You hold your breath
When we’re little or first learning how to swim, a lot of us are taught to take a deep breath, hold it, and put our faces in the water, but you’re burning oxygen for fuel when you do that. Think about it — if you’re out running a 5K, are you going to hold your breath and run? No, because it deprives your muscles of much-needed oxygen.
You take your head out of the water to breathe
We know, it sounds counterintuitive. How are you supposed to actually breathe if you don’t lift your head out of the water? It’s more about keeping your head in the water, while lifting your face out. If you pop your head up each time you need to take a breath, you throw your body’s alignment out of whack. Often that’ll mean forcing your hips lower into the water, which is the opposite of what you want, making your straight swim more of a zig-zag.
You let your hips sink
Doing this creates more drag in the water. And more drag equals more resistance, which ultimately slows you down. The goal is to stay flat and float on top of the water, rather than dropping in it. Too often beginners default to movements that force their hips down, like letting their feet sink when they should be just below the water’s surface, thus forcing their body to work even harder to get from point A to point B.
You keep your hips straight
Many swimmers rely on their upper body, or just their legs, to propel them through the water. But the majority of your power comes from the hips because they control both the upper and lower body, so depriving yourself of that movement will slow down your momentum.
You point your toes
It’s easy to forget about the little guys at the end of your foot. But they play a big role in determining your speed and direction, he says, and pointing them straight out, so that they’re fully flexed. Swimmers actually want loose, flexible ankles in the water to help quicken their pace.