If you want to swim a faster 50m or 100m freestyle there are a few changes you can make to your stroke in order to swim faster.

0:11 – How To Change Your Technique For Sprinting
0:27 – Shoulder Driven Freestyle
0:36 – Start The Catch Deeper
0:54 – Keep Momentum From Your Entry
1:12 – Reduce Number of Breaths
1:42 – Developing Strong Kick
2:10 – Practice Race Pace Faster
2:24 – Short Sprints In Training
2:35 – Got The Skills?
2:51 – Time to Perform
3:10 – Are You Doing The Little Things?

Shoulder Driven Freestyle

Last week looked at the hip driven stroke which is usually better for longer distance events and anything 200m or more however for 50m’s and 100m’s you will usually be swimming with a more shoulder driven stroke, which is where you keep your hips fairly still there’s not too much rotation but there is more rotation in your shoulders.

Start The Catch Deeper

You will usually start your catch a little bit deeper because there is more power when you are pulling deeper. It’s not as efficient which is why we don’t do it quite so much in a hip driven stroke because you need to sustain your stroke for a longer period of time. For the 50m’s and 100m’s when you can maintain that stroke for 50m or a 100m then you can pull a little bit deeper where there is more power there.

Keep Momentum From Your Entry

The other thing is you want to keep your drive and you want to keep your energy from your recovery going into the water. As you enter you want to almost throw yourself forward with each stroke and you are entering from on top of the water, so you are really throwing yourself forward with each stroke that you take.

Reduce Number of Breaths

The other thing that you might not be doing already for 50m freestyle is you might be breathing too much. If you can bring your breaths down to zero, one two or three for the lap rather than six, seven or eight then you will probably find your times will come down with that. Each breath that you take it will typically slow you down so if you can breathe less in your 50m’s then you will save a lot of time just from taking that breathe. Over 100m you don’t want to restrict your breathing to much because you need to have your energy for that second 50m, you need to be able to back up that second 50m. Don’t restrict your breathing like you would in the 50m.

Developing Strong Kick

You will need a strong kick; so if you can improve your flexibility in your ankles, hamstrings, gluts, hip flexors and if you just work on your kick. Whether you’re doing vertical kick, kicking against the wall or just a couple of kick sets where you are mixing up your speed, that will also improve your sprinting.

If you can improve your power in your pull by doing some basic body weight exercises outside of the water or if you are going to the gym and doing the right exercises there then that will also help your sprinting.

Practice Race Pace Faster

If you practice swimming at high speeds, if you use fins for some sprinting where you are getting your speed up and getting used to race pace that will also help your body get used to swimming at a higher pace and you know what to do when you do to get to a race and you are swimming fast.

Short Sprints In Training

If you can do more short, sharp sprints in training where you are going 15m, 20m, 30m fast and just really getting your fast twitch fibres going that will also help in your sprint events.

Got The Skills?

If you can practice getting a good fast dive and a good turn you will also bring down your times with that, because the events are so short it is important to have very skills off the dive and in the turn because you can lose half a second to a second there which can mean the difference between first and second in a race.

Time to Perform

If you can rest up before a big competition, you need to taper you need to rest up anywhere from five days up to two weeks for some swimmers. If you can rest up and be ready for that big event that you have been training for then you will probably find that your body is refreshed, ready to race and you have more energy when it comes to your big event.

Are You Doing The Little Things?

If you can do the little things like shaving down, getting the right swim suits, getting lower profile goggles, wearing a cap just the basic little 1% that will also get your time down.

If you put those things together that will culminate in a faster 50m or 100m swim for you. There are just a few ideas, some which you might be doing already and some which you might not. There are a few ideas for you to implement into your sprint training or your sprint events so that you can swim faster in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

Learn more about the different types fo freestyle here

2 Responses

  1. Great job on you videos. Can you tell me some upper body exercises I can do in the gym to improve my strength.
    I got injured while snow skiing and will be out of the pool for the next six weeks. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.


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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen