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How Do I Swim Faster?

Raising the head while swimming creates more drag.
To gain extra speed when swimming underwater, kick off of the side of the pool.
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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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If you’re a swimmer and want to improve your speed then there are a number of things you can try. Muscle strength is a big part of swimming speed — the more powerful a muscle is the better it will be at propelling the body through water. Aside from increasing muscle strength and power you should also consider looking at developing the most effective and efficient stroke. This can be achieved by training the body to keep the correct form while traveling at faster speed. Stretching is also a major part of learning to swim faster as more flexible muscles are more able to perform at peak levels.

Learning to swim faster is not generally something that can be achieved overnight. Like many fitness and sporting goals, swimming faster requires practice. Although many amateur swimmers can perform efficient strokes at low speed some tend to lose form and control when swimming faster. For this reason if you want to swim faster then it’s essential to practice your strokes at high speed regularly in order to gain control.

Practicing swimming faster will also help to build the muscles, which are required. Although it is possible to train specific muscles in a gym situation it’s nearly always more effective to train them while performing the activity. It’s important to keep in mind that speed training is often specific to a particular stroke be it backstroke, front crawl or butterfly.

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Head position is something that can greatly affect your ability to swim faster. This isn’t just because the head can create extra water drag but also because its position has an effect on the rest of the body. For example, if you look up while swimming forward then your hips will be pushed downwards. On the other hand, if you look down while swimming your hips will be in a more neutral position.

The best head position for swimming is dependent on a number of factors including the distance of the swim and the strength of the kick. For example, someone with strong legs may see a small gain in speed by raising the head as it allows for a stronger kick. The drawback is this creates a stronger drag. Generally, most people will find that they can swim faster with the head lower. Which will work best for you is difficult to tell without practice which is why trying different techniques is essential.

The type of swimsuit you wear is also important. Creating drag during training swims will increase strength and speed. Many swimmers will wear a second suit on top of the first that has cuts in the fabric that create more resistance. Once these are removed, the swimming becomes easier. High-tech swim suits are designed to help improve swim speed too. When you are looking to cut ever possible fraction of a second from a swim time, other measures such as shaving off all body hair and/or wearing swim caps also can help someone swim faster.

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Sporkasia
Post 3

Some beginner swimmers tend to cross their feet when they are kicking. This is definitely not the most efficient method of propelling yourself forward, and this method will slow your speed. A good way to break this habit is to swim with fins. The fins will help increase ankle strength and flexibility and ultimately this may help you swim faster.

Feryll
Post 2

When you spend time in the pool swimming, the exercise breaks down your muscles. This is the same thing that happens when you go to the gym and life weights. Because you are breaking down the muscles, after you get out of the pool. you need to eat as soon as possible.

You need to replenish your body and more specifically you need to feed your muscles, the same muscles you need to build to increase your swimming speed. What your muscles need most is protein, so load up on your favorite protein loaded foods after swimming.

In the long run, this will help you to swim faster by building the muscles that you use for swimming.

Animandel
Post 1

When my kids see swimming competitions on TV, they immediately run to the pool and jump in the water. They start racing one another from one end of the pool to the other. They are by no means expert swimmers, but they have taken several classes at the YMCA.

When they ask how they can swim fast like the swimmers they see on TV, their swim instructor tells them that while they are young, the best thing they can do is to spend as much time as possible in the pool swimming. Their muscles are developing and constant swimming will build the muscles they need to increase their speed in the water as they mature.

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