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Swim Like a Champion: Discover the 10 Secret Tips to Enhance Your Speed in the Pool

Swimming is a wonderfully soothing exercise that not only helps burn calories and fat efficiently but also provides a great opportunity for competitiveness. While the enjoyment of swimming is undeniable, there is always room for improvement in terms of speed. Even small adjustments can make a difference. By focusing on techniques such as refining body positioning to minimize drag, developing powerful kicks, and improving arm technique for stronger pulls, swimmers can enhance their performance in the water. Incorporating interval training, practicing bilateral breathing, and perfecting flip-turns and open-turns further contribute to increasing speed. With determination and dedication, anyone can become a faster swimmer and add a competitive edge to the joy of swimming. On that note, here’re the ten simple to help you swim faster:

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1
Decrease the Drag

How to swim faster | Credits Real World Physics Problems

First of all – What is a drag? Drag is your body’s resistance against water. And that obviously slows the swimmer down. So, it is important to focus on decreasing the drag and not just try to force your way through the water as soon as possible.

There are a few ways to reduce the drag (Unfortunately we do not have F1’s Drag Reduction System (DRS) in swimming). Two best ways to do so is improving the balance or swimming taller.

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2
Improving the balance

How to swim faster | Credits Enjoy Swimming

It is essential to keep as horizontal position as possible during swimming in order to improve your balance. The simple way to achieve that is by keeping your legs straight and making sure they do not bend at any time. By doing so, the amount of water that gets in your way reduces, thus reducing the drag.

The horizontal position is most important for freestyle swimming where the swimmer has to make sure he/she does not lift their heads too much. Raising the heads disrupts the swimmer’s balance, forcing them to kick harder to compensate for that.

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3
Swim Taller

How to swim like a pro, Image Source- MySwimPro

This one is a no brainer, just ask Michael Phelps. But what exactly does swimming taller mean? It’s not like we can increase our height.

No, we can’t. But what we can do is make sure our hands and legs are being efficiently used. To do so, it is crucial to keep your legs as stretched and as straight as possible during swimming. And it is vital to stretch your hands as further as possible before it goes in the water. This way, not only are you reducing the drag but also covering more distance in one act. Just think of it as taking long steps while walking.


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4
Kick Efficiently

It is important to keep your kicks shallow during swimming. While more forceful and deeper kicks will splash more water, making you believe you are speeding up, but that is nowhere near the truth. But in fact, more shallow and straighter the kicks the faster you go.

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5
Improving Propulsion

One thing every swimmer should know is that just 10% of his/her speed comes from legs. The rest 90% speed comes from the movement of the swimmer’s arms. So it is important to use your hands smartly in order to try and propel harder.

6
Use your sides

Make sure you use your back muscles and shoulder strength by rolling from side to side during swimming. Although it is not a straight-forward task to master, one can get there with proper training and practice. By using your sides, you can get more command on your speed and strength.


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7
Using Core Muscles

How to swim faster | Credits YouTube

The back, hip, abs abdomen and torso muscles make the core of our body. It is essential to use these muscles while you are rolling from side to side. Although these core muscles are difficult to use, keeping the body straight and putting more emphasis on them instead of just legs and arms will help you increase the speed.

8
Anchoring the arms

How to swim faster | Credits YouTube

Before you try to push your body through the water, it is important to make sure the hand and forearm are aligned and facing backwards. This will help you use your arms like a paddle through the water. It is also important to keeps elbows above your heads in order to properly anchor your arms.


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9
Spreading the fingers

Credits: Beginner Triathlete

Not the first thing that comes to your mind when you are swimming, right? But fingers do play a considerable role in swimming. Want to know how? Try this experiment. Keep your fingers together and try to force them on the water surface. Now do the same by spreading the fingers a little. Answer – Palms will quickly enter the water when your fingers are spread. This is because you are not resisting the water surface when your fingers are spread.

Using the same technique can help you exert 53% more force during swimming. This doesn’t give you a very massive advantage for swimming but certainly helps you in putting more power with little fewer efforts.

10
Neutral Head Position

Credits Live About

It is very crucial to keep your head centralized during swimming. This is important for two reasons – Swimming in the given direction and reducing the drag. The head should be such that you will be looking down and not up or forward. With the head down, the body keeps its horizontal shape, which helps the balance and thus the drag reduction.


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11
FAQ

How long does it take to swim faster?

The duration required to enhance swimming speed varies based on factors like skill level, training commitment, and practice frequency. Noticeable progress can occur in a matter of weeks or months, but consistent practice and technique refinement are essential for sustained long-term improvement.

Can swimming drills help me swim faster?

Indeed, swimming drills prove advantageous in boosting speed. By concentrating on particular facets of technique like body alignment, arm and leg motions, and breathing, drills aid in recognizing and rectifying weaknesses. Integrating drills into your training regimen consistently can result in improved speed and efficiency while swimming.

Should I focus more on technique or strength to swim faster?

Developing both technique and strength is vital for achieving faster swimming speeds. Prioritizing technique initially ensures proper form and minimizes resistance. As your technique progresses, gradually integrate strength training to boost power and propulsion. Balancing technique and strength training yields optimal results in terms of swimming speed.

Chinmay Pagar
Chinmay Pagar
I might be a Mechanical Engineer on the paper, but I was a Sports enthusiast since childhood, screaming at the TV watching cricket at the age of 4. Not much excites me other than sports unless it's free pizza. I can watch literally anything remotely related to sports; Cricket, Football, Tennis, F1, Hockey, Athletics, Chess, you name it! And I love to write too, so at the time I'm not watching sports, I'm writing about it. Or eating pizzas, of course.

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