Have you ever wondered how you can manage to swim faster for front crawl?
A great swimmer said this to me earlier this year:
"Turn your arms over faster and push more water back behind you".
This simple theory does work, but you need to have other things in place first. Speeding your arms up a lot won't necessarily make you faster, as you'll reach a critical point where you'll start slipping more through the water, and lose the catch phase, or your purchase on the water.
Increasing your distance per stroke, and trying to swim slightly faster, whilst increasing your stroke rate is called Swim Golf, or SWOLF for short.
Try doing this over 4x50 metres and reducing the total of your strokes and time over each 50m.
Let us know how you get on in the comments below...
The more you can bend your elbow, (ideally close to 100 degrees) whilst keeping your upper arm high in the water, and then by visualising reaching over a barrel or ball, the greater the body of water you'll be able to pull yourself over, and therefore push behind you.
Maintaining a slightly higher than normal stroke rate without losing your feel for the water and you'll start seeing your threshold pacing and swim times reducing, which we all want!
You can see 3 front crawl swim drills in this video, all which help you to swim faster, become more streamlined and push more water behind you, for a greater distance per stroke travelled.
1. Swim over a barrel Pull yourself over an imaginary barrel pushing it behind you Keeps elbow high during pull part of stroke, thereby maintaining an effective catch
2. Power Push Accelerate from shoulder to the stroke exit at your thigh Strengthens triceps and lats, creates an understanding of different power zones of stroke, lengthens back of stroke
3. Bodyroll Performing normal front crawl, rotate from the hips to 45 degrees each side
Mimimises frontal area resistance, making you more streamlined
We offer 1-2-1 swim coaching 1 hour pool based lessons for beginnners, front crawl, improvers in triathlon, to ironman triathlon level and beyond and masters swimmers.
Here you can see the excellent techniques of Haydn Woolley of future dreams in new Zealand. 1500m in 15:45 and former ironman swim record holder at 43:30