Reduce your swimming resistance, swim faster

Cheat resistance with four swim drills

Resistance is one of the most important and most neglected aspects of swimming, especially when training for a multisport event.

The fact that water is 1,000 times more dense than air explains why there is so much resistive force against us when we swim. This force is called drag. Our body also causes its own drag through turbulence as we speed up or decelerate through the stroke cycle.

So we cannot change the fact that water is denser than air. What we can do, however, is reduce the resistive drag in the water by making our body more streamlined.

How do we become more streamlined? By becoming more efficient in the water. And you become more efficient by reducing your body’s surface area in the water.
The key is body rotation through the hips which will result in spending less time on your stomach and more on each side during your stroke cycle.


swim roll kyle main go multi

Practice these four drills
Use short training fins for all

  1. Side kick Kick on your side with one arm extended, every six kicks roll your head into the water while staying on your side, change sides per length
  2. Single rotation The same as the side kick except you roll your head into the water, take one stroke and rotate to the other side. Use your body to rotate the head and repeat every six kicks
  3. Triple rotation The same as single rotation except take three strokes with your head in the water before you roll out to the side. Concentrate on hip rotation on the first three strokes and repeat every six kicks
  4. Single arm While on your stomach keep one arm extended and stationary. Pull with the other arm, breath every stroke and focus on using your kick to drive your hips to the side while you rotate and breath. Make sure you pause for one second with both arms extended before you pull again.

Kyle Main is a pro marathon swimmer, sports coach, river & ocean conqueror and pioneer. He is the swim contributor to Go Multi Magazine.

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About Kyle Main

Kyle's impressive international swimming career has stretched from 1995, consisting of multiple SA titles to current professional marathon swimmer. He swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in May and is swimming the Rottness Channel race in Perth in 2014.
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