Freestyle swimmers can improve their times and workout qualities by trying a few trusted tricks of the trade. For an all-body workout that will improve your times, do more than just the freestyle stroke during your workout. You’ll need to practice the breaststroke, freestyle (of course), and some kickboarding, along with using paddles. Start out with some classic freestyle laps, making sure to extend you arm as far as you can for every stroke, letting yourself glide for a bit before pulling through the water. Make each pull through the water strong and powerful, being sure to push the water behind you, not out to the sides or across your body. Keep your kicks strong, focusing on kicking from your hips, keeping your legs somewhat straight. Keep your movements smooth, gliding along, refusing to thrash or splash in the water. Remind yourself that strong, smooth strokes will win the race. Move into using paddles on your hands, feeling how the added water resistance challenges your muscles, aiming to get across the pool with as few strokes as possible. Then try a couple lengths with your hands balled up into fists (and the paddles off, obviously). When you resume your regular freestyle, you’ll notice the difference. You’ll be so delighted by how powerful your hands feel that you’ll stroke harder and be faster. Swim until your shoulders are feeling it (stopping before risking injury, of course), and then switch to a kickboard workout. Take this time to stretch out your shoulders as you rest on the kickboard, propelling yourself through the water with strong, powerful, lengthy kicks with straight legs. Push each stroke such that you feel it the entire length of your leg. Use the kickboard until you feel the burn. Switch to a breaststroke kick for a couple lengths, working the outer and inner thigh muscles and giving your quads, hamstrings, and gluts a break. End your workout with more freestyle laps, using your best technique. Try to make these your best laps yet. @@AMAZONWIDGET;swim gear;1079730@@. @@AMAZONWIDGET;swim ;1000@@.