The fastest and most efficient way to move through the water while swimming freestyle is in a streamline position. Think about seals. When they move through the water at speeds up to 25 mph, they look like torpedoes with almost no water resistance. Now us swimmers definitely can only dream about the 25 mph speeds (we move at 3 to max. 4 mph in the water), but we can certainly learn something from seals.
In this blog article we are going to tell you the top 2 freestyle streamline secrets you need to know to make the most out of every lap you swim. Because by improving your freestyle streamline position you not only become a better all-around freestyle swimmer, but you can shave time off each lap you swim and gain a huge advantage over your competitors.
Secret #1 to a better freestyle streamline – Swim downhill
Most swimmers have a hard time with keeping their hips and legs on the surface when swimming freestyle. Having a low hip and leg position in the water can be a huge streamline killer. Instead of lying horizontally in the water, your hips and legs are more vertical than horizontal. To avoid this, try to swim downhill. Now this may seem like nonsense. But next time you are in the water, try this. Put some constant downward pressure on your torso while you are swimming freestyle. It should feel like you are swimming downhill. You will notice that by doing this, your hips and your legs are in a much higher water position and you will suddenly have less water resistance and you will be able to swim faster and more efficient.
Swim a few laps to figure out how far down you should push your torso to reach the optimal body position. After figuring out this optimal position, keep constant downward pressure on your torso while swimming freestyle.
Secret #2 to a better freestyle streamline – Flex your abs and buttocks muscles
A major cause of bad body position in freestyle swimmers is the lacking body tension while swimming. To improve your streamline position while swimming freestyle, make sure you keep your body in a straight line at all times without “breaking” streamline. To do this (especially while swimming at faster speeds), always flex your abs and buttocks muscles while swimming freestyle. This may be quite exhausting in the beginning; however, the improvements of your freestyle streamline position will be worth every drop of sweat. To train this during your training sessions, start by analyzing your body tension while you swim fast freestyle. You will notice that you tend to break streamline more often if you swim faster. Try to counter this by really maintaining a great body tension for the entire lap, race or set you are swimming.
The best drills to improve your streamline
To establish a perfect body position, or streamline, in the water, you need to get a better feel for your body in the water and focus on the two largest parts in your body – the torso and the legs. Your ultimate goal is to get these two body parts in line with each other in a horizontal position in the water. To help you with this, we have 3 drills for you, that you can implement before, during or after your daily training sessions to help you further improve your streamline position.
Drill #1 – Master the streamline position on land.
Stand in front of a mirror, stand with your feet together and shoulders back. Raise both your arms so your hands are on top of each other and pointed up, above your head. Be sure that your elbows are always straight and your upper arms are directly covering your ears. Also make sure to flex your abs and your buttocks in your streamline position. If this is difficult for you, try doing some shoulder and arm stretches to increase your mobility.
Every time you work on your streamline in the water, think about yourself standing in front of the mirror with the perfect streamline. Try to mimic this same exact position in the water.
Drill #2 – Bobs
Everybody loves bobs. And they are not just fun, they also serve a greater purpose. A bob is like a streamline jump underwater. Jump vertically out of the water, by pushing yourself off the bottom of the pool, as high as you can and then enter the water in the same exact area you left it without breaking your streamline position. While you jump, pay attention to your streamline position the entire time – especially when you go back in the water. To make bobs a bit more challenging, close your eyes while doing them.
Drill #3 – The rotisserie kick
For this drill, you are going to need a snorkel and, if you are a beginner, fins. Kick freestyle face down with both arms by your side. While maintaining a steady kick, rotate your left shoulder under your chin, wait for about 2 seconds and then switch shoulders. Now rotate your left shoulder away from your chin and your right shoulder towards your chin. Your hips and legs always follow the rotation of your torso. Your goal with this drill should be to move your entire body as one unit, while keeping a perfect streamline position at all times. To help you maintain the streamline position, push down on your torso to keep your hips and legs up.
Now it’s time for you to take the guesswork out of swimming faster freestyle! If you implement our two secrets for a better freestyle streamline while working our recommended drills in training, you will master the freestyle streamline.
Once you feel comfortable with your new streamline routine, we recommend you check out our 3 simple steps to improve your freestyle flip turns. If you combine a great streamline with a powerful and well executed flip turn, you will see even better results in your next competition. If you want to further improve your freestyle stroke, we recommend our 5 quick tips to improve your freestyle stroke blog.
To measure your improvements during your training sessions, start training with the all-new TritonWear device. The wearable device tucks under your cap and records your workout as you swim. You remain focused on training and improve your freestyle stroke, kick, flip turns and streamline, while TritonWear captures the intel you need to swim faster. To learn more about how TritonWear shows swimmers their strengths and weaknesses based on data collected while you are swimming click here.