This front crawl / freestyle stroke drill teaches you how to be balanced in the water in a prone position (floating on your chest).
In fact, this is the best drill to get forever rid of sinking hips and legs while swimming front crawl. Here’s how to do it:
1) Lie flat in the water, with your face turned downward. Your head is in line with the trunk.
2) Keep your arms relaxed and extended along the sides of the body.
3) Start to kick with a gentle flutter kick.
4) If you notice that your hips and legs tend to sink, try this: increase the downward pressure on your chest and head while keeping your head in line with your body.
Don’t press down too much though; your body should still be more or less horizontal.
5) You should notice that by the lever effect explained in the previous front crawl drill, your hips and legs are pushed upward. This is the key lesson of this drill.
6) When you need to breathe, gently extend your chin forward until your mouth clears the water.
7) You will notice that your hips and legs tend to sink while inhaling. Press your chest and head down as explained above to compensate and bring your body back into balance.
8) Pressing your head and chest down this way to make your hips and legs rise in the water is sometimes called pressing your buoy or pressing the T.
Here are a few additional tips to practice this swimming drill:
1) If your kick is weak you can give swimming fins a try. Just make sure to compensate for sinking hips and legs by pressing your buoy, not by kicking harder with the fins.
2) Don’t overdo this drill, as extending your chin to inhale can strain your neck. Once you have integrated how to press your buoy to keep your hips and legs up, move on to the next drill.
3) A tip for sinkers from Frank, one of our readers: to bring your hips/legs in balance with your shoulders, consciously engage the lower back muscles and also do dry land exercises to strengthen those lower back muscles.