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Learn the Fastest Way to Swim: Try the First Two Weeks of Swim Speed Workouts FREE!

Swim Speed Workouts for Swimmers and Triathletes photo SSW

Now you can try the first two weeks of Swim Speed Workouts free.

Stroke Data Shows You How to Become a Faster Swimmer

SSST How to Time Freestyle Swimming Stroke Rate Cadence Swim Speed Secrets

There is a valuable tool in swimming that lets you know if you are directing your energy the right way and holding water as you ratchet up the speed. It is called stroke data.

The Curvilinear Path Is Not an Illusion

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The curvilinear path in elite swimming is not an illusion caused by body rotation or elbow flexion. It’s undeniably present in the world’s fastest swimmers.

Vladimir Morozov’s Straight-Arm Freestyle Swimming Technique Underwater Photographs

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Vladimir Morozov swims freestyle uses a straight-arm technique. See an underwater photo of his stroke from Swim Speed Strokes.

Peter Vanderkaay’s Favorite Freestyle Drill: Catch-Up

Swim Speed Strokes by Sheila Taormina

Watch Peter Vanderkaay demonstrate the Catch-Up Drill in this video based on Swim Speed Strokes.

Let’s Talk About the S Pull in Swimming

Elizabeth Beisel demonstrates the S Curve in freestyle swimming.

Because of the feedback we’ve gotten on Facebook, I will offer a short explanation of what I mean by “S-pull” and how all elite swimmers today show it in their stroke.

Why Do All Elite Swimmers Use a Curvilinear Stroke Pattern?

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After getting many comments about this post on Facebook, Sheila Taormina has written a response that more fully explains the S pull in swimming in this new post: Let's Talk About the S Pull in Swimming.

What is “feel for the water”? Sheila Taormina explains.

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The best swimmers in the world are masters at feeling the water. But what does that mean? Sheila Taormina explains.

Lift vs. Drag: Which Matters Most to Swimming Speed?

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Sheila Taormina explores the contributions that lift and drag make to the underwater pull in all four swimming strokes.

Which Arm Is Swimming Which Stroke? A Quiz for Swimmers and Triathletes

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Can you tell which arm is swimming which stroke? Take this quiz!

The Swimming Equation: How to Think About Freestyle Swim Stroke Rate

A reader sent in a question recently about stroke rate. He noticed that his stroke rate had fallen after beginning the Swim Speed Workouts training program, resulting in fewer strokes per length.

Distance per Stroke vs. Swim Stroke Rate: How to Find Your Swimming Cadence

SSST How to Time Freestyle Swimming Stroke Rate Cadence Swim Speed Secrets

You need to know your swimming stroke rate. If you don't, there's a good chance you're leaving speed in the water.

Freestyle Swimming Core Strength: Timing, Rhythm, and Momentum

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Your swimming tempo or stroke rate is as important as stroke count. A swimmer must strive to lower either of the two numbers without adversely affecting the over-all equation. Sheila discusses how timing can enable improvements in your swimming equation.

Freestyle Swimming Core Strength: Driving from the Hips

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In her book Swim Speed Workouts, 4-time Olympian Sheila Taormina describes a key concept for developing your fastest freestyle, the Serape Core Drive.

Swim Tubing Drills and the Freestyle Diagonal Phase

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In this video, Sheila demonstrates how to drill the diagonal phase using swim tubing.

No More Sloppy Off the Wall! How to Perfect Your Freestyle Streamline

Swim Speed Secrets underwater photos of Olympic swimmers

Even triathletes need to work on their streamline to improve their hydrodynamics but also to improve their upper arm and shoulder flexibility and mobility for a more effective reach phase of the stroke.

The Swimmer’s Secret Weapon: Tubing Drills

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Just as regular dryland strength training can turbocharge your swimming, spending just 3-5 minutes after every workout with effective swim tubing drills can make you rock-solid strong.

The Single Best Swimming Drill: The Freestyle One-Arm Drill

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Possibly the most valuable drill in any swimmer's regular practice is the freestyle one-arm drill. Watch Sheila Taormina demonstrate.

How to Do a Freestyle Swimming Sculling Drill

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The freestyle swimming sculling drill is a great drill to improve feel for the water and forearm strength.

Proper Freestyle Swimming Arm Extension vs. Gliding

Swim Speed Secrets straight-arm underwater pull

A reader on the Swim Speed Secrets Facebook page made a point recently, "I know there is a fine line between gliding and extension. Could you explain further?" Sheila obliges.

Gliding During Freestyle Swimming Makes Swimmers Slower

Swim Speed Secrets straight-arm underwater pull

A reader Larry has asked this insightful question: "If I am reading your book right, you seem to think the idea of streamlining is something that has somehow been misinterpreted by the masses." Sheila responds.

Timing the Finish in Serape Swimming

Which direction is the hip drive in serape swimming? Does the hip drive upward or forward? And when: before or after EVF (the catch)? Sheila answers.

When Does Freestyle Arm Extension Become Gliding?

Swim Speed Secrets straight-arm underwater pull

A Swim Speed reader asks, "How long is too long to hold your arm out in front?" When does arm extension become gliding? Sheila Taormina answers.

How to Find Your Swimming Cadence or Stroke Rate

SSST How to Time Freestyle Swimming Stroke Rate Cadence Swim Speed Secrets

You need to know your swimming stroke rate. If you don't, there's a good chance you're leaving speed in the water.

Science Proves that Technique Is the Most Important Factor in Fast Swimming

The book FASTER: Demystifying the Science of Triathlon Speed by scientist and triathlete Jim Gourley confirms a fact we already know: technique is the most important part of fast swimming.

The Swim Speed Workouts Maintenance Program

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Keep your hard-earned swim fitness and tune your technique into tip-top shape with these workouts selected from the Swim Speed Workouts Program.

Serape Swimming: The Role of Core Strength in Freestyle Swimming Speed, Part II

In her book Swim Speed Workouts, 4-time Olympian Sheila Taormina describes a key concept for developing your fastest freestyle, the Serape Core Drive. Here’s Part II of an overview of serape swimming.

When “Training” Becomes “Straining,” It’s Time to Take a Break with a Swimming Recovery Week

When all you swim is long, slow distance, you don’t need time off to recover from swim workouts. But the Swim Speed Workouts program is more challenging, which means swimmers might have weeks when they should back off from swim training and let their bodies rest and recover.

Swim Speed Workouts: Hand Entry Drill Video

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The Hand-Entry Drill helps swimmers feel the water from the moment their hand enters the water. The Hand-Entry Drill also improves the high-elbow catch.

Serape Swimming: The Role of Core Strength in Freestyle Swimming Speed, Part I

In her book Swim Speed Workouts, 4-time Olympian Sheila Taormina describes a key concept for developing your fastest freestyle, the Serape Core Drive.

Swim Speed Workouts: Finish Drill Video #2

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The Finish Drill trains the pitch and forward thrust of the finish phase of the underwater pull. Since this drill is done underwater, it also builds lung capacity.

Swim Speed Workouts: Recovery or Out-of-Water or Over Water Drill Video

Swim Speed Workouts Recovery Drill video SSW

The recovery drill teaches swimmers how to properly lift their arms from the water after the finish. A good recovery helps load the muscles with tension for the serape core drive.

Swim Speed Workouts: Underwater Drill Video

Swim Speed Workouts Underwater Drill Video SSW

The Underwater Drill is simple: swim underwater one length of the pool. The goal of this drill is to improve feel for the water and build lung capacity.

Swim Speed Workouts: 50 Free Press-Out Drill

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Press-Outs build the upper body, shoulder, and upper back muscle strength required for the high-elbow underwater stroke. You can think of them like push-ups for swimmers.

Swim Speed Workouts: Finish Drill

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The Finish Drill helps swimmers focus on the last part of the underwater stroke, the finish phase. Sheila Taormina describes an ideal finish in her book Swim Speed Workouts.

Swim Speed Workouts: Streamline Kick on Back Drill Video

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The Streamline Kick on Back is three drills in one. You'll get immediate feedback on the streamline of your body. You'll build your core muscles. And you'll strengthen your kick.

Swim Speed Workouts: Dog-Paddle Drill Video

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The Dog Paddle Drill strengthens your core and upper body while also improving some aspects of streamline and feel for the water. It also looks kind of hilarious.

Swim Speed Workouts: Standing Scull Drill or Tornado Drill with Peter Vanderkaay

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Finally, watch Olympic swimmer and multiple medalist Peter Vanderkaay demonstrate his own tornado.

Swim Speed Workouts: Freestyle Flutter Kick Drill Video

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This video is a simple demonstration of good freestyle flutter kicking technique using a kickboard. If you are prone to cramping during kick sets, take a look at this video and at these tips from Sheila Taormina on how to avoid kick set cramping.

Swim Speed Workouts: Tarzan Drill with Peter Vanderkaay

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The Tarzan Drill has been a mainstay in swim programs around the world for decades because it builds upper body strength, stroke power, a faster turnover, and core muscles.

How to Fix Leg Cramps During Swimming Kick Sets

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Swim Speed Workouts Test Team member Chad L. wrote in last week after a long freestyle kick set to ask swim coach and 4-time Olympian Sheila Taormina what he could do to stop getting leg cramps. Sheila gave this advice for avoiding cramps during kick sets.

How to Start Swimming with a High-Elbow Catch

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A reader asks, "What's the starting position for my shoulder, upper arm, and elbow to set the high-elbow catch?" Sheila Taormina explains.

Sculling: The Most Important Drill for Developing Your Feel for the Water

Swim Speed Secrets underwater vortices

Sculling is the most important drill for swimmers.

The Swimming Equation: Why Gliding Makes Swimmers Slower

Swim Speed Secrets straight-arm underwater pull

Gliding makes you a slower swimmer. See why in this post on the Swimming Equation.

How Swim Tubing Can Make You a Faster Swimmer

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Sheila demonstrates how to use Halo swim tubing in this video below.

Swim Speed Secrets: Recovery Drill

Swim Speed Secrets Recovery Drill Video SSS

The recovery drill teaches swimmers how to properly lift their arms from the water after the finish.

Swim Speed Secrets: Streamline Drill

Swim Speed Secrets Streamline Drill Video SSS

Learn how to properly streamline underwater and you can improve your hydrodynamics and also improve your upper arm and shoulder flexibility and mobility for a more effective reach phase of the stroke.

Swim Speed Secrets Drill: Halo Bench Tubing Drills

Swim Speed Secrets Halo Tubing and Halo Bench Drill Video

Sheila demonstrates how to use Halo swim tubing on a Halo bench in this video below.

Swim Speed Secrets: Press-Out Drill

Swim Speed Secrets Press-Out Drill Video SSS

Sheila Taormina's favorite swimming drill is the Press-Out Drill because it builds crazy strength for the underwater pull.

Swim Speed Secrets Drill: Catch-Up Drill

Swim Speed Secrets Catch-Up Drill Video SSS

Swim Speed Secrets Drill: Catch-Up Drill

Swim Speed Secrets Drill: One-Arm Pull with Kickboard

Swim Speed Secrets One-Arm Pull with Kickboard Drill Video SSS

The One-Arm Pull with Kickboard is a variation on the One-Arm Drill that some swimmers find easier. Swimming with one arm at a time immediately reveals uneven strokes.

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