How to swim faster?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 27, 2011 6:06 AM GMT
    First of all, some background about me:

    I learned how to swim last year when i was 26 (very late, i know). I absolutely love it.

    Took a beginner's class to learn front crawl, back crawl and breaststrokes, a intermediate class to improve my strokes which didn't help at all and a fitness swim class to improve my endurance and technique which helps quite bit.

    I can maintain a 1 min per 50 m with my front crawl for 500 m swimming comfortably. My breaststrokes suck though, slow and tiresome.

    Now, here is my questions:

    1. what can i do to further improve my front crawl? I was told by my coach that i have a pretty good streamline. But I guess I have two major problems: lack of muscles and can't keep my lower body floating high (faster with a pull buoy). So what can I do to gain more muscle strength? Any specific dryland or in-water workouts? what can i do to keep my lower body floating high?

    2. About my breaststrokes: i sink too deep in the water when i am in the gliding phase. how can i avoid that? My coach told me to try to reach further, but didn't really help.

    3. Also about my breaststrokes: When I do my whip kick, how can i do it in a more horizontal position? Now it seems like i have a 45 degree angle when i am kicking.

    4. Anyone who likes to swim with me? I am not fast, but trying my best to swim faster. icon_smile.gif
  • charley123

    Posts: 5

    Jul 29, 2011 2:14 PM GMT
    Hey man

    dont know whether this will help:

    1 Front crawl: try using a matt between your legs (hold it with your knees) and that way you will not sink and will use your arms more. Once breathing 1/1 or 1/3 or 1/5 is natural - try without the matt.

    2 Again- try with the matt- once technique is there you can start concentrating on your arms and breathing.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 29, 2011 2:17 PM GMT
    Go to a high end gym and have your stroke video taped and analyzed by a professional.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 29, 2011 2:31 PM GMT
    Ooh I love swimming threads!

    1. Sounds to me you need to work on kicking more. Try using a six beat kick (six kicks per cycle or 3 per stroke). This should help elevate your lower body. Remember kick from the hips not the knees. As far as drylands, swimming relies so heavily on the core, so I would start there. The stronger your abs, obliques and lower/middle back the better.

    2. It sounds like you are gliding too long. Easy fix, speed up your tempo.

    3. Breaststroke is the most inefficient stroke. The kick is not very synergistic, but is 80 percent of your power. Work on timing too. You should begin the kick when you are thrusting your arms forward.

    I'll send you a description of each of the four strokes. It's designed toward the kids I coach but could help you out with some technique issues.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 29, 2011 6:42 PM GMT
    press your chest down more into the water. this will make your legs rise, no matter how heavy they are. Then you will become streamlined, which is FAR more important than any thing else.

    What I have told you works. Will you do it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 30, 2011 12:55 AM GMT
    A lot of great advice... I am going to go lap swimming this evening,
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 30, 2011 1:02 AM GMT
    swmrh911 saidOoh I love swimming threads!

    1. Sounds to me you need to work on kicking more. Try using a six beat kick (six kicks per cycle or 3 per stroke). This should help elevate your lower body. Remember kick from the hips not the knees. As far as drylands, swimming relies so heavily on the core, so I would start there. The stronger your abs, obliques and lower/middle back the better.

    2. It sounds like you are gliding too long. Easy fix, speed up your tempo.

    3. Breaststroke is the most inefficient stroke. The kick is not very synergistic, but is 80 percent of your power. Work on timing too. You should begin the kick when you are thrusting your arms forward.

    I'll send you a description of each of the four strokes. It's designed toward the kids I coach but could help you out with some technique issues.


    I second all of this. Also, what Lostboy said about streamline and balance is key. Front crawl is about 1) balance / posture / streamline, then 2) kicking to maintain balance and using your core to connect your lower and upper body, THEN 3) arms to anchor your stroke. Swim from your body, not from your arms.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 30, 2011 1:23 AM GMT
    Just swim more. You've only been swimming for a year. The speed will come.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 2:00 AM GMT
    charley123 saidHey man

    dont know whether this will help:

    1 Front crawl: try using a matt between your legs (hold it with your knees) and that way you will not sink and will use your arms more. Once breathing 1/1 or 1/3 or 1/5 is natural - try without the matt.

    2 Again- try with the matt- once technique is there you can start concentrating on your arms and breathing.




    Thanks for the advice.
    A matt? can you be more specific? I tried pull buoys and flutter board before. They do make me float higher in the water and consequently I swim faster. But after i remove them, i found myself still sinking quite bit. I am not sure if it is correct. But I also thought using a pull buoy between your legs is to try to isolate your legs to focus more on other part of swimming, like arms or breathing. So How does it actually improve my body position in the water?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 2:05 AM GMT
    Lostboy saidpress your chest down more into the water. this will make your legs rise, no matter how heavy they are. Then you will become streamlined, which is FAR more important than any thing else.

    What I have told you works. Will you do it?


    I did try this with my breaststrokes. It helped with my angle problem. But i found my whole body sinking quite deep in the water, instead of just my legs. Any ideas?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 2:11 AM GMT
    swmrh911 saidOoh I love swimming threads!

    1. Sounds to me you need to work on kicking more. Try using a six beat kick (six kicks per cycle or 3 per stroke). This should help elevate your lower body. Remember kick from the hips not the knees. As far as drylands, swimming relies so heavily on the core, so I would start there. The stronger your abs, obliques and lower/middle back the better.

    2. It sounds like you are gliding too long. Easy fix, speed up your tempo.

    3. Breaststroke is the most inefficient stroke. The kick is not very synergistic, but is 80 percent of your power. Work on timing too. You should begin the kick when you are thrusting your arms forward.

    I'll send you a description of each of the four strokes. It's designed toward the kids I coach but could help you out with some technique issues.


    Thanks a lot man. I really appreciate it. I do need to work on my kicks. But it is so tiring though. If I am swimming 100 m, I can maintain the first 50m with relatively good forms, but i usually find myself out of breath for the last 50m. I guess I need to improve my strength too. icon_smile.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 31, 2011 2:15 AM GMT
    citpolo said
    swmrh911 saidOoh I love swimming threads!

    1. Sounds to me you need to work on kicking more. Try using a six beat kick (six kicks per cycle or 3 per stroke). This should help elevate your lower body. Remember kick from the hips not the knees. As far as drylands, swimming relies so heavily on the core, so I would start there. The stronger your abs, obliques and lower/middle back the better.

    2. It sounds like you are gliding too long. Easy fix, speed up your tempo.

    3. Breaststroke is the most inefficient stroke. The kick is not very synergistic, but is 80 percent of your power. Work on timing too. You should begin the kick when you are thrusting your arms forward.

    I'll send you a description of each of the four strokes. It's designed toward the kids I coach but could help you out with some technique issues.


    I second all of this. Also, what Lostboy said about streamline and balance is key. Front crawl is about 1) balance / posture / streamline, then 2) kicking to maintain balance and using your core to connect your lower and upper body, THEN 3) arms to anchor your stroke. Swim from your body, not from your arms.

    Thanks, man. Swim from my body? I guess once I improved my balance/posture/streamline, I can truly understand what it means. It is like tennis. When I first learnt it, I only know to use my arms. Once I got better, I know how to use my whole body. icon_smile.gif
  • Plazma1

    Posts: 30

    Sep 09, 2011 7:37 PM GMT
    Alot of skinny guys face the same problem you are having.

    - Ask a woman to stay still and float in the water and she will end up lying horizontally on the water.
    - Ask a fit guy to float and (since he has a different center of balance due to fat distribution) he will likely end up near vertical with his head just under the water.

    You are not the only person who experiences this.

    The best tip that I give to men who experience this is remember to keep your head and neck down with your eyes gazing to the floor or even towards your chest. This will prop your bum up a little as you swim. This will apply to all your strokes.

    I have a similar problem as you do and it is harder to maintain a glide in the breaststroke because of this, but remember to keep your head down and bum up. If you look closely you will notice that alot of male swimmers do more of a dive and glide than women do.

    Keep swimming and you'll find what works comfortably for you. And like when working out, if you find yourself getting tired and your form is getting flawed take a breather. It is worse to keep at it with bad form than it is to push yourself.