How to Learn Swimming Techniques

How to Learn Swimming Techniques
Swimming can be a difficult sport to master; at times even experienced swimmers feels like they can't improve any further. Much of swimming speed is due to proper technique, not fitness alone. There are many drills you can add to your swim workout to help you improve on and learn new swimming techniques and strokes. Over time these drills will increase your fitness and thus lower your times, making your time in the water more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

Drills for a Faster Freestyle

Things You’ll Need:
  • Swimsuit Goggles
  • Swimsuit
  • Goggles
Step 1
The catch-up drill encourages a long and smooth stroke. In the catch-up drill, you do not start the next stroke until the stroking arm meets the gliding arm overhead.
Step 2
The zipper drill encourages relaxed arms and high elbows. As you do the zipper drill, you pretend to zip up a zipper as your arm recovers over the water, keeping your elbow high.
Step 3
The fist drill teaches efficient arm stroke. Swim as you normally would but ball up your hands into fists. Without having your hands as paddles, you must use your entire arm to create propulsion.
Step 4
Freestyle kicking drills improve your kicking power and speed, making you go faster. You can use a kickboard or just glide with your arms outstretched in a diving position, turning your head to breathe when needed.

Better Butterfly

Step 1
The one-arm butterfly drill helps you better time your kick and stroke. Merely swim the standard butterfly using only one arm to stroke per length of pool, the other arm stretched out ahead of you. Turn your head to breathe instead of lifting to the front. Repeat using the other arm.
Step 2
Simple dolphin kicking drills across the pool with or without a kickboard are also very useful for improving your butterfly.
Step 3
Underwater dolphin kicking drills will help you increase your speed from the wall or shoreline and will enhance your feel of the water. Go for maximum distance and speed. Try to lengthen the distance that you can travel underwater before you have to surface for a breath.

Better Backstroke

Step 1
One-armed backstroke drills help you improve your body rotation and pulling strength for backstroke. Keep an outstretched body position and swim the length of the pool in backstroke using only one arm. Repeat to the other side with the other arm.
Step 2
Swimming the backstroke with fists is a great drill for "finding the water" with your entire arm, thus creating a powerful and efficient stroke.
Step 3
Practicing a powerful kick while gliding on your back will also quicken this stroke. Do this drill on your back with arms overhead in diving position, no kickboard.

Better Breaststroke

Step 1
Practicing the breaststroke kick is one of the most effective drills for this stroke. Either just glide from the wall or use a kickboard. Try to maximize your gliding distance and speed.
Step 2
Drilling just the arms is helpful, too. Use fins and do a dolphin kick instead of a breaststroke kick for this drill.
Step 3
It is beneficial to practice the start of the breaststroke, too. Practice leaving the wall or shoreline in a streamline, do one dolphin kick and stroke your hands down to your sides in anticipation of starting the first stroke. Go for maximum distance and speed in the glide.

Tips & Warnings

 
Try using fins for kicking drills to help increase your strength.
 
Try using fins for kicking drills to help increase your strength.

Article Written By Tanya Wyr

Tanya Wyr has 12 years experience as a professional writer and editor both in print and online. She has written for major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Mervyns. Wyr has also edited college-level textbooks. Wyr earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Minnesota in 1991.

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