If you want to swim faster, you won’t get results by simply adding a few sprints to each workout. If only it were that easy! In reality, you’re more likely to improve your speed when you consider a variety of factors, including technique, workout intensity and cross-training. 

Read on for our five-step plan to swim faster. With consistency, we’re confident that you’ll notice improvement in your swimming efficiency and speed over time. 

1. Reduce Drag & Increase Propulsion

We’ve said it before, but there are two key ways to get faster in swimming: Reduce drag, and increase propulsion. And refining your stroke technique can help you do both of those things. 

Water is very dense, and when you try to swim with inefficient technique, you’ll work much harder than you need to, and move slower.

Incorporate drills into your swim workouts to improve your head position, hip position, rotation, catch, and kick so you move through the water with less resistance, and pull more water with each stroke. Try these beginner drills to get started!

2. Vary Your Swim Workouts

Swimming freestyle continuously, back and forth for 30+ minutes isn’t going to help you swim faster – and it can get pretty boring after a while. 

Instead, try a structured workout that’s broken into a warmup, main set and cool down. Incorporate drills, kicking and mix up your strokes for a well-rounded workout. Vary your speed throughout the workout and vary its intensity. Adding variety will keep you motivated and challenge your body in new ways.

For inspiration and personalized Workouts designed for your speed, download the MySwimPro app! Use code SWIM35 to save $35 on your first year of training.

3. Use the Right Equipment

Adding equipment to your swim workouts engages your muscles in new ways, allowing you to zero in on a specific aspect of your technique and, ultimately, swim faster. 

Related: The Best Swim Equipment for Beginners

Some of our favorite gear includes:

  • Fins
  • Snorkel
  • Paddles
  • Pull Buoy
  • Kickboard

Whether you have all of this equipment, or just a few items, incorporate them into your workouts – but try to keep your total volume of equipment swimming to less than 50% of your total workout volume for the week.

In the MySwimPro app, each Workout includes recommended equipment, to help you understand how to best utilize it and maximize the benefits. 

4. Incorporate Dryland Training

Swimming is a great form of exercise, but you can only build so much strength in the water. We recommend adding 2+ dryland training sessions to your schedule each week.

Related: How to Cross-Train for Swimming

Dryland can include strength training (bodyweight or with weights), running, cycling, yoga and more. Find a dryland modality that you enjoy and stay consistent with it – if you do, it’ll pay off! 

Regular dryland training helps strengthen injury-prone areas, such as the shoulders and the lower back. It also improves your overall power in the water; you’ll pull more water with each stroke, and will be more powerful off the walls.

5. Swim with a Training Plan 

Swimming the same workouts over and over again just won’t cut it. If you’re committed to taking your swim training to the next level, you need a structured training plan. The right plan is tailored to your skill level and helps you progress safely over time to reach your goals, injury-free. 

Check out the MySwimPro app for personalized Training Plans designed just for you. From brand new swimmers to elite athletes and everyone in between, we’ve helped hundreds of thousands of swimmers get fit, reach their goals and make the most of their time in the water. Use code SWIM35 for $35 your first year of training!

blog footer