20 Tips to Swim Faster

20 Tips to Swim Faster
Have you encountered a performance plateau in your swimming progress, struggling to boost your speed? Swimming is not just about endurance; it’s also about technique, strength, and strategy. Are you looking for new ideas to make your swimming training more effective? In this article we collected the 20 best tips to help you swim faster.
1. High-Intensity Training (HIT)

Even if you primarily train for longer swimming distances, consider dedicating a portion of your training time to high-intensity anaerobic workouts. Short sprints of 25 - 50 meters with maximum effort followed by adequate recovery time can boost your overall performance. Read our article 5 workouts to swim faster for specific workout ideas.

2. Strength Training

Incorporate strength-building exercises into your routine. Use paddles during swim workouts to engage more muscle groups. Additionally, land exercises like push-ups and pull-ups can help build upper body strength, which is crucial for powerful strokes.

3. Improve Your Aerobic Fitness

Focus on intervals of 100 - 200 meters at a speed close to your Critical Swim Speed (CSS). Keep breaks short (less than 20 seconds) to enhance your aerobic capacity. Consistent aerobic fitness contributes significantly to faster swim times. Use the workout focus Endurance in the Swim Coach App to improve on your aerobic fitness.

4. Flip Turns

Master the art of flip turns. As you approach the wall, increase your speed and execute an explosive flip turn. Proper technique can save precious seconds during races.

5. Snorkel Training

Utilize a snorkel during practice sessions. This allows you to concentrate on perfecting your head position, arm and leg movements, and body rotation without the interruption of breathing. A stable head position leads to better hydrodynamics.

6. Streamline Discipline

Practice maintaining a tight streamline off every push and dive. Imagine your body passing through the eye of a needle while swimming to reduce drag and water resistance.

7. Bilateral Breathing

Practice bilateral breathing (alternating sides) to maintain a balanced swimming style. During competitions, consider two or three stroke breathing for efficiency. In sprint distances (50 - 100 meters), try to breathe as little as possible to maintain a streamlined body position.

8. Workout Logs

Maintain a detailed workout log. Tracking your progress, staying accountable, and planning future training sessions effectively are essential for improvement. If you use a Garmin® smartwatch or the Apple Watch®, the Swim Coach App automatically tracks your swimming performance and delivers useful analytics.

9. Pacing Strategy

Develop a pacing strategy that allows you to maintain a strong and consistent speed throughout your planned distance. Avoid starting too fast and risking early fatigue. Find a rhythm that works for you.

10. Visual Learning

Study videos of professional swimmers to internalize efficient swimming techniques. Observing their strokes, body position, and turns can motivate you and provide valuable insights.

11. Start/Dive Practice

Work on your reaction time and explosive start. Incorporate land exercises like squat jumps to enhance your jump off the block. Focus on the immersion phase to maintain momentum as you enter the water.

12. Technique Drills

Regularly practice technical drills to refine your form. Try the Superman Drill, Towfloat Drill, and one-arm swimming. These drills improve water position, arm technique, and overall efficiency in the water. The Swim Coach App offers many technical exercises to keep your workouts interesting.

13. Core Conditioning

Strengthen your core with exercises like planks, side planks, and rollouts. Aim for three 15-minute sessions per week to improve balance, stability, and stroke efficiency.

14. Resisted Swimming

Use tools like swim parachutes during short, power-focused efforts. This helps build strength and maintains efficient stroke mechanics.

15. Technical Video Analysis

Record your swimming sessions and analyze the footage. Pinpoint areas for improvement by visually assessing your technique. Correcting form is crucial for optimal performance.

16. Kick Efficiency

For sprint distances, focus on developing a strong kick. Use kickboards and fins during practice to support overall propulsion. In longer distances, use the kick for body stability rather than propulsion.

17. Flexibility Training

Increase flexibility through regular stretching routines. Pay attention to shoulders, hips, and ankles—critical areas for an efficient swimming stroke.

18. Stroke Rate

Integrate exercises that work on achieving a higher stroke rate during your training sessions. A faster stroke rate can lead to improved speed.

19. Breathing Technique

Keep the inhalation phase as short as possible, followed by a strong exhalation phase. Efficient breathing contributes to better oxygen utilization.

20. Pull Phase

Focus on a strong pull phase that extends until you reach your thighs. Proper arm movement is essential for effective propulsion.

Creating a swim workout plan with the Swim Coach App

The Swim Coach App helps you with setting up an effective training plan to enhance your speed. When creating a new training plan you can define various parameters to get a plan tailored to your individual needs. To see improvements we recommend to swim at least 4 times per week with a total distance of 8 km or more per week, e.g. 4 workouts with 2000 m per week. The training focus should be a mix of endurance, speed, strength and technique. Instead of technique you can also add an allround session to add even more variety to your swimming training. For each workout focus, the Swim Coach algorithm adds a dedicated training session to your plan and then cycles through them.

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The Swim Coach app creates varied and effective swim workouts for you.

Instead of setting up your own swim workout plan, you can also choose the Competition Training option which offers many different options from 50 Meter Sprint to Long Distance Triathlon.

Helpful resources to train more effectively and swim faster

Are you looking for an app to help keep your motivation to swim high? Download the Swim Coach App now. More other articles on swimming training:

How to swim faster 50 meter freestyle →
How to swim faster 100 meter freestyle →
How to swim faster 200 meter freestyle →
How to swim faster 400 meter freestyle →
How to swim faster in a Sprint Triathlon →
How to swim faster in an Olympic Triathlon →
Take Your Swim Workouts to the Next Level with a combination of the Swim Coach App and a Garmin® Smartwatch →
Swim Coach App and Apple Watch® - Your Ultimate Swim Training Power Duo →

Are you looking for an app that helps you with improving your swimming technique with varied and effective trainings?

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