I find myself sinking when swimming front crawl. I'm able to float and also, with push glide and leg action alone, manage some decent distance. But the moment I start the arm action for front crawl, invariably the legs sink, and I come to a stop. What is going wrong? How do I overcome this?
The problem with your front crawl could be down to a number of different reasons or a combination of them.
If you are achieving some distance from a push and glide and kicking, then your body position must be correct, and you must be fairly efficient through the water in that position. Therefore we can deduce from this that your body position and efficiency are being compromised when you introduce an arm action into your movement.
The most common reason for this is excessive movement of the head and sometimes shoulders. This compromises overall efficiency and will then cause the legs to slow and sink.
To combat this, you could try a ‘catch up’ exercise, either holding a kick-board or with your hands together, whereby you hold your hands or the kick-board out in front of you and begin your push and glide and kicking action.
You then begin to pull with one arm at a time, holding the kick-board or joining hands between arm pulls, where one arm is not allowed to pull until the other has caught up, hence the term ‘catch up’.
This will force you to use your arms but keep your head and shoulders still and therefore maintain correct body position and hopefully stay afloat!
Another possible reason for your legs sinking is your coordination. You are kicking quite happily and fairly quickly, maybe and then the instant you introduce the arm action, your legs kick slower and at the same pace as your arm pulls.
In other words, you switch from a possible 4-beat cycle to a 1-beat cycle the moment you begin pulling with your arms. This could be purely down to your coordination and your ability (or lack of) to kick your legs quicker whilst using your arms slowly.
The above-described catch-up exercise will help with this too.
My ebook How To Swim Front Crawl contains over 20 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of front crawl swimming technique. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click the link below for more information.