Swim with Your Head, Learn to Correct Your Position!

Training & Technique
Written by: arena coaches at 19 January '16 0
You are reading: Swim with Your Head, Learn to Correct Your Position!

Let’s start with some considerations on freestyle swimming:

  • high head position is one of the most common mistakes in freestyle.
  • the workouts for correcting this technical mistake must be customized for each swimmer
  • correction of this mistake includes biomechanical, cognitive and environmental aspects

For correcting this mistake, we will try to give you some tips on how to improve the position of your head during swimming.

1. Adopt the correct position of the upper part of your body. As we have already seen, the mistake regarding the position of the head in freestyle is often related to incorrect position of the upper part of the body, or the neck, shoulders, and upper back. For correcting this fundamental issue, you can try two different workouts:

– In water: use the snorkel and concentrate on the correct position of your head. Try to change the angle of your gaze while swimming. Try to swim 25m with your gaze at a 45-degree angle and 25m looking at the blue line, or at a 90-degree angle.


Try also to correct your stroke by fully extending your arms and trying to pull the arm toward the back wall or pushing down with your hands behind you, as if the arms were completely stiff.

– Out of water: exercise with resistance bands using workouts that help myofascial release and consequently unlock limitations preventing you from achieving an optimal head position.

2. Lift your hips. The incorrect position of the head may be an unconscious attempt to compensate for your hips dropped too low. To avoid dropping the hips, the swimmer tends to lift his or her head in order to reach an optimal balance in water. To correct the position of the hips and the aquatic balance, try these drills:

– Out of water: train the “core” as already explained in our previous article  Core stability, discover the secrets for developing a harmonious physique!

– In water: train using paddling movements

Sweep in & sweep out. In vertical position, with water at shoulder-height, stretch your arms out in front of you, about 30 cm below the water level.

Without bending at the wrist and with your palms facing outside move hands in opposite directions, toward the outside, slightly wider than your shoulder width. At this point turn palms inward and move them in this direction.

Maintain the balance of the “core”, trying to feel the pressure of the water with your hands and rapidly changing the angle during this move.


3. Try to improve the “environmental factors”. Crowded lanes are often a problem and can lead to the bad habit of lifting the head too high. For correcting this mistake, try to improve the factors related to your swimming environment.

If you are swimming in your free time, try to take advantage of the time of the day when the number of the pool users is the lowest. On the other hand, if you are part of a team, try to find the best solutions for you and your teammates, to be able to enjoy optimum swimming conditions and if possible, to correct your swimming technique.

In conclusion, a comprehensive approach that takes care of biomechanics, cognition and environmental conditions is fundamental for ensuring an enduring change that guarantees a proper swimming style.


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arena coaches

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