One or two of these mistakes is fine, you don't need to be red-faced about it. Nail these blunders and swim like a flying fish.
Blunder #1: Holding Your Breath
One common mistake among beginners is putting their face in the water, while holding their breath. Well, we can’t totally blame them as it’s a commonly taught method albeit not very efficient. This method deprives the muscles of the very much needed oxygen (read: muscle pain & fatigue), as oxygen is being burn for energy.
1st Step: Find a dry land, begin by taking in deep breaths through your mouth and then exhale slowly through your nose. As you do, hum to maintain a proper pace.
2nd Step: Head into the waters. Slowly exhale, after taking your breath and putting your face in the water. Then lift your face out of the water naturally.
Blunder #2: Taking Your Head Out of the Water to Breathe
Your body’s alignment is disrupted each time you pop your head out of the waters to take a breather. This pushes your hips lower into the water, and making you swim in a zig-zag fashion rather than a straight one.
Tuck your chin into your neck, and keep your head down in the waters. When it’s time to breathe, rotate your head to the same side as the arm that is out of the water, just enough so that your mouth is clear for air.
Blunder #3: Swimming at the Slow Lane “Forever”
Slow and steady don’t really applies to swimming. If you frequently practice swimming at a slow pace in the slow lane, eventually you will get too comfortable with your condition. Which translates to being lazy to enhance your performance.
Try speed drills by swimming short and fast for 3 times a week to increase your performance.
Blunder #4: Not Completing Your Stroke
If you pull your hand out of the pool before it reaches your hips, while trying to start your next stroke, STOP IT. As you’re short-changing yourself by not getting the most energy out of the work that you just put in.
As your hand enters the water, make sure to keep your elbow high, and drive the forearm through the water while rotating your elbows. Go on to push the water backward until you reach your hips, and then lift your arm out of the water and back to the beginning of a new stroke.
Blunder #5: Pointing Your Toes
This mistake is so common but often goes unnoticed. Pointing your toes straight out, tighten your ankles, and this can affecting your swimming speed.
Before heading into the waters, practice curling your toes with some coins on the dry land. Start by placing a few coins on the floor next to a small bowl, and then transfer the coins to the bowl with your toes. Doing so allows you to get familiar with how your toes feel when curled.