Two Mistakes to Avoid for Beginning Swimmers


Beginning Swimmers pic
Beginning Swimmers

Medical researcher Dr. Sanjiv Narayan is the cofounder Topera, Inc., a recent acquisition of Abbott Laboratories. Prior to Topera’s sale to Abbott, Dr. Sanjiv Narayan worked for more than a decade to develop the technology on which the company was built. Outside his professional life, he enjoys swimming.

Beginners, whether children or adults, tend to make certain mistakes when learning to swim.

The first common error is holding the breath while swimming. It’s a common practice that’s taught, but in truth, it’s damaging to the muscles, because it deprives them of oxygen during exertion. It is the equivalent of holding one’s breath while running. Instead, a swimmer should take a deep breath in through the mouth, with the face out of the water, and then exhale slowly through the nose. Humming while breathing out of the nose can help, because it forces the swimmer to exhale at a constant pace.

Many swimmers wrongly bring their heads up out of the water while drawing in a breath. This may seem like the best method, but it puts undue amount of strain on the neck and shoulders, which can harm the body’s overall alignment. Instead, the swimmer should turn his or her head to the side, with the chin tucked in, and breathe with the mouth out of the water. This is best accomplished by rotating the head to the same side as the arm that is currently out of the water and performing the stroke.