Mari Belajar Berenang

This is a note to self and fellow friends. Read other posts here.
Five Common Swimming Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

1. The Mistake: A Weak Leg Kick

"People often think kicking is all about propulsion, but a weak leg kick fundamentally affects body position and has a knock-on effect for the whole stroke," says Furniss. Using a kickboard, do a kick set after your warmup: 8x50m (with 45 seconds rest after each 50). This should be at a fast pace, using a shallow, strong, steady kick. Don't do this at every session but, when you choose to do it, make it your key set. 

Top tip: a good kick demands great ankle flexibility, something triathletes often lack. To loosen up your ankles, try kneeling down and sitting on your feet with the tops of your feet against the floor. Gently lift your knees off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Do this four times and repeat on alternate days.

2. The Mistake: Poor Breathing Timing

"If your technique or timing is off when you turn to breathe, you risk destroying your body position and your line in the water," says Furniss. "And you might end up feeling as if you're running out of oxygen." Common mistakes are breathing too early (as you're pulling through the water) or too late (while your arm is in the recovery phase). Think smooth and low as you turn your head, and imagine the timing of the turn is prompted by the pull of your arm underwater. Rotate your head rather than lifting it. Never hold your breath, and breathe out fully as your arm pulls through the water. 

Top tip: Holding a kick board or pull buoy in front of you with one hand, practise single-arm freestyle to nail the timing of your breath.

3. The Mistake: Wide Arm Recovery
"That swinging action - when the recovery phase of the stroke is too wide - gives a lot of unwanted lateral sway to the stroke," says Furniss. "This will destroy all the hard work you're putting in to going forward in a clean, straight line." For a more efficient recovery phase, bend your arms at the elbow as your hand comes out of the water. Make sure you lift your elbows high, and keep your hands loose while the arm is recovering.
Top tip: A drill called trickle-freestyle is great for encouraging high elbows and discouraging a wide recovery. As your arm goes through the recovery phase above water, gently trickle the fingertips over the water's surface before putting the hand back in as normal for the next stroke.

4. The Mistake: Short Stroke Length

"Most people's stroke gets shorter as they try to get faster," Furniss states. "But that's actually very inefficient. Effort goes up but control goes down, leading to lots of extra resistance as they take more and more strokes." The most efficient way to swim is by slowing down. Think about the length you're producing from one end of your stroke (outstretched fingertip) to the other (outstretched toe). The longer you let that long line stay in unbroken contact with water, the further you'll travel per stroke. 

Top tip: Swim an endurance set (say, 10x100m) at a controlled effort of around 85 per cent of your max. As well as timing the 100s, count the number of strokes you take (one arm pull). Maintain this pace, or even reduce it.

5. The Mistake: Inconsistent Pacing

"In a triathlon, adrenalin and excitement can make swimmers go off too fast," says Furniss, "but they often end up blowing up. And that's before the bike or the run. Learn to pace yourself well and you'll have a much more successful race." Don't go out too fast in the swim section of a race, no matter how tempting it might be. Start at a slower pace, and then bring a stronger kick in halfway through the swim at the same time as you start to ramp up your effort.

Top tip: Practise race pace in training by swimming negative splits. If you're doing 10x100m, increase the pace throughout the set and make sure you swim each 100m slightly faster than the previous one. This will build an awareness and feel for a pace you can maintain.

And If you do only one thing...

"The best bit of advice I can give concerns the foundation of front-crawl technique," says Furniss. "And that's the kick. I know triathletes are often told not to worry about their kick, but I think that's a mistake, even when you're in a wetsuit. You can still work on your kick in training. A good kick encourages a better body position, which in turn will improve your technique and make you go faster for less effort. If you never kick, you'll never achieve a really good body position." 

Bill Furniss is a Speedo coach. For further information on Speedo visit, or for a free online training programme check out


Diket said…
Very good one bro. Thank you. Nasib baik ada 5 aje, kalau ada 10 common swimming mistakes, aku dapat full mark. Lol. Now, I have the ter-lambung feeling dah. And the tips mesti mau sebut "triathlete/triathlon" ka?
Yimster said…
Tip no 6. Tri is a must.
Dancing Ciken said…
eh i tersalah letak komen, sila refer komen saya seperti entry di bawah...

(mengantuk daaa)
IJAM said…
fullamak, patut la aku tak laju swimming. Practice make perfect, now...had to find a pool that open untill 12am..
amsyah said…
Aisey Kak Tipah :D - untuk kesenangan semua, inilah komen lazer dia :

morning syah! here's another tip from sir sofian, he's a great guy :) it works, really...
amsyah said…
Diket - ha'ah - aku nak tukar reference tu tadi tapi takut si Bill tu voodoo aku.
Tapi dah elok dah tu kalau kau nak start cium bau kerang kat Pudu bulan depan... lari dah power, beskal powerer, berenang le plak ye?
amsyah said…
Yim - No. 6 - Tri is a must for En. Yim kankankan?

KJ - No. 6 - Tri is a must for Puan June kankankan?

Ijam - weii... itu pool kat rumah kau sendiri laa... Ahad ni cemana bro?
ziff71 said…
tumpang lalu sekali lagik :D
IJAM said…
ahad ni jadik...bagi yg lembap mcm aku ni jalan dulu, buat breast stroke kat tengah kolam tu...huhu...
Khairul said…
Hang macam tau2 je aku tgh belajar berenang balik...
Thanx for the tips bro. Breathing tu yg payah tu.
amsyah said…
Ziff - rajin kau cycle lalu kat blog aku ye :D. mari lah lagi, kita belajar sama2

Ijam - yezza! kau lebih kelembapan sebab berembun malam ke bro? aku tengok pool ari tu, memang tahun 60-an abisss

KA - hahaha, ramai tengok PD tri nak pecah dara nih hehehehe. KA - kita kena buat outing berenang jugak lah.

Breathing tu memang aku karam :D
I think you swim like a fish, Syah. You just need to up your confidence level.

So we should do one open water swim before Feb, right? hehe
amsyah said…
ecece, Kash have been running with Nik too long, she learnt few tricks about lambung heheheh

We should do one (or more) before Feb. mesti, wajib, without a slightest doubt hehehe

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