5 reasons you are not swimming faster

Posted Ella Villas Articles

Have you felt frustrated with your progress in the water? Many who email us have.

Last year, we put together 5 reasons you are not swimming faster- and what to do about them.

Here they are, in case you missed them or weren’t with us last year:

  1. Not rotating enough (or too much):

    Whether you are swimming flat in the water or over rotating, you are wasting energy and losing speed.

    Ideally, you want to rotate about 45 degrees, so if flat in the water is 0 degrees and 90 degrees is when your belly button is pointed straight at the wall with your body perpendicular to the surface of the water, you want to be halfway between the two extremes.

    Obviously, it is impossible to hit this angle exactly and fruitless to micromanage it. Rather, get video taken of your stroke and analyze if you need more or less rotation when you swim without worrying about hitting a precise number.

    As I mentioned on the blog on how to use a pull buoy properly, by putting the buoy between your ankles, you will start to feel what it is like to rotate properly and thus be able to pull from lats and hips rather than the shoulders.

  2. Lacking a high elbow catch and not pulling straight back:

    Lack the original article stated, letting your elbow drop and having a straight arm pull will slow you down. Also, if you are curving as you pull back, your body position and balance in the water will be thrown off. Instead you want to keep your elbow high as you pull straight back accelerating as you go for optimal power.

  3. Doing drills for the sake of doing drills:

    Since swimming is predominantly form based, swimmers need to focus and hone their form through drills. However, many just go through the drill mindlessly and check the boxes at the beginning of each workout but fail to translate this work into their main sets.

    The reason we do drills is to give us the feeling of proper technique and body position as we swim. To achieve this, I like to incorporate drills like the balance and catch up drill into the main set.

  4. Not focusing on form:

    Drills and form work are not as sexy as 10×100 all out but if you want to get faster you need to focus on your form throughout your practice. Every so often, go through a mental checklist and ask yourself:

    Am I balanced in the water?

    Am I dropping my elbow?

    Am I rotating to maximize my distance per stroke?

    Am I rotating to breathe?

  5. Not swimming enough:

    It is tough to get to the pool sometimes but the honest truth of the matter is that if you want to get faster in the water you will need to get into the water consistently. It is hard to develop your stroke and keep up your feel for the water by taking several days off between sessions.

What about you?

What are the things that made you faster?

Befriend the water!