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How to Swim Distance Freestyle like Michael Phelps

Updated on November 1, 2014

Swim Distance Like Phelps

For those considering freestyle swimming for triathlon training or overall better physical fitness, it takes technique to swim freestyle for an extended period of time. These techniques and drills should help you learn to swim further and more efficiently.

Move Your Arms

Freestyle swimming starts by moving your arms through the water at alternating times (stroke) while the other arm is above the water (recovery), almost like a pinwheel motion. This is combined with an alternating and continuous freestyle kick.

Swim Gear

Try this Swim Gear To Improve Your Technique

Keep Your Head Down

Correct body position starts with your head alignment. Start with your body parallel to the water and with your face in the water. Make sure that your head looks straight down into the water. Many beginners will try to pick their head out of the water during the stroke. This only creates stress and drag on the body.


Slightly cup your hands and begin the alternating stroke motion. Breathe out while your face is in the water. When you need to take a breath, follow your dominant hand with your eyes. When your hand comes out of the water by your hip and your face is out of the water take a breath. Continue watch your hand in the recovery faze. As your hand enters the water, begin to breathe out again.

Swim Technique Books

Check Out these Books to Learn More about Swim Technique

Add The Kick

Make sure you add an alternating up/down kick into your stroke. You may feel that the faster you kick the better and faster you will swim. Although this is somewhat true, as a beginner you may want to slow down your cadence to keep yourself afloat as you learn to alternate your arm strokes and improve your breathing during strokes.

Tips & Warnings

- It is important that your shoulders and hips are perpendicular to the water as you take a breath. The core of your body must follow your eyes and turn sideways as you take the breathe or you will strain your neck. Also, if you do not turn your body, you will be unable to create enough room to take a breath without inhaling water.

- Even if you are an experienced swimmer you should never swim unless there is a lifeguard on duty at a pool, lake, or in the ocean. Remember, safety first.

- You should not attempt this unless you are supervised.

Feel Free To Speak Your Mind Below

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Although its better to be with a Trainer this is really great information blaze. Great admirer of Michael Phelps and others too. Are you watching the Olympic Swimming thing?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You are not getting into much details


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