How To Stop Your Legs From Sinking – Root Cause 4 – Problem 2

The  Ultimate Guide To Balance & Alignment In Freestyle Swimming

Fixing Your Sinking Leg Problems


Root Cause No 4: 

Over Rotation Problem 2: 

Pushing Downwards not Backwards

If your shoulder drops too low into the water once you have entered and begin to extend, the rest of your arm is almost certainly dropping too low too.

You know you are pushing down when there is a big gap between your ear and your bicep and shoulder .

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So the push down on the water helps lift your head up. When your head lifts, your hips sink so pushing downwards has a direct effect on your hip and leg position.

The push down on the water helps lift your head up. Like a seesaw, whe your head lifts, your hips sink. 

Most good swimmers have a small amount of downward force on the water at the start of their pull. But the earlier in the movement you begin to push water backwards the more effective you pull will be. And less of an effect there will be on your hips and legs.

Why It Happens 

Pushing downwards early in your pull usually happens for one of two reasons.

{1} Lack of confidence in your breath

You’re pushing down to lift your head up higher for the breath. You lift your head because you lack the confidence to keep your mouth close to the surface of the water. The higher you feel you need to lift your head, the deeper you push down.

{2} Poor Flexibility Through Your Chest, Shoulders and Lats 

Your upper body flexibility affects how quickly you can start pushing water backwards. The less flexible you are, the longer you’ll apply downward pressure on the water. The more water you push down, the higher your upper body lifts and the deeper your legs will sink.

How to Fix It 

You want to be using your arms to drive water backwards and propel you forward, not  to lift you up.

If you’re pushing down because of reason 1, go re-read the breathing  section. Work on getting comfortable breathing low to the water with Crocodile breathing.  Then learn to stabilize through the breath using your core. Do this by practicing the Balance and the Side Kick Drills.

If you’re lacking flexibility through your lats, it’s time to start mobilizing.

{1} Hang from a bar. 

One of the simplest ways to improve your flexibility to help your pull is simply to hang from a pull up bar.  Hold the bar with your hands shoulder width apart, try to keep your head in a neutral position and just hang. The goal is to get your body to hang in a straight line.

Suck your belly button into your spine and squeeze your butt cheeks together to tighten up your core. Don’t cheat by arching your body to help make it easier. You’ll place extra strain on your back and won’t actually be stretching correctly.

{2} Do Yoga 

I’ve found yoga to work a lot better for me than any stretching routine. Yoga hasn’t just helped increase my flexibility. It’s also taught me how to breathe and helped strengthen my core.