Beginner’s Guide: How to Improve Your Swim Technique

Swimming is an essential part of triathlons, but it can also be the most daunting for many beginners. Whether you’re a new triathlete or just looking to improve your swimming skills, perfecting your technique is key to swimming faster and more efficiently. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover the basics of swim technique and provide tips and exercises to help you improve your form.

First, let’s start with the basics of swim technique. Good swim technique includes proper body position, arm and hand placement, kick, and breathing. The key to good body position is to keep your head, hips, and feet in line. Your head should be in a neutral position, looking straight down at the bottom of the pool. Your hips should be high in the water, and your feet should be pointed straight down. This creates a streamlined position that minimizes drag and maximizes your efficiency in the water.

Arm and hand placement are also critical to good swim technique. Your arms should be straight and extended in front of you, with your hands cupped and your fingers together. As you pull your arm through the water, your hand should enter the water first, followed by your forearm. Your elbow should be the last part of your arm to enter the water, and it should be the highest point of your stroke.

Kick is also an important part of swim technique. Your kick should be small and fast, using your hips and core rather than your knees. This creates a stable platform for your upper body to move through the water. Try to keep your kick consistent throughout your stroke, and avoid kicking from the knee, as this can cause fatigue in your legs.

Finally, breathing is also an essential part of swim technique. It’s important to breathe regularly and calmly, and to turn your head to the side to breathe. Try to inhale and exhale through your mouth, and avoid lifting your head too high out of the water. This can disrupt your body position and slow you down.

Now that you understand the basics of swim technique, let’s look at some exercises that can help you improve your form.

One exercise to improve your body position is the “dead man float.” Lie on your back in the water and let your body float. Focus on keeping your head, hips, and feet in line and try to maintain this position for as long as possible.

To improve your arm and hand placement, try the “catch-up drill.” Start by holding one arm straight out in front of you while you swim with the other arm. As soon as the first arm finishes its stroke, bring it up to the other arm and pause for a moment. This drill helps you focus on the proper hand and arm placement.

To improve your kick, try the “eggbeater kick.” This drill requires you to kick your legs in a circular motion, keeping your hips and core engaged. This will help you develop a more efficient kick.

Finally, to improve your breathing, try the “breathe every three strokes” drill. This drill requires you to take one breath every three strokes, rather than every two. This will help you develop a more relaxed and consistent breathing pattern (our favorite!). Aside making you breathe on both sides (bilateral breathing), it also evens out your stroke by allowing you to

Swim technique is an essential part of triathlons and swimming in general, it takes time and practice to perfect. These tips and exercises will help you improve your form and become a more efficient swimmer. Remember to be patient with yourself and to focus on one aspect of your technique at a time. With practice, you’ll be swimming like a pro in no time.


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A triathlete making a comeback and a true blue Scorpio. That sums it up quite nicely :)

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