Have you ever felt like you’re swimming uphill or dragging an anchor behind you when doing freestyle? Chances are, your legs might be sinking, a common mistake that can significantly impede your progress in the water. In this blog, we’ll dive into why this problem occurs, why it’s more prevalent in men, and how to establish the proper alignment and balance that’s crucial for efficient swimming. We’ll also explore the importance of weight shift and the impact of height on this issue.

The Sinking Leg Conundrum

Sinking legs in freestyle, often referred to as “leg drag,” is a common issue that plagues swimmers of all levels. It occurs when the lower half of your body drops below the surface of the water, creating increased resistance that makes swimming harder and slower. While both men and women can experience this problem, it tends to be more pronounced in men due to the natural density of their legs.

Why Men Are More Prone

Men typically have a higher muscle-to-fat ratio in their legs compared to women. This increased muscle density, combined with less buoyant legs, can make it challenging to maintain proper alignment in the water. As a result, men often find it more difficult to keep their legs afloat and parallel to the surface during freestyle swimming.

The Importance of Proper Alignment and Balance

Proper alignment and balance in freestyle are paramount for efficient swimming. When your legs are sinking, your body takes on a diagonal posture, creating significant drag. This not only slows you down but also saps your energy reserves, making it harder to swim longer distances effectively.

The Impact of Height

Height can be another compounded factor in this equation. Taller swimmers often face more significant challenges when it comes to sinking legs. With longer limbs, there’s an increased lever arm, amplifying the effect of any drag caused by misalignment. This makes it even more critical for taller swimmers to maintain proper alignment at all times.

Fixing the Issue: Incorporating Weight Shift

To address the sinking leg issue, it’s crucial to understand the concept of weight shift in swimming. Shifting your weight slightly forward can help keep your body more horizontally aligned in the water. Imagine that your body is a boat, and you want to distribute your weight evenly, focusing on keeping your weight centered just below your sternum.

Fixing the Issue: Fixing sinking legs in freestyle requires a combination of awareness, technique, and focused training. Here are some tips to help you address this common problem:

Body Position Awareness: Pay attention to your body position in the water. Try to keep your body as horizontal as possible with your legs near the surface. Think of your body as a seesaw, with your head, hips, and feet in alignment.

Core Engagement: Engage your core muscles to help maintain proper alignment. A strong core helps lift your legs and keeps them closer to the surface.

Kick Technique: Focus on your kicking technique. An effective kick generates propulsion and helps maintain balance. Avoid excessive kicking, as it can lead to more drag.

Triathletes and Buoyancy Aids

Many triathletes turn to wetsuits or pull buoys as a solution to the sinking leg problem. These aids provide artificial buoyancy, helping to keep the legs afloat. However, it’s essential to remember that while these tools can be beneficial for certain situations, they should not become crutches.

Dive into the SWIMVICE Kickstart Program!

Whether you’re a novice swimmer struggling with sinking legs or an experienced triathlete aiming to refine your technique, the SWIMVICE Kickstart Program offers a comprehensive solution. This program is designed to provide you with a holistic approach to tackle the sinking legs issue effectively.

In the SWIMVICE Kickstart Program, you’ll find a series of valuable resources to guide your journey. We believe that practice makes perfect, and that’s why we’ve included a range of tools to help you succeed.

You’ll start with rehearsals on land, where you’ll become familiar with the fundamental movements and techniques required to maintain proper alignment in the water. These practice outlines are designed to progressively build your skills, allowing you to grasp the essentials step by step.

Our video demonstrations of specific progressions offer visual insights into how to improve your freestyle technique. We understand that seeing is believing, and these videos will serve as your virtual coach, guiding you through each stage of your development.

For those moments when you need a quick recap or motivation, our audio summaries will be your go-to resource. They’ll reinforce the key concepts and keep you focused on your goals.

Don’t let sinking legs hold you back in the water any longer. Join the SWIMVICE Kickstart Program today and experience the transformation in your freestyle swimming.

Swim smarter, not harder. 🏊‍♂️💨

Coach Mandy showcasing flawless freestyle technique with SWIMVICE cap, gliding effortlessly through the water.


By understanding the compounding factors of sinking legs, including height, and incorporating weight shift techniques, you can make significant improvements in your freestyle swimming.

Proper alignment and balance are keys to success in the water, no matter your stature. With the right approach and training, you can overcome this common issue and glide through the water with ease!

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