Improving Performance in Swimming: Strength and Technique
Rod Havriluk, Ph.D.
Improving strength and technique both result in faster swimming, but the size of the improvements varies with a swimmer’s development. It is important that younger swimmers not lose focus on technique because of rapid progress from strength gains. Older swimmers can emphasize strength training, but must still devote adequate time to improving technique. As elite swimmers approach their fastest speeds, incremental increases in strength will yield smaller and smaller increases in speed, but improvements in technique will produce larger and larger increases in speed. The fastest swimmers cannot rely on strength gains alone, as technique improvements are more likely to help them swim faster.