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Friday, March 6, 2020

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How to Travel a Long Distance with a Dog

Posted: 06 Mar 2020 04:00 PM PST

Whether you are moving across the country or taking a road trip, traveling can be a stressful activity. Traveling with your dog can add even more of a burden to your trip. If you want to travel a long distance with your dog, make sure they have all of their vaccinations, pack up their essentials, and tire them out before you start your trip. If you are going by car, be sure they have plenty of food, water, and shade. If you are traveling by plane, check with your airline to figure out what restrictions and guidelines you need to follow.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Getting Vaccinations and Packing Up

  1. Make sure your dog has all of their vaccinations. It is important to make sure your dog will be happy and healthy during their travels. Take your dog to the vet to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations so that they are protected against any new germs they may come into contact with. Vaccines for rabies, canine hepatitis, and canine distemper are all standard.[1]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 1.jpg
    • Check if there are any diseases your dog could catch in the areas where you're traveling. If there are, ask your vet about getting the proper vaccinations for your dog.
    • Look for information about ticks or sandflies in the area to see if you need to take special precautions with your dog.
  2. Have your vet prescribe your dog medication for motion sickness. If you've taken your dogs on shorter car rides before, you may have noticed that they get sick from the motion of the car. Ask your vet if they could prescribe something for your dog to help ease their stomach while in motion. Most often this is a pill that you give your dog every few hours during a car or plane ride.[2]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 2.jpg
    • Do not give your dog medication unless it has been prescribed by a veterinarian.
  3. Pack up the essentials for your dog in an easy-to-access bag. Every dog is different and requires different essential items. Make sure you have your dog's food, some water, 2 dishes, their leash and harness, poop bags, toys, and treats in a bag. Keep this bag in an easy-to-reach space so you can take items out as you need them on your trip.[3]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 3.jpg
    • Be sure to pack any medication that your dog takes so you have enough for the entire trip.
    • If your dog has a medical condition, get a copy of their medical history from your vet in case there's an emergency. Make sure the history includes any diagnoses, tests done on your dog, and the medication dosages it needs.
  4. Tire out your dog with a long walk before you start your journey. Dogs have a lot of pent up energy, especially if they are young. Take your dog on a walk or a hike to exercise and tire them out. This can help with any nervous energy they may have as well.[4]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 4.jpg
    • It might also be nice to stretch your legs before your journey.
    • Consider getting your dog microchipped before you travel so someone can identify them if they run away or get lost.

[Edit]Traveling in the Car

  1. Buckle your dog in with a harness or dog seat belt. Dogs shouldn't be allowed to roam around in the car while it is moving since they can provide distractions or be hurt in the event of an accident. Set up a dog harness, seat belt, or crate restraint for your dog in the car so that they remain seated and in 1 place during your travels. Small dogs can sit in a crate that is attached to a seatbelt, while larger dogs can be buckled in through their harnesses.[5]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 5.jpg
    • If you do use a crate in the car, make sure it is large enough for your dog to comfortably turn around in.
    • Ensure any restraints or harnesses you use have been crash-tested so you know they're safe in case of a collision.
  2. Lay down a blanket or dog bed to keep your dog comfortable. If you aren't using a crate and your dog will be sitting directly on the seats of your car, put down a blanket or a dog bed that they like to make them feel more at ease. Use something that they like to lay on at home so it smells like them.[6]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 6.jpg
    • Putting down a blanket or a dog bed will also help to protect the seats in your car.
    • Have plastic bags and cleaning supplies handy in case your dog has motion sickness.
    • Make sure you have enough bags to clean up after your dog for when you stop to let it out.
  3. Put up window shades to keep your dog out of the sun. If you are traveling in the summer, your car might heat up with the sun. If you want to keep your dog out of sunspots, put up some window shades in the back seats. These shades tint your windows slightly and help to cool down your entire car.[7]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 7.jpg
    • If your windows are tinted, you probably don't need added sun shades.
    • If it's really hot out, keep the windows open or turn on the air conditioning so your dog doesn't get overheated.
  4. Give your dog a toy or a bone to keep them entertained. Dogs can get bored just like humans do. If your dog isn't tired enough to sleep in the car, give them something to chew on to entertain them. If it's a long car ride, it probably won't keep them busy the whole time, but it can work for a few hours.[8]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 8.jpg
    • You can also keep the radio on if your dog likes to listen to music.
  5. Pull the car over every 2 hours for a bathroom break. Dogs tend to urinate more during car rides because their anxiety levels are higher. Make sure you give your dog many opportunities to do their business, especially if you are in the car for a long time.[9]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 9.jpg
    • Make sure to bring bags to pick up any poop.
  6. Feed your dog on their normal schedule. If your dog eats twice a day, be sure to offer them food in the morning and the evening even while you are traveling. Keep them on their normal feeding schedule so that they don't get hungry.[10]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 10.jpg
    • Your dog may not be hungry in the car. Offer them food just in case they want to eat it later.
  7. Offer your dog water once an hour. It's extremely important to keep your dog hydrated while they are in the car. Bring a water bottle and a small dish that your dog can drink out of when they are in the car. Offer water to them about once every hour, or more if it is hot out.[11]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 11.jpg
    • Depending on the length of your car ride, you may need to bring multiple bottles of water or refill them as you go.

[Edit]Flying in a Plane

  1. See if your dog is small enough to fly in the cabin with you. In order for dogs to fly in the cabin of a plane, they need to be small enough to fit in a carrier that can fit underneath the seat in front of you. Check with your airline to see what the weight restrictions are for your flight and whether or not your dog meets them.[12]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 12.jpg
    • If your dog can't fit in a carrier under the seat they will have to ride in the cargo hold of the plane, which can be dangerous.[13]
  2. Consider the risks of having your dog fly in the cargo hold if they can't fly in the cabin. If your dog is too big to fly in the cabin with you, they will have to fly in a crate in the cargo hold. Cargo holds are not kept very warm or pressurized, so if your dog is old or frail, you shouldn't risk it. If you are taking multiple flights, you may not want to have your dog fly in the cargo hold since they could get lost or misplaced more easily.[14]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 13.jpg
    • Try to choose direct flights so your dog doesn't have to be transferred as much.
    • Opt for flights in the early morning or late evening so your dog doesn't overheat if the plane is stuck on the tarmac.
    • Some airlines don't allow breeds that may have difficulty breathing into the cargo hold. This may include flat-faced breeds, such as Pekingese, pugs, or boxers.
  3. Check with your airline to see what their pet restrictions are. Most airlines require you to pay a small fee to bring a pet onto an airplane. Contact your airline before your trip and ask if they have any special vaccination or carrier requirements.[15]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 14.jpg
    • Most airlines will require you to show proof that your dog is up to date on its vaccinations.
  4. Purchase a USDA-approved crate if your dog will be flying in the cargo hold. If your dog is too large to fly in the cabin with you, make sure the crate they will be staying in is large enough for them to turn around and lay down in. The US Department of Agriculture, or USDA, checks animal crates for safety, so look for one with their stamp of approval. Pad it with a small blanket or dog bed so that your dog is comfortable.[16]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 15.jpg
    • Put an item with your scent, such as an old T-shirt, in the crate to help your dog feel more comfortable.
    • Get the travel crate a few weeks or months before you plan on leaving so your dog can get used to going inside of it.
  5. Write your name, phone number, and "LIVE ANIMAL" on their crate. Make sure that your crate can be easily identified in case it gets lost or separated from you. Use a permanent marker to write all of your information on the side of your dog's crate in case of emergency.[17]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 16.jpg
    • You can also carry a picture of your dog with you in case they escape their crate.
  6. Take your dog to a pet relief station before you board. Most airports have a pet relief station where you can take your dog to go to the bathroom. 10 to 15 minutes before you board your flight, take your dog so that they can use the restroom before a long flight.[18]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 17.jpg
    • You can also use this area to give your dog a few minutes of exercise before you board your flight.
  7. Offer your dog water at least once per hour if they're in the cabin. Dogs get more dehydrated when they are stressed. Be sure to take some water and a small dish on the plane with you and offer your dog water as often as you can. Open their crate slightly to fit their dish.[19]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 18 Version 2.jpg
    • Bring an empty water bottle with you in your carry-on and fill it up after you go through security to take water onto the plane with you.
  8. Put a dish of dog food into your dog's crate. Your dog might get hungry during your flight. Keep a small dish of dry dog food in their crate so that they can eat if they want to. They may be too stressed to eat, but it's always good to give them the option.[20]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 19.jpg
  9. Consider taking your dog in the car instead of a plane. Taking your dog on a plane is stressful for them and can even be dangerous for breeds with flat faces, like pugs and bulldogs. Take your dog on a car ride or leave them at a dog boarder whenever possible.[21]
    Travel a Long Distance with a Dog Step 20.jpg

[Edit]References

  1. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips
  2. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips
  3. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/road-trips-and-car-travel-with-your-dog
  4. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/road-trips-and-car-travel-with-your-dog
  5. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  6. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/road-trips-and-car-travel-with-your-dog
  7. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/road-trips-and-car-travel-with-your-dog
  8. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/road-trips-and-car-travel-with-your-dog
  9. https://topdogtips.com/long-distance-traveling-dog/
  10. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  11. https://topdogtips.com/long-distance-traveling-dog/
  12. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  13. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  14. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips
  15. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips
  16. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/travel-safety-tips
  17. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  18. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  19. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  20. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train
  21. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/travel-safely-your-pet-car-airplane-ship-or-train

How to Play Badminton Better

Posted: 06 Mar 2020 08:00 AM PST

Badminton is a fun sport and a great form of exercise. To be a knockout badminton player, you have to have lightning-fast feet, strong technique, and a cunning sense of strategy. If you already know how to play badminton but want to elevate your game, you will have to find a way to maximize your strengths and exploit your opponent's weaknesses.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Master the Basics

  1. Most of the time, hit the centre of the shuttle. You should hit the round rubber centre, or the "sweet spot" of the shuttle every single time. You can practice this technique by looking right at the center of the shuttle when you hit an overhead shot. You can also practice with your hands to try to get a feel for the shuttle.
    Play Badminton Better Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Hit the shuttle at the top of its arc. To benefit from the speed and height generated by the shuttle, hit it at the top of its arc. This will allow you to shoot a killer overhead and to have more control over the position of the shuttle. Don't wait for the shuttle to come close to you, or it will be losing momentum and height.
    Play Badminton Better Step 2 Version 2.jpg
  3. Always return to the middle of the court after you hit the shuttle. Return to the middle of the back of the court. This will make it more difficult for your opponent to run you around and to hit the shuttle in a place that you can't reach. Standing in the middle of the court while moving your feet and preparing for the next shot will place you in the "position of readiness."
    Play Badminton Better Step 3 Version 2.jpg
  4. Hit the shuttle toward the back line. Hitting the shuttle toward the back line takes precision and strength, and it will make your opponent have to shuffle backwards and hit the shuttle with a considerable amount of strength to return your shot. If you're not sure where to hit the shuttle next, and the back line is wide open, aim it there. At the beginning, aim the shuttle a bit before the back line so you don't commit a fault if it falls out of bounds behind the back line.
    Play Badminton Better Step 4 Version 2.jpg
  5. Practice your footwork. Badminton is like squash -- success is all in the footwork. If you're flat-footed on the court, you won't be able to return your shots. Instead, stay on your toes, move your feet up and down as you wait to return a shot, and move your feet back and forth and side to side in tiny motions to position yourself to return the shot. Don't be lazy and reach out your hand too wide to try to return the shuttle -- instead, make tiny movements with your feet until the shuttle is in perfect position. There are some exercises you can do to help you practice:[1]
    Play Badminton Better Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • Squat jump - Put both hands at your back, then bend your knees as low as you can. Then, jump as high as you can. Do this exercise in 10 reps. This exercise will make your knees and core stronger, so that in the match, you can make a perfect jumping smash.
    • Agility ladder - There are variety of exercise you can do with this equipment. It will not only help you to improve your footwork, it also helps you to improve your endurance as well.
    • Lunges - Some people hate to do this exercise, but this actually helps you to build muscle on your legs, especially your quad. I would recommend you guys to do 10 reps jump front lunges and also 10 reps side lunges. Make sure you make big lunges when you are doing it. This will help you to take the shuttle easily, especially on the front court. Do not forget to do it in right techniques as well.
    • Shadow footwork around the court (with or without shuttle) - Once you have mastered how to take the shuttle in every corner on the court. Get a partner or a coach to help you to point on a corner on the court, then perform the footwork towards the point that has been pointed by him/her.
  6. Practice the short serve. Whether you're playing singles or doubles, the short serve will catch your opponent off guard. He won't be expecting it, and may not be able to run up to return the serve in time. To hit the short serve, you shouldn't just hit the shuttle really lightly, or it will fall on your side of the court. Instead, hit it at a higher contact point and drop it closer to the racket instead of in front of the racket.[2]
    Play Badminton Better Step 6 Version 2.jpg
  7. Practice the long serve in singles. In singles, hitting a long serve all the way to the back of the service line will throw your opponent off guard. He may be standing in front of the shuttle and can miss it completely, or he may not have enough power to return it. To hit a longer serve, let the shuttle fall in front of you as you swing your racket further back almost to your shoulder level so you generate more momentum before you swing forward and hit the shuttle.[3]
    Play Badminton Better Step 7 Version 2.jpg
  8. Never give up. Always try to hit the shuttle.
    Play Badminton Better Step 8 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Exploit Your Opponent's Weaknesses

  1. Understand your opponent's game. When you're playing a new opponent, whether it's at a competition or during a friendly game at a family outing, you should assess your opponent's game even while you're warming up. You should look for a few main things: if your opponent is more of an aggressive or defensive player, if his forehand or backhand is his dominant shot, and any weaknesses, such as slow footwork or weak drop shot returns, that you can exploit.
    Play Badminton Better Step 9 Version 2.jpg
  2. Make your opponent move around the court. Don't hit all of your shots to the same location of the court of your opponent will be able to predict your next move every time. Instead, mix things up by hitting a drop shot followed by a shot to the baseline, or by moving your opponent from the right to the left side of the court. Moving from the front to the back of the court is particularly tricky unless your opponent has very nimble feet.
    Play Badminton Better Step 10 Version 2.jpg
  3. Shoot toward your opponent's backhand. Many players are weaker on the backhand side, so try shooting toward your opponent's backhand and see if this makes your opponent return less shots. If so, continue to exploit your opponent's backhand.
    Play Badminton Better Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Your backhand is the left side for right-handed players and the right side for left-handed players.
  4. Hit a simple short shot. When you're up at the net, simply hit the shuttle short, just barely over to your opponent's side. This will make your opponent run and will catch him off guard. This is a great technique if your opponent is positioned near the back line. If your opponent knows that you are going to do a short shot, you need to flick the shuttle over the opponent or to another side and if you didn't do this, your opponent will fly the shuttle near the back line.
    Play Badminton Better Step 12 Version 2.jpg
  5. Change the direction of the shuttle. If your opponent hits the shuttle straight at you, hit the shuttle in a different direction instead of hitting it right back at your opponent, where he will expect it to go. This will work especially well if the shuttle has generated a lot of momentum. If you're quick on your feet, you can change the direction of the shuttle and not give your opponent enough time to react to a fast-moving shuttle.
    Play Badminton Better Step 13 Version 2.jpg
  6. Hit a drop shot followed by a shot to the back of the court. If you have mastered the drop shot, then use it to make your opponent run all the way to the front of the court. Then return the next shot all the way to the back of the court. Not only will this force your opponent to be quick on his feet, but it will also catch him off guard. This is also a great way to tire your opponent.
    Play Badminton Better Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • To do a drop shot, hit the shuttle lightly so it just crosses the net.
  7. Make your opponent play your style of game. If you like staying near the net, serve short, hit drop shots, and do whatever you can to make sure that your opponent can't hit the shuttle to the back line. If you're more comfortable at the back line, then serve long and hit speedy long shots so your opponent doesn't have a chance to move you toward the net. Make the opponent lose all control as you play your style of game and maximize your strengths.
    Play Badminton Better Step 15 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Master More Advanced Techniques

  1. Slice your net shots. This will make the shuttle spin and fall in an unpredictable direction. To slice your net shot, start the forward motion as you normally would, and then move the racket inward as you slice the racket perpendicular to the center of the birdie. Your opponent will be expecting you to hit the birdie directly forward, while it will actually spin cross court.[4]
    Play Badminton Better Step 16 Version 2.jpg
  2. Slice your drop shots. To do this, slice the racket, or move it perpendicularly over the center of the shuttle when it's in the air. This will make the shuttle lose much of its momentum and quickly fall on the opponent's side near the net.[5]
    Play Badminton Better Step 17 Version 2.jpg
  3. Smash the shuttle. Smashing is when you hit the shuttle with all of your strength at the top of its arc. Point your free hand at the shuttle to keep track of its path, and then swing the racket over your head, hitting the center of the birdie and smashing it down into the opponent's court. This is similar to serving in tennis.[6]
    Play Badminton Better Step 18 Version 2.jpg
    • When you're smashing the shuttle, aim is just as important as strength. Don't just blindly hit the shuttle as hard as you can -- you should try to aim it either as far away from your opponent as possible or right at your opponent's body so he will be caught off guard.
  4. Jump before you smash the shuttle. Once you've mastered the standard smash, you can practice jumping up as you smash the shuttle. This will give you even more momentum and will make the shuttle fall into your opponent's court even faster. Just jump up a foot or two, aiming your chest and body in the direction that you want the shuttle to go, and smash it at the center of its arc.
    Play Badminton Better Step 19 Version 2.jpg
  5. Don't smash the shuttle every time. The smash should be used at a time when the shuttle is high in the air and you have plenty of time to approach -- it should end the point in your favor. If you smash the shuttle at every opportunity, you will tire your arms and will risk smashing it into the net at inopportune moments.
    Play Badminton Better Step 20 Version 2.jpg
  6. Always plan your next move. A beginning player is just happy when he hits the shuttle over the net. An advanced player understands that a good game of badminton is like a game of chess -- you should always position your shot wisely so that you move your opponent to the exact place where you want him to be so you can hit the following shot. Always plan your next move and always think one step ahead of your opponent.
    Play Badminton Better Step 21 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Badminton Techniques, Exercises, and Warm up

[Edit]Video

[Edit]Tips

  • When choosing a double's partner you both should have similar strength and skills. Even if your shots aren't great and you are bad at defense, it is important that your partner can help improve your decision making and you can work together to overcome your weaknesses.
  • Communication is the key in doubles. Call for shots and tell your partner to 'leave' shots that are going out. Use visual communication, letting the player who cannot see his partner make the tactical decisions. For example, when you are in front of your partner, you decide which shots to take and where to move. Do it quickly, so your partner isn't left guessing.
  • If possible try to send the shuttlecock to the back line of the court.
  • Cross drop shots and cross serves will do magic. Try dropping the shuttle diagonally near the net. It is easier to stymie the opponent.
  • Study your opponent's weaknesses. Is his backhand weak? Does he have difficulty returning smashes to the body, returning drops, moving backwards, etc? In doubles, is one player weaker than the other? Is one better at the net than the other?
  • In doubles, avoid blocking a smash softly. There is a person standing in the front waiting to intercept it. Instead, keep lifting it back until they hit back a weaker shot that you can counterattack.
  • If you are trying for short serve, tilt the racket as you hit the serve. This will lead to a wobbling shuttle, making harder for the opponent to return with accuracy or power.
  • In short, if you're pretty sure your opponent cannot return your shot to the back lines, you can stand closer to the net. Remember, these are only assumptions; you still need to keep other possibilities in mind so you aren't caught off guard.
  • Net shots are delicate. To control them more accurately, use your fingers to send them where you want.
  • Aim for the four corners of the opposite side.
  • If playing doubles, when you serve, the server should go close to the net forcing your opponents to hit it long. Your partner, who is behind you can then return it easily.
  • When your opponent gives you a backhand shot, try to convert it to forehand by playing the round the head shot whenever possible.
  • Many people learn to always return to the exact center of the court after each shot. This is actually incorrect. Your "base" changes depending on the type of shot you make. For instance, when you hit a net shot, you bias your base closer to the front. The closer the birdie is to the net, the more forward you stand, because it is harder for your opponent to push you back. (If they try, it is rare that the shuttle will reach the back lines, so you don't need to worry about covering there.) When you lift to the back, you might want to move back as well to prepare for the smash (especially when you hit high and shallow). And when you smash in singles, your opponent will almost always block it to the front, so prepare to move forward.
  • Don't rely on your arm. Instead work your wrist to conserve your stamina. Good wrist play also required to practice more advanced shot techniques. For more power, keep your grip relaxed and tighten your grip on the moment of impact.
  • Always be precise and deceptive with the service. For example, act as if you are going to serve front but serve back.
  • Hit the shuttle quickly. This technique will confuse your opponents.
  • A backhand smash is good move to catch your opponent off guard.
  • Try to do half smashed. They have half the speed and travel half the distance. Practice it with someone you know. It involves wrist work by jumping up and smashing only with your wrist.
  • Always return to the center of your side, so that your opponent doesn't succeed in tiring you.
  • If you want to hit a smash then practice the squad jump and repeat it 10 times. This will help you to smash harder and better.
  • Advanced players know how to use deception, so try not to guess what the next shot will be beforehand.[7]

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Board shorts
  • 2-4 players
  • Badminton court
  • Badminton net
  • Racket
  • Shuttlecock(s)
  • Good sports shoes

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Swim Freestyle

Posted: 06 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PST

Freestyle was traditionally a race that allowed competitors to swim in whichever way they wanted. However, after what was referred to as the front crawl became the dominant way to freestyle, the term freestyle has replaced the term front crawl as the name for the stroke.[1] Freestyle involves alternating arms that make windmill arc motions forward while the head is underwater, and the swimmer breathes at the side. It is accompanied by a two or six beat flutter kick that is synced with arm strokes to stabilize the body. If you want to know how to freestyle for fun, for exercise, or for competitions learn how to move your arms, kick your legs, and breathe correctly.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Learning the Stages of the Arm Stroke

  1. Perfect your hand placement and entry. To begin your stroke, your hands should be relaxed and your fingers should be held together. Put your hand into the water fingers first about 15 inches above your head. Your palm should be tilted at a 45 degree angle facing out so your index and middle finger enter the water first. Your wrist should be tilted down and positioned above the fingers, and your elbow will be raised above the wrist. Your hand should make as little splash as possible during entry. Once your hand is in the water, extend your arm another 4 inches[2]
    Swim Freestyle Correctly Step 1.jpg
    • Once your hand is in the water, press your hand down and out with your fingers spread out slightly. This is called "getting a feel" for the water or "the catch".
    • If you want to work on your hand technique, you can wear hand paddles to help you concentrate on how your hands are entering and exiting the water.
    • Avoid putting your hand into the water just above your head. It will slow you down and hurt your technique.
    • Do not smack the water with your arms, instead, once your hand enters the water, follow the motion and glide your arm into the water.
  2. Work on your downsweep. Your arm will act as a lever during this phase of the stroke. As you stroke, your body will rotate toward the arm that is in the motion of stroking. Move your forearm and hand downward and back with your elbow held at about a 45 degree angle. Your elbow should stay high in the water during this phase of your stroke. Concentrate on going through the downsweep smoothly.

    • This phase should happen in a rapid motion. However, avoid trying to go faster during this phase because it won't propel you forward much but could create drag.
  3. Pull your hand and forearm toward the center of your body for the insweep. During this part of the stroke, use your hand like a paddle and move as much water as possible. This is where you start to move your body forward with your arm stroke movement. It is the first part of the "propulsive" phase. And your upper arm will move inward toward your chest and ribcage. Your elbow will go starting moving into a 90 degree angle. When your hand starts to approach the midpoint of your body, you have reached the backsweep.[3]

    • Keep your arms closer to being under you instead of stroking at your sides.
  4. Push your arm in an up, out, and backward motion to backsweep. This is the second "propulsive" phase where you can gain speed in your stroke. Right as your hand gets to the midpoint of your body you will stop pulling and start pushing water. Keep pushing water out and up until your arm hits the line of your thigh. This part of the stroke will be the most rapid phase and can be the most powerful at propelling you forward.

  5. Move your elbow out of the water until it is pointing up for the release. During the release your arm doesn't move you forward, but it does provide support for the arm which is pulling underwater. It is important to work on your release technique so that your hand entry is clean. To end your stroke, launch your hand forward in line with your shoulder out of the water. Your fingers should hang loosely above the water and your hand should swing wider than your arm. Your arm should be relaxed and should swing wide, too.
    Swim Freestyle Correctly Step 5.jpg
    • Concentrate on rotating your arm forward, and do not force a down rotation at the end of the release.

[Edit]Kicking and Rotating

  1. Flutter kick just below the surface of the water. Although kicking accounts for only 10-15% of the power in your stroke, it is still an important part of your freestyle technique. Keep your hips close to the surface of the water and make a series of quick kicks. You want to focus on minimizing drag while you propel yourself forward; therefore, your kicking range of motion should be narrow. Your legs should not kick out of the water and neither should they break below the line of your body.

    • Kick from the hips and thighs. Do not kick from your knees, this is called a bicycle kick, and it will cause more drag. You may slightly bend your knees while you kick, but this should not be where your power is coming from. [4]
  2. Use the two-beat kick. The two-beat kick requires less power and is used by long distance and middle distance swimmers. You kick one leg per stroke cycle. One stroke cycle means the stroke of one arm. Kick one leg in conjunction with the insweep of the opposite arm. (The insweep is when the arm starts pulling water toward the midsection of the body.) If you can think about how your arms and legs sync while you are walking, how your arm moves forward at the same time as the opposite leg, you can imagine how your kicking should be synced with your arm stroke in a similar way.[5][6][7]
    Swim Freestyle Correctly Step 7.jpg
    • The six-beat kick requires that you kick three times per arm stroke cycle. The third beat of the kicking cycle will start during the recovery phase. This is a faster kick that is used by faster swimmers.
  3. Point your toes while you kick. If your toes aren't pointed while you kick then there will be extra drag caused by your exposed forefoot. Your toes should face inward, and your big toes should come close to touching as you kick. When you point your toes, you are exercising the flexibility in your ankles. If you are having difficulty with ankle flexibility, consider using mid-length flippers to practice your kick.
    Swim Freestyle Correctly Step 8.jpg
    • You can focus on both your freestyle arm and leg techniques more easily with the extra propulsion that flippers provide. But only use your flippers to help train your feet during drills.[8]
  4. Rotate your body in line with your arm stroke. Rotating your body correctly will help you with many important aspects of your stroke. First, you can put more power into your arm stroke. Second, you will minimize drag. And third, it will enable you to breathe correctly. As you rotate your body left and right with your alternating arm strokes, your body should be moving in the water about 30 degrees from the surface on both sides. Remember to swim mostly on your stomach and not on your side.[9]

    • Rotate your body forward as well. Your arm and shoulders should extend forward and your body should rotate forward after your hand and arm have entered the water.
    • Your fully extended shoulder should stay tucked near your cheek. Do not move your shoulder further away from your body, or this will cause drag.
    • Focus on rotating your body from the hips and not from the shoulders.

[Edit]Breathing and Practice Drills

  1. Rotate your body to the surface, and inhale through your mouth. This will allow you to keep your neck muscles and your head relaxed. If you turn just your head, you can put unnecessary stress on your neck. Keep your forehead and the crown of your head slightly submerged while you breathe. Imagine you have a wine glass balanced on the side of your head that you cannot spill.

    • Do not over rotate. You only want tilt your body 30 degrees in one direction or the other.
    • Do not hold your breath longer than you need to when you swim. Breathe at every stroke if you feel the need.
    • Do not lift your head up- this will cause your hips and legs to fall, and you will have to work to regain your balance.
    • Continue to keep your body and arms outstretched while you breathe. Keep your body straight, and do not lose your extension while you breathe.
  2. Blow bubbles out of your mouth and nose to expel your breath. If you hold your breath, you may develop feelings of anxiety while you are swimming that will slow you down and distract you. You can practice blowing out bubbles in shallow water. Exhale 70% through your mouth and 30% through your nose. And exhale the last 20% with more force. Submerge your face and sigh or hum through your nose or mouth to create a stream of bubbles.[10]

    • While underwater, make sure to exhale out all of the air so that you are not having to exhale any last bit of air when you should be inhaling.
  3. Hold your forehead just under the water while you swim. The water should rest between your hairline and your eyebrows. Keep your neck and upper-back muscles relaxed while you swim. Your head should be cocked about 45 degrees forward. If you move your head down too much toward your chest, it will cause more resistance.
    Swim Freestyle Correctly Step 12.jpg
  4. Practice your stroke and breathing techniques. Work on isolated parts of your stroke and breathing techniques through practice drills on land and in the water. Concentrating on different parts of your stroke that you need work on will help you develop a stronger complete stroke.

    • Practice your arm stroke, body rotation and head position on land. Bend forward at your waist, and go through the five stages of the arm stroke: entry, downsweep, insweep, backsweep, release. Practice rotating your body correctly, and practice keeping your head still at the side when you breathe. Rotate your shoulders to work on a longer stroke. Over exaggerate the rotation while you practice, and it will help create muscle memory for when you swim.
    • Do breathing drills. Kick off the wall and keep your right arm extended in front of you. Use your left arm to stroke, and on your second stroke, take a breath on your left side. Practice blowing bubbles out of your mouth and nose completely and inhaling a full breath through your mouth. Then alternate sides and do the same drill on your right side. This will help you become comfortable with your inhaling and exhaling techniques and establish a breathing pattern. Concentrate on only rotating enough for you to get a full breath.
    • Practice kicking drills. Push off the wall with your feet and extend your hands and arms out in front of you. Keeping your head underwater, kick vigorously for as long as your breath will last. You do not want to focus on going fast, instead, try to focus on your technique. Keep your toes pointed, your feet pointed inward so your toes are almost touching, your hips up, and your kick high. Keep your legs relaxed, and kick from your thighs. [11] Repeat this drill 3-4 times.
  5. Wear goggles while you are swimming. You do not have to wear goggles to swim freestyle; however, when you have to close your eyes while you swim, it can make you anxious. And it will make it more difficult to concentrate on your stroke. When you wear goggles, it can help you stay balanced and oriented. You will know when to stop because you will be able to see the walls of the pool, and you won't have to worry about bumping into other swimmers.
    Swim Freestyle Correctly Step 14.jpg
    • Adjust your strap, pulling the straps until the goggles fit on your face firmly and comfortably.
    • Adjust the nose bridge. Pull on both sides of the strap if the nose bridge is a strap. The nose bridge fits properly if you press your goggles up to your eyes and they suction to your eyes without a problem.
    • Fit the goggles to your head by putting the eye cups up to your eyes so that they suction to your face, and then with your thumbs, move the strap behind your head so that your goggles are firmly in place.

[Edit]Tips

  • Stretch your arms as far as they can go to make a longer stroke. A large arm stroke is essential in speed.
  • Keep your elbows lifted during your arm stroke.
  • While pulling your arm, keep your fingers closed.
  • Some people prefer strong kicks over flutter kicks because it helps preserve energy and the need for oxygen is reduced. It might be a bit slower but more effective.
  • Practice strokes on the dry land first or visit a gym for swimmers.
  • Try not to smack the water with your arms, it can make you slower. Try to glide with your arms, moving with the water.
  • Keep your straight body to enhance your speed, but don't forget to rotate your core to help stretch your arms.
  • A very important part of the swimming process, is the moment when you push the pool's edge with your legs every time you do a round trip. Push as hard as you can and extend your arms to win some distance. Try to do the "dolphin" wave with your body to go farther.
  • When you do a flip-turn, blow air out through your nose.
  • Your face should be 45° facing the bottom of the pool. If your head is not in the right place, your strokes will be less efficient.
  • When you start off the block, keep your chin tucked into your neck so you don't lose your goggles.
  • Keep your legs and arms straight when diving off the block and try to dive at a 45 degree angle underwater so you can resurface at speed.
  • Your strokes should be as close as possible to your neck so that you don't push unnecessary water under you.
  • Try breathing every 4-7 strokes.

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