Improving Your Swimming Speed

David Santos, MD, is a reputable plastic surgeon currently practicing at Facial Beauty in Bellevue, Washington. He holds double board certification and has won a number of awards for his high-quality work as a plastic surgeon. Outside of medicine, Dr. David Santos maintains a strong passion for swimming. He has set several swimming records over the years, some of which he still holds, and he has participated in a range of championship swim matches.

Although many adults can swim, most adults do not swim effectively. The sport is highly technical, and improving swimming speed requires that you to improve your technique, not just your conditioning. Becoming aware of your swimming pace is typically the first step to improving overall speed. Have a friend or your coach check your time at the 25-, 50-, and 100-meter markers during a 400- to 1500-meter trial. This helps you see if you are exerting yourself too much early on or are maintaining a good pace throughout. If you find that your average times drop as your go, focus on finding the right pace, and then turn your focus to altering your technique.

Reducing your drag is something that is often overlooked, but it can greatly improve your times. There are several ways of decreasing drag, including improving your balance and making yourself as tall as you can while swimming. By staying as balanced in the water as possible, you disrupt a smaller amount of water particles, thus helping you move more quickly. Similarly, stretching your body out longer creates less disruption than maintaining a more compact position.

Improving your kicking also promotes less drag. Make sure you time your kicks to better suit your stroke cycle and prevent your legs from going too far below or above the water’s surface.

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