Tips for Becoming a Better Underwater Swimmer


KEN KING Tips for Becoming a Better Underwater Swimmer Feb 15, 2022
Tips for Becoming a Better Underwater Swimmer

When looking to improve your speed while swimming, consider working on your underwater technique to boost your overall performance. Optimizing time spent under water when you swim isn’t really about trying to spend more time submerged. What you want to primarily focus on is making the most of your underwater swimming time to gain momentum. We offer tips below that can help you with this goal.

Maintain a Tight Streamline Position

The purpose of a streamline position is to minimize resistance in the water to give you some extra speed and motion. Assume a tight streamline position as soon as you push off to minimize drag and improve your underwater swimming. Pay particular attention to maintaining a tight streamline position while underwater by:

• Keeping your hands over your head
• Placing fingers over fingers as you raise your arms above your head
• Keeping your biceps tucked close to your ears

Make an Effort to Strengthen Your Push-Off

Let’s briefly talk about some basic physics with a swimming-related twist for this one. The fastest speed for any length is determined by the strength of the force exerted at the end of the push-off. This means if your push-off is stronger, you should achieve better speed. It then becomes easier to maintain that speed when you’re swimming underwater. In fact, a stronger push-off has the potential to contribute to:

• Faster acceleration from swimming pool walls
• Added speed that can be carried through the underwater phase of your swim
• Extra speed that can extend to the stroke phase of your swim

Break the Surface at the Right Time

Timing is everything with all phases of swimming, including what’s done under the water. If you spend too much time underwater, you’ll slow down and lose speed. You can also lose added momentum if you break the surface too soon. Instead, get a feel for the moment when your underwater speed is starting to slack off so you can break the surface and shift seamlessly to the stroke phase.

Maintain Consistency as You Swim

Consistency is what sets faster swimmers apart from the crowd—literally. What we’re talking about here is finding a balance as you swim and maintaining it through all phases of each swim, race, or lap. In other words, work on your timing and pace, starting from the push-off all the way through the underwater and surface phases. Once you find a rhythm that works for you, strive to keep up your consistency from start to finish.

Strengthen Your Up-Kick

The dolphin kick is what’s commonly used for underwater swimming, especially if your preferred stroke is the butterfly. It’s common to have a down-kick with a bit more power than the up-kick with the dolphin kick. What you want to work on here is the strength of your up-kick. This may seem like a minor detail. However, it’s often the smaller or more specific aspects of technique and form that contribute to noticeable improvements with overall swimming performance.

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