How to Swim Faster: Learn from These Tips and Tricks


For a lot of swimmers, there is one thing that they constantly want to improve – speed. This is especially true amongst competitive swimmers. They often strive to break their previous records to be the fastest that they can be.

If you want to learn how to swim faster, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from the valuable insights we will be sharing. You need to master the right techniques while also keeping your body in shape. Perhaps, the most important is to consistently practice, making it possible to unleash the best in you.

Master the Kick

If your style of choice is breaststroke, one of the most important is for you to master the kick. Doing this correctly will make you spend your energy wisely. This will also minimize the chances of suffering from an injury, specifically knee or leg pain. The pleasure gained from swimming can also be diminished when you have the wrong kick. With this, below are the simple steps you need to follow to do the breaststroke right and make sure that you will be moving swiftly.

  • Pull the legs towards the pelvis. When you pull the feet, make sure to take control of the movement. The heel should stay connected and the knees should be close to each other. Ideally, the distance should not be more than 30 centimeters. Otherwise, there can be resistance in the water, and this can slow you down. The hips should remain straight.
  • Once your feet are already approaching the pelvis, drop the hip a bit and the knees, which will make you ready for the start of the kick.
  • Once the legs are up, turn your feet to the side. If it is not turned enough to the side, the resulting kick will be weaker and will not propel you with enough speed.
  • To end the kick, you must connect your feet. This will help you to glide better and improve speed.
  • After finishing the kick, raise your pelvis. 

For a more detailed guide on how you can master the breaststroke technique for you to swim faster, watch the short video below.

Cut Down the Drag

Drag is one of the things that could slow you down when you are swimming. This is caused by texture on the surface while moving in water. Your goal is to swim with the least amount of drag as much as possible, which will also allow you to move faster. This will lessen the resistance of the body as you proceed to swim.

  • Pay attention to what you are wearing when you swim. Choose one that is tighter than your actual size as it will eventually loosen. When the fit and the size is right, there will be lesser resistance as you swim. Using a swim cap will also help.
  • When you are in the water, keep your body in a straight position. The head should also be aligned to your spine.
  • Swimming taller is another effective way by which you can decrease drag. Essentially, what this means is that if you swim taller, you will be creating lesser turbulence. To swim taller, you need to have your recovering arm entered after passing through your head.

Improve your Propulsion

After working on your drag, the next thing that requires your attention is the propulsion, which will also significantly impact your speed. Your hands and your feet will greatly affect your propulsion in the water. It should be moving backward so that you can create propulsion.

  • As it has been mentioned earlier when we talked about the right technique for kicking, you have to swim more on your sides with every arm stroke that you make. This will allow a better engagement of the large muscles at your back and will put your shoulder muscles to the work.
  • You should also learn how to use your core efficiently for the improvement of propulsion. While you are rolling from side to side, make sure to work your muscles in the torso, hip, and back.
  • It is also important that you practice proper anchoring of the arms. The alignment of the arms and forearms is critical before the application of propulsive force. They should also face backward. This will help to easily move the arm backward like paddling.

Change your Diet

While swimming faster is largely attributed to technique, your diet is also a crucial component. You need to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal to provide the fuel that your body needs to move faster when in the water. You need foods that will help in the development of your muscles to power your body when swimming.

Change your Diet


  • Before you swim, load up with foods that are rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Some of the best to eat include chicken, beans, pasta, and eggs. Ideally, you should eat two to three hours before you start swimming.
  • Cut down on foods that are nutritionally empty. You should also avoid foods with high-fat content. They will just require extra work for the digestive system without delivering real benefits when swimming.
  • Post-training meals are the most important. This will replenish the carbs you have lost and will also prepare you for the next session. What you will eat will depend on how intense the previous swimming session was.
  • Staying hydrated is also important to be faster when swimming. Be sure to stay hydrated before and after. Water will be enough. For more intense training sessions, especially for competitive swimming, sports drinks will come in handy.

Other Things to Do

Aside from those that have been mentioned above, below are other things that are equally promising for those who are curious about how to swim faster:

  • Pay attention to the starts and push-offs. At this point, you must be able to already maximize acceleration so that you will be able to move swiftly. You must exert as much effort as possible to propel the body quicker.
  • Proper breathing techniques will also be important. Otherwise, you can suffer from muscle imbalance, and this can result in poor performance.
  • Improve your flexibility. This is possible through having regular exercise. Your hips, ankles, hamstrings, shoulders, and pecs are some of the most important parts of the body that you should be working on for improved speed. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to swim faster without the need to exert too much effort and while minimizing the likelihood of suffering from body aches.

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