The Ultimate Fix For Sinking Legs During A Swim

Do you find yourself having to kick a lot harder when you swim? Do you feel like you’re not moving much or moving too slowly? Are you struggling to keep your legs from sinking?

One of the biggest causes of slow and inefficient swimming is sinking legs. When your body position is not in line with the water surface, there is greater drag. This slows you down when you swim.

To achieve effortless and speedy swimming techniques, here are 3 must-do tips to fix those sinking legs of yours during a swim!

1. Exhale Your Breath Under Water 

Many swimmers have the tendency to hold their breath when swimming instead of exhaling into the water. However, this instinctive habit is one of the main reasons why your legs are sinking in the water!

Image Credit: Dreamstime
Image Credit: Dreamstime

By keeping your breath in, the air in your lungs creates extra buoyancy in your chest. This will lift you up at the front, which can cause your legs to sink as you lose your streamline body position in the water.

Not only that, but you may also tense up when you hold your breath under water. Learning to exhale constantly in the water helps you to relax, which aids your swimming technique.

You can exhale your breath through your nose or your mouth in the water, releasing a constant stream of air bubbles when your face is in the water. This new swimming tip may need some time to get used to, so constantly remind yourself when you are doing your laps.

2. Flexible Ankles and Kick From Your Hip 

A common mistake observed in the pool when practicing flutter kick for front crawl, is swimmers kicking from their knees instead of their hips. With bent knees and stiff ankles, this can cause your legs to sink low into the water.

Image Credit: Getty Images
Image Credit: Getty Images

By bending your knees as you kick in the water, you are creating more drag with your legs. You will also lose your desired horizontal body position, which can slow you down significantly.

Therefore, always keep your legs relatively straight and kick from your hips. You can correct your technique by doing more kick drills in the pool before beginning your usual laps!

Another point to take note when kicking, is to make sure that your ankles are flexible enough to point your feet. If your feet are pointing down at the pool floor, you are only creating extra drag in the water.

Achieving a straight foot as you swim will propel you further and faster in your kicks, and help you keep your legs afloat in the water!

3. Master a Good Catch Action 

The last crucial factor to avoid sinking legs, is the way you initiate each stroke when swimming front crawl. This is also known as ‘the catch’.

A good front crawl catch action requires swimmers to bend their elbows early when entering the water, so as to push the water backwards towards the wall behind them. This helps you to move forward as you swim.

Image Credit: Dreamstime
Image Credit: Dreamstime

However, a bad catch action is when you push downwards on the water instead with a straight arm, which will only lift your front torso up. This action subsequently leads to your legs sinking in the water, as the streamline body position is lost.

Therefore, a good catch action can help prevent the problem of sinking legs, while mastering a long and efficient stroke technique!


Correcting any swimming technique requires more than just an overnight practice.  There may be several mistakes that need to be worked on and improved over time.

It takes time and patience to identify your mistakes and fix each one of them. However, the results will definitely be worth the effort!

With these tips and solutions, bid farewell to sinking legs, and welcome a beautiful streamline body position when you’re in the water.

If you are ready to learn more and improve your techniques, contact us today!

Swim it Right
Tel: 
+65 9100 3182
Email: hello@swimitright.com
Facebook: Swim it Right

(Header Image Credit: Dreamstime)

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