t use kicking to propel you through the water. Your legs are simply there for stability, so don’t feel like you have to kick flat out like your powering a motorboat. Your arm and shoulders should be doing 80% of the work.