It’s a simple, well known fact to all aquatic athletes: no matter how fast you swim, you’re always striving to swim faster. If you’re trying to rev up your lap speed or have hit a plateau while training, take a look at the simple tips below and shave a few seconds off your time.
4 Key Things You Can Do To Swim Faster
#1 Think Sleek!
Just as a race car must be streamline and wind resistant to perform at its peak during a high speed race, your body needs to be sleek and drag-free in order for you to cut through the water with ease. The number one thing you can do to increase your speed in the water is to streamline your body for higher levels of efficiency. Because your head leads the way, good head positioning helps cut down on drag and ensures that the rest of your body aligns into perfect positioning. Make sure that your head isn’t too high or too low, and ensure that you aren’t straining upward to take a breath. Swimmer’s snorkels are an excellent way to double check head alignment while training.
#2 Control Your Kick
Although it sounds contrary to a swimmers’ common sense, an inefficient kick can actually slow you down in the water. Kicking is often one of the weakest aspects of a swimmer’s stroke and a bad kick will deplete your energy fast. One of the easiest things you can do to maximize your kick’s efficiency, when swimming with the flutter kick, is to keep your legs close together. Visualize yourself swimming through a narrow passage way and try to make each kick as compact and effective as possible. This will help increase your speed and minimize the amount of energy wasted.
#3 W.P.S. (Water Per Stroke)
Swimming faster all comes down to using the water’s physical properties to your advantage. The more water you’re able to move during your stroke, the faster you’ll cut through the water. A good way to displace more water without creating additional drag is to allow your body to work in a rhythmic harmony with your stroke. First, be sure to reach as far forward during the catch portion of your stroke and use an hourglass motion to pull when bringing your arms down towards your body. This will help scoop and move as much water as possible. While your arms are helping your W.P.S., your body should also be rotating from side to side on an even cadence. This rotation will help you reach further and therefore allow your upper body to displace more water.
#4 Check Your Core
While you may already know that it takes a stronger upper body and energetic legs to propel you through the water, you might be surprised how large a role your core plays during your sessions in the pool. A strong core will allow your arms to apply more force during your stroke. And, your strong, purposeful abs tire less quickly than other muscles in your body. Having a solid core will allow you to swim faster, for longer periods of time. So next time you hit the weights, don’t forget to work you core!
Try adding in at least one of these tips into your next swim session. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, combine all four to give your stroke technique a real overhaul. In no time at all, you’ll be noticing a marked improvement in your swimming efficiency and hopefully a noticeable speed increase on both training and race days.