Edited by Graciela Franchesca Rosario, Rebecca M., Eng, Olivia
You are doing the same stroke that the other swimmer is doing, but he is still winning. What is he doing differently that makes him so much faster than you? Let's take a look at what the differences might be.
- 1 Steps
- 2 To Speed Up Freestyle
- 3 Why Swimming Becomes Frustration
- 4 Drills for Faster Swimming
- 5 Swim Know-how Versus Swimming Hard
- 6 Reducing drag
- 7 Improve Propulsion
- 8 Swimming Workouts
- 9 Techniques in Freestyle
- 10 Steps for Fast Swimming
- 11 Fast swimming tips
- 12 Comments
- 1The body must be in the right position. Similar to lifting, the body should be positioned at the right trajectory. When you swim, your body must be horizontal. The more that the body is horizontal, the less energy required for you to drag your body weight through the water.Advertisement
- 2The position of the head. Not psychological aspects but the physical aspects of the head. If you have an incorrect head position, you may not be breathing properly while in the water. The correct position of the head is it is looking downward. The neck is relaxed the spine is in proper alignment, which is horizontal. The neck must not be angled every time that you breathe. To make your neck be at the right angle, you need to correctly position your head.Advertisement
- 3Make the lower part of your body higher when in the water. You can practice this when you perform a six kick switch drill. The drill includes six times of kick on the front, 6 times on the right, 6 times on the left and that your head must be at the right angle. It also trains you to improve your kicking ability.
- 4To train the right head position, perform center-mount snorkel. The head should be in the right position. This may be a minor issue, but a minor issue affects the whole swimming performance. The head should be on the water horizontally. The other part of the head should appear in a 25 degree angle. The hair should get wet, your face must be under the water, and be comfortable with breathing under the water. It is recommended to use goggles and cap. You can practice breathing by inhaling air while above the water and exhale through your nose under the water. This is also the breathing style of swimmers while swimming.
- 5Exhaling via the nose will prevent the water from getting inside the nose and make a constant flow of air going out. If this does not do any good, better to use nose clips. You are expected to use it since you are a beginner. Several swimmers that use snorkels also use nose clips.
- 6Allow gaps in your fingers to make an invisible webbing to your hand. This speeds up swimming, and provides the swimmer to thrust more force. The swimmer with a hand in a physical position like that of a fork makes 53 percent more energy of force. So open a gap between fingers and prevent making a your fingers close and create an oar-style. This will cause you to swim slowly. The spread fingers will allow to make a propel that has more force. The scientific explanation for this is a solid matter that passes through a liquid, the fluid that has been in contact with the solid surface will get attached and be dragged. The correct spacing in between the fingers is 20 to 40 percent measurement of the diameter of the finger. With this gap in the finger, it will let the swimmers lift their body out of the water more efficiently. It creates an improved propulsion. You are considered an intermediate swimmer if you have a speed range that you finish swimming a 100 m in 4 minutes.
To Speed Up Freestyle
- 1When you perform freestyle, the feet must be raised above the water for only a little bit. Don't bend the knees.Advertisement
- 2When you returning the arm to the water, first do on to the pinky side but don't make a karate chop.
- 3Pull the water towards you and that the wrist must be straight.
- 4While your hand pull back begin to raise the other hand. As you pull the arm back your body must glide.
- 5Make a flip turn. When you do this you change your swimming direction without hitting the head on the wall. And you can push your body against the wall using your feet to complete the flip.
- 6When you perform a flip-turn, depend your body on a shoulder that you mostly use. The side of the hand that you use to write must be the side that you should lean on. This will make you in a sideways position.
- 7Do not shorten the strokes. And do gliding.
Why Swimming Becomes Frustration
- 1There are drills that speeds up swimming. One of the reasons why swimming in a triathlon is a frustration is because of the lack of coaches for swimming. The swimmers do not know the mechanical process or tips on how to engage with faster swimming. They think that the more energize the person is the more robust he is the reason that he gets faster in swimming. But the fact is there are techniques to make a fast swimming performance.
Drills for Faster Swimming
- 1You feel that the end of the pool is unreachable, and get tired before you get to the end. At the middle or 3rd of the swimming line you stop because you feel you're getting nowhere. To fix this issue, try to do these drills.
- 1Pulling underwater is an important part of freestyle to make a good forward thrust or momentum. At the beginning the swimmers do a right freestyle stroke, but eventually as the arms get tired the triceps starts to tighten and pulling back of the arm becomes shortened. This fatigue urges you to pull out your elbow from the water at an immediate pacing. So this lets you take less water as you are pulling underwater. And the quantity of stroke increases. And this makes your strokes choppy and hurried. The longer that you keep your elbow underwater and reducing the number of strokes will save you more energy and endurance to keep up with the swimming performance.
- 2Thumb-to-thigh drill is great practice to train your pulling of arm while underwater. To procedure goes like this, first stand straight, feet 4 to 6 inches away. Relax your arms at your side. Mark in your mind the alignment of your thumbs with your thigh. While doing freestyle stroke, drag the thumbs on this area while doing the pull-through underwater. This is to keep your arms extend. This may be tiresome at first but through practice you will improve on this drill. And even you are out of the water it is recommended to train your triceps in workouts.
Touch and Go Drill (Catch-up Stroke)
- 1This is to fix the style of swimmers wherein they create short strokes. They bring back the arms to water just on the side or in front of the head. The output is choppy, short arm strokes and makes a number of strokes. This also makes the swimmers grab less water in the pull-through underwater. The less water that he grabs the less distance he covers. So the technique is to put your arms beyond your head. This will make you grab more water. A short stroke also makes a waddle or fishtail. It disrupts the swimming momentum. The body follows the direction where the arms point instead of the straight direction. Then the other arm also creates opposing direction, that will make a fishtail direction. So reach beyond your head so that the arms goes straight and that the whole body go forward in a straight direction. If thumb-to-thigh drill works to pull-through underwater, Touch and Go drill will work on the out-of-water part of freestyle swimming. The drill trains the arm to reach out beyond the head, and make a good length of the spreading of arms. And by this the arms can get more water.
- 2Touch and Go drill also depends on the kicking also. So you may use fins. To do this drill, extend your arms in front of you. You should raise the other arm and when it reaches recovery position extend the other arm. The arm must be extended until the other arm touches the hand in front. Breathe to the side wherein you are comfortable.
- 1From the name itself you swim with your fist closed. You must not cheat that you do not completely close your fist. The fist should be slightly open similar to a karate chop. At first you feel you don't have direction when you are doing this but as you go on you will feel a good result for this. This emphasizes that the arms are similar to a paddle. Your hands create the movement of the body, pulling the water, and the arm supports. The drill puts significance on the sidearm. So close your fist to train your side arms.
Balance and Rotation Drill
- 1There are many balance and rotation drill out there this is just one among them. This drill is done when you are comfortable with the previous drills. This is a bit complicated drill. If you are an expert swimmer this drill is also helpful.
- 2There must be shoulder rotation. This widens the stroke and helps you be easier in breathing. The drill also includes a balance while you exert power in your arms while you are underwater. This drill will also determine which side of your arm is weak and which is strong. The procedure is that:
- 3You should swim using your left arm and breath on the left side. Your right arm is at your side and not in front of you.
- 4You should swim using your left arm and breathe on the right side. Right arm is at your side and not in your front.
- 5You should swim using right arm and breath on the left side. Left arm at your side and not in your front.
Swim Know-how Versus Swimming Hard
- 1Know the techniques on how to swim fast and not swim hard to learn the fast swimming way. There are two aspects to learn enable for you to swim fast. These two are:
- Reduce the drag in the water.
- Speed up the propulsion in water.
- 1Water is denser than air. The drag under water increases as the square of speed increases. So this means there is a limit in which you make force to be fast in water. Getting drag in the water slows you down, so you must know how to handle with it. You know the physics of it. And that you may swim faster with less effort. Minimizing the drag is rather a skill than force.
Principle 1: improve balance
- 1Keep your body in a horizontal position. By this way you disrupt the molecules of water that is in your way. Molecules that is dragging you. When you look ahead or raise your head to breathe, you let your legs and hips go down and you become out of balance. When you are in this situation you try to kick hard to make your legs go high. So energy is consumed.
Principle 2: swim tall
- 1The idea behind this swim tall, is extending your arms that form a tapered edge. A tapered edge crossing the water produces less turbulence than a compact short object. The principle is used by naval engineers. So once your arm passed through the head you must put it fast in a recovery position where you meet your hand together in front of you. Do this before your body is moving downward.
Principle 3: Effective kicks
- 1The kick affects 10 percent of the propulsion, and the stroke of the arm affects the rest. So what you will do with your kick is that you must put it low below your body or break the surface of the water.
- 1While you minimize your drag in the water work on improving the propulsion. This does not require building larger muscles but learning the stroke techniques.
Principle 4: swim by moving more on your sides
- 1You have to roll more on your sides with every arm stroke. This allows to make the most out of your shoulder muscles and huge back muscles. You may not get used to floating with your side at first so do practice on this.
Principle 5: use your core
- 1This is to make use of your torso muscles, hip, and huge back as you roll from side to side. This provides you more force to your stroke. This is similar to a baseball where the pitcher throws a ball and his body is twisted, hips make a rotation going forward, engaging the arm, shoulder, hand and do acceleration at every step. As involve the parts of your body, you get to swim faster and do not become tired easily. As the whole body supports the force and energy exerted in the swimming.
Principle 6: anchor your arms
- 1Before you make a propulsion using your arms, your forearms and hands must be facing backward and aligned. And then you will be able to move the arms like a huge boat paddle. The elbow must be above the hand.
- 110 to 15 percent warm ups (4x100 with 20 seconds of rest)
- 210 to 20 percent kicking and drills (1 kick for every fifteen seconds rest)
- 3Optional extra drills
- 440 to 70 percent main sets
- 555 to 10% cool down
Techniques in Freestyle
- 1Style of Breathing. Hum the air out if the head is under the water. Open your mouth. Do not hold your breath.
- 2Body and head position. Slightly angle your head looking forward. Do not strain the neck and don't bury the head or tuck the chin.
- 3Shoulder rotation. You don't have to rotate much your shoulders.
- 4Hand position. Make a hand position where you get your support. Position your hand, thumbs up position and pinky up.
- 5Have a break. Do not exhaust yourself have a break to prepare your body for another force. After you enter your arms in the water, extend it forward and have a little break.
- 6Pulling strategy. Pull water like you are paddling.
- 7Catch the water. Use high elbow catch, this procedure is where your fingertips are pointing towards the floor of the pool then pull the water.
- 8Power at the front. The technique is to extend the arms at its maximum and pull at short distance. Do it at the front of your stroke and not at the end of the hips. At the start, make a strong force. And let your next stroke reach for the arms in front.
- 9Release and relax. Before the hands returns to the position near your hip put the other arm first in front. Do it naturally, even round, straight or bent elbow is acceptable.
- 10Kicking style. Position your toes facing inward. Make small and quick kicks.
Steps for Fast Swimming
- 1The body must be horizontally straight.
- 2You must be looking at the side, bottom or nearly up but not forward. If you will look up at 90 degrees your legs will go down and lose the parallel position of the body in the water.
- 3The top of the head must be pointed towards your desired destination.
- 4Look backwards rather than downward, and maintain your aligned position.
- 1You must catch water so you could transfer the power of the muscle from the body towards the water.
- 2If you hold water just in your arm you will lose hold on the water, so use your whole forearm and hand to paddle your body.
- 3Position your elbow facing the sky or facing on the side. And your fingertips facing the floor of the pool.
- 1You press the water using your biggest muscles. That is your muscles at the back and chest and not your shoulders or arms.
- 2You should sense a pocket form in the armpit when you make a force in the water.
- 3The large muscle pull the arms going forward.
- 1To make the most out of the position, grab and press, you rotate your body.
- 2The body must rotate on an axis same with the axis of the movement of the head through the back, neck and legs.
- 3While the arm grabs water, the body should rotate.
- 4The body must rotate in unison. The shoulder and hips must rotate. The shoulders and hips must align with each other. Use the core muscle to coordinate the shoulders and hips.
- 5After you grabbed the water, press it, then rotate the body.
Fast swimming tips
- 1Kick with less force, less effort and less stroke. Focus more on the hip and shoulder rotation. This will let your body refrain from the movement of the feet making fishtail direction that slows down the speed.
- 2Practice swimming. Swim for at least 3 times a week, 4 or 5 times a week are preferable. 3 thirty minute practice is better rather than 2 forty-five minute practice a week.
- 3When you workout, do not give much force at the start till the end. It is better to begin with a slow pace, get a warm up, and prepare the body for drill. To make effective workout, mix slow and moderate pace with fast pace, so you won't get exhausted easily. For example, do a warm up, then swim at a fast pace and rest afterwards and repeat. Practice this for 3 to 4 weeks.
- 4Perform swimming drills. Do not stick on one technique, there are many techniques out there.
- 5Do a variety of breathing style. Try to test your breathing by breathing more or less. Or do bi-lateral breathing wherein you breath on your sides to assist you make a balance stroke. Other swimmers breath with each stroke, others lesser times, and some once on every pool.
- 6Use your thumbs or middle finger facing the destination you like to make swimming faster.