How to Improve Swimming Speed

As they say, “work smarter, not harder.” And this is equitable when it comes to swimming. Perhaps the fastest swimmer of recent times, Jordan Crooks, trained with this in mind. He took only 20.46 seconds for 50m freestyle. Isn’t it WOW? Indeed, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet how to improve swimming speed to be like Jordan Crooks? It takes endless efforts and endless hours to reach this record speed. But whatever your skill, it’s all about the tricks you need to master.

swim freestyle faster

Tricks to Improve Your Swimming Speed: Must-Follow

· Avoid Unnecessary Drag

The most essential thing most swimmers often take too lightly is to avoid unnecessary drag. Correct! You need to have a good balance in the water. Otherwise, it will hinder your way to fast swimming. Make a parallel body position to the water surface. This will help you incur minimal drag force. Else, you’ll confront a massive speed-killing drag. How to do so?

  • Swim downhill (meaning that hips and legs high at the water surface with your shoulders and arms forward a little lower)
  • Put more pressure on your upper chest, so your hips and legs rise higher in the water.

This way, you’ll incur less frontal drag and swim as fluidly as possible in the water.

· Make a Balance Between Strength, Speed, and Power

For a good speed in the water, you need power. And you need to take your strength and speed to the next level to increase power in the water. The more strength and speed you have, the more power you’ll get in the water. Basically, the equation is somewhat like Power = Strength + Speed

A good balance between strength and speed will make you more powerful in the water. Though two people may have the same strength, they can have different power. People with faster arm turnover will have higher power output.

· Pay Attention to the Stroke Technique

Swimming is all about applying techniques. With an efficient technique, you’ll be able to utilize your stroke correctly. Focus on improving stroke technique as well as stroke efficiency.

It is wise to start slow. Break down the technique into small and repeat it. Here is an example you can try for 700m freestyle.

  • 25m 4 times (Silent Swimming)
  • 50m 4 times (Take fewer strokes on the second 25m than on the first 25m)
  • 50m 3 times (Descend 1-3 98%)
  • 50m once (Silent swimming)
  • 100m once (Build each 25m)
  • 100m once (Strong breakout on 25m)

· Build Solid and Well-organized Kicks

Well-organized kicks help to bring you balance and propulsion in the water, resulting in fast swimming speed. Besides, a solid kick helps to maintain an incredible pace while swimming freestyle. By adding power to hip rotation, a great kick drives your arms forward and, again, pulls them back. So you can swim with a more dynamic arm pull. World-class swimmers like Alexander Popov make their way into the water with efficient kicks.

An efficient kick does not need to be like breaking the surface sharply. You should do it lightly. That is to say; your movements should be fast and compact. And make sure to perform the kick in the shade of your body. Another way to build a flutter kick is to kick down rather than kick backward. Kicking down generates from the hip, resulting in less drag and more propulsion. Conversely, kicking backward will bend your knees and slow you down.

· Focus on Drills

Working on drills will make you faster in the water. It is hard to do initially. Once you practice more and more, you’ll be benefitted in many ways. For example, you will have a good balance in the water and navigate your way while swimming.

· Get a Good Propulsion

Having good propulsion allows moving faster through the water. If you want to get good speed, you must improve your propulsion. The secret to enhancing propulsion is to roll from side to side with each arm. Most importantly, your right arm plays a vital role here. You should master the right arm technique to get a good speed in the water. Apart from that, legs concentrate only 10% of overall propulsion.

· Learn to Breathe

Most swimmers have trouble breathing naturally while swimming. And that’s normal. We are not supposed to breathe normally underwater as we do above. Breathing underwater is a skill you must master to improve your swimming speed. You have to learn the tricks of breathing while swimming.

· Make Pull to the Full Extent

A low elbow catch is why swimmers sometimes fail to pull efficiently. So, you must keep your elbow high while swimming. You can do it in the following ways.

  • Extend your leading arm all along
  • Start your pull by rotating your shoulders ‘in’ with your arm stretched, so your baby’s finger is over your big toe.
  • Begin to point your fingers toward the bottom of the pool, tightening your arms, wrists, and hands
  • Repeat shoulder over the elbow, elbow over the wrist, wrist over hand, and hand over fingers while pulling.
  • Catch the water with your newfound paddle with your arms back. Make sure your elbow is high until your forearm stays at 90o.

You can check this tutorial from Effortless Swimming for a better picture.

· Swim for a Shorter Time

What? Swim for a shorter time to improve swimming speed? Yes, you’ve read that right. Sometimes, it is better to spend less time in the water but more often. That is to say; you can swim multiple a week instead of many hours in a day.

The greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, used to train every day for a week. Swimming more often helps to stop declining your skills. Also, you can swim at your peak strength even more often.

· Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Last but not least, good health is essential for any physical activity in the water. You need to maintain a good diet for a healthy body. Eat right, drink enough, and sleep well. By doing this, you can take yourself far.

Wrap Up!

There is no shortcut to success. Period! Your journey to improve your swimming speed is no exception. You need to work hard and stick to the goal. As you learned how to improve swimming speed, it should be easier for you now. So, go for it!

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