There’s a lot of emphasis on swim lessons, practice, and focusing on good form in the water. This often leaves new swimmers wondering, “Why is proper swim technique so important?”
Good swimming techniques refer to more than just how you move your arms and legs. It also includes how you hold your head and body, how you position your hands and feet, how you swivel your body while in motion, how you breathe, and other factors. And, of course, proper technique means different things when performing different strokes.
Plus, in some respects, there are variations in what’s best for each individual person. Everyone has a swim style—which isn’t the same as technique—that is most natural and efficient for them. It’s a mistake to think that all professional swimmers swim exactly the same way.
This all makes it tricky to define proper technique, and impossible to define a “perfect” technique. That’s why many professional swimmers and swim instructors think of proper technique more as a lack of imperfections than as perfect execution. And so, improving your technique is often about eliminating increasingly smaller mistakes.
While it’s not easy to precisely define proper swim techniques, it’s important that new swimmers understand the value of learning and honing them. Focusing on technique is not just for the pros!
Why Good Swim Technique Matters
- Proper swim techniques maximize your speed by simultaneously minimizing resistance and optimizing propulsion through the water
- At the same time, they minimize the effort needed to achieve maximum speed, helping to stave off physical fatigue for as long as possible
- They teach correct, healthy breathing habits too, which also cut down on fatigue and increase endurance with improved oxygenation
- Good swim techniques make you safer in the water—and this is especially relevant and important for kids who are learning to swim—by reducing fatigue, increasing stamina, and boosting ability
- They engage more muscles to help provide a more balanced, beneficial workout
- Proper swim techniques also reduce the risk of developing repetitive motion/overuse injuries, including swimmer’s shoulder and other common problems
- They boost your confidence in the water
- Good form doesn’t just yield more impressive performance—it also makes you look more impressive as you move through the water