The first skill to work on to improve your freestyle is not your pull or breathing, but your body alignment. Don’t swim with your head up, that is to say your head tilted enough to allow you to see the line on the bottom of the pool in front of you. Instead, keep your head in line with your body, or in other words a neutral position. To do this, the first step is to relax the muscles in the back of the neck. Don’t try to engage your muscled and move your head, just relax and let the head find its own bouncy point.
Getting your head down is actually easy, keeping it down is harder. There are two major factors keeping you from keeping your head down and aligned. The first is our evolutionary imperative to watch where we are going. We have evolved as site creatures and it is natural for us to want to look ahead. You will have to remember to watch the black line below you instead.
The second factor is often the harder to beat. Your muscle memory will continue to be in your way. Your muscles remember position and tension and want to return to the established memory. For more on muscle memory read my post: How to Get Your of A Muscle Memory Rut.
Here at Swim Stroke Tools, we have created a simple tool to help you create new muscle memory and defeat your natural tendency to watch where you are going, helping you establish a correct body alignment. Watch the body alignment tool at work on a swimmer.
For more on the swimming in balance visit The Body Alignment page