Even if you aren’t set on outperforming swimming icon Michael Phelps, most competitive swimmers strive to swim just a little bit faster each race.
Making even just small tweaks to your technique can dramatically improve your performance. You don’t always see immediate improvement though, so you have to be mentally tough throughout the process.
For a few tips on how to swim faster, check out our guide below.
Focus on Technique
You might think there are some deep secrets to swimming faster, but for the most part, it is simple: technique is everything. You can put your effort and all your energy into a swim, but if you have poor technique, you are wasting energy.
The key is to swim smarter, not harder. Make sure you practice hard, but never compromise your technique. If you feel your technique is not able to be maintained during your training, be sure to mention it to your coach.
One of the first things you can focus on while working on your technique is decreasing your drag.
Water is signficantly denser than air, so decreasing drag as much as possible is crucial. It takes patience to develop skill to reduce your overall drag, so be prepared for a lot of practice.
Step one should focus on improving your balance. This means being able to stay flat horizontal easily in the water. Doing this means you displace less water, leading to increased speeds.
A good tip is to also focus on “swimming taller.” Long body shapes will disrupt the water less than compact body shape.
The second largest part of improving your technique is propulsion. Improving this doesn’t mean building up power in and of itself, but functional power that can drive you forward through the water
One tip is to roll more with each stroke. The more you’re able to rotate, the more you’ll be able to engage different muscle groups to effectively move through the pool.
Swimming faster can also be achieved by engaging your core more. Improving your core strength will allow you to make the most of the energy your arms provide.
Solicit Feedback on How to Swim Faster
Unless you film yourself while in the pool, it can be difficult to know how you are actually progressing with your technique and form.
Getting a coach or a swimming friend to watch your strokes will give you an objective eye to gauge your progress. Sometimes we might feel like we aren’t making progress because we judge ourselves too much.
A second opinion may put into perspective all the hard work that has been done. There is always something we can learn from our swimming peers as well.
Swimming Tips for All
No matter where you are at with your swimming, following these tips will give you a good idea of how to swim faster. Remember to take it one step at a time, and focus on consistency with your effort over the long run!