Learn How to Swim Faster

Whether you are training for your first triathlon or just want to complete a mile in less time, there are many ways that you can increase your swimming speed. In this post, we’re going to share with you some helpful tips on how to swim faster so that next time we race each other, you might have a chance at winning!

How To Become A Faster Swimmer

How To Become A Faster Swimmer

As easy as it sounds, there are really only two ways you can swim faster.

  1. Decrease Drag
  2. Increase Propulsion

Decrease Drag

Drag is the resistance that your body produces when in the water. This drag can be reduced by wearing a swimsuit that does not produce surface friction, such as one with smooth fabric or a tight wetsuit.

The size of your body also contributes to the amount of water resistance you create; larger people have more drag than smaller people do in the same speed and stroke length.

In order to decrease this effect, try swimming on your side when possible because it will reduce both frontal and cross sectional area. You may find this helpful for those long distances like 400 meters or 800 yards where there is so much distance between turns that every bit counts!

Correct Body PositionIncrease your swimming speed by using a more streamlined position, reducing frontal and cross-sectional area. By improving your head position and looking at the bottom of the pool, you’ll be able to improve your hip position and lift your legs in the water.  This will help you to pull your body forward so that you are not pulling yourself through the water.

Increase Propulsion

Increasing propulsion essentially comes down to nailing down the efficacy of your catch. Yes, your most significant improvement will come from improving the way your arms, hands, and fingertips catch the water.

One of the most essential aspects to swimming faster is being able to catch as much water and propulsion from your arms, hands, and fingertips as possible. This will help you swim more efficiently with less exertion by reducing drag on your body while also improving speed.

A quick way to test how well you currently are catching  the water in front of you is using a drill called “catch-up.” Simply put one hand out straight ahead before moving both hands forward together at mid-chest level. If your only arm moves quickly towards the other then chances are that this isn’t happening enough or it may be dragging too far behind for an efficient stroke pattern.

Improve Breathing Technique

While this factor doesn’t directly affect how fast you swim, having a good breathing technique can make all the difference in your endurance and speed. The most common complaint about not being able to swim fast is that there are too many breaths taken during the workout which can lead to tiredness and a decrease in performance. 

This drill will help you learn how much air your body needs for an effective and efficient stroke, enabling you to take fewer breaths while swimming faster. The goal of this drill is simply to breathe out as hard as possible with each arm cycle (one breath per side) – just make sure it’s at least one full second before taking your next breath in order to ensure a sufficient amount of oxygen intake.

Improve Your Flexibility

Work on your pecs, lats, shoulders, hamstrings, ankles, and hips. Doing 5 minutes of flexibility work a couple of times a day will yield far more excellent results than stretching exercises a couple of times a week. Use a foam roller with static stretching for maximum effect.

Additional Swimming Tips

Learning how to swim faster comes down to technique. It sounds simple, but it’s true. Once you nail down the technique, you can build speed and endurance off of that. That said, without technique, you basically have nothing to work off of.

In order to increase your swimming speed, it is important that you are not tired. This can lead to a decrease in performance and overall enjoyment while swimming. There are many ways to avoid this from happening – one such way includes doing drills which will help you learn how much air your body needs for an effective and efficient stroke, enabling you to take fewer breaths per cycle so as not get too tired out before the end of the race. The goal of these drills is simply breathe out (or suck) as hard as possible with each arm cycle (one breath per side). Just make sure it’s at least one full second before taking your next breath in order to ensure a sufficient amount of oxygen intake!

A second way to build speed is to train faster. This may not seem like a logical idea, but by training at higher speeds you are able to train your muscles and lungs to work more efficiently than when swimming slower. This will make the time spent on building endurance less important as long as you’re still following an aerobic workout plan.

A third way is to drill very hard for a short period of time (about 30 seconds) every day. You can do this in one set or split it into five sets of six reps with about two minutes between each set:

  • Push off the wall
  • Swim 25 meters fast
  • Turn around
  • Rest interval before starting next rep

Want To Swim Faster? Try These

  • Do any stretches before you start swimming
  • Stretch after each swim session (30 minutes)
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated
  • Avoid sugary drinks such as soda pop; drink more water instead  to avoid getting dehydrated during intense exercise periods  
  • Eating carbs at breakfast time will give you energy throughout the day and it is less likely to impact your swimming performance and endurance
  • Eat a high quality protein source within three hours of finishing your workout. This helps build muscles and recover more quickly from strenuous workouts
  • Make sure you’re getting the right amount of sleep for your age


Maybe you’ve been wondering how to swim faster for weeks or even months, but you haven’t found an honest, satisfying answer. Relax; you’re not alone. Many swimming enthusiasts who want to sharpen their swimming skills face this problem for various reasons.

Following these guidelines will help you swim faster and more efficiently. You’ll get the results that you want, whether it be to beat an old time or to impress someone at a race. If swimming fast is your goal then we hope this post helps!

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