If you feel like you’re dragging through the water while you swim freestyle, you probably need to work on your streamline and body position!
Better streamline and body position will help you swim faster overall, and you may also find that you enjoy swimming a whole lot more when it’s easier to move through the water.
Fix your technique and reduce drag with our favorite drills for streamline, plus a short swim set to add to your next swim workout.
Streamline Do’s and Don’ts
While proper streamline seems easy enough to achieve, many swimmers get lazy and don’t use good technique most of the time. We commonly see the following mistakes:
- Arms apart in “Superman” position, or elbows poking outward
- Eyes looking forward & head up
- Relaxed legs
Related: How to Have a Perfect Streamline in Swimming
If you do these things, you’ll still get where you need to go off of each turn, but you’ll go much slower. Instead, tighten up your technique to reduce drag and maximize the distance you get off each push. Set up your streamline like this:
- Keep your core engaged
- Squeeze your legs together
- Point your toes
- Keep your arms overhead (think about squeezing your ears with your arms!)
- Stack one hand on top of the other
- Neutral neck position with eyes looking down
With a good streamline, you’ll move through the water like a torpedo! You can practice proper streamline standing on land to get a good feel for it before hopping in the water.
Remember: The tighter your streamline, the less drag you’ll create.
Breaking Down Freestyle Body Position
Good body position in freestyle takes some aspects from streamline to reduce drag and make it easier for you to move through the water.
Related: The 5 Most Common Freestyle Mistakes
To improve your body position in freestyle, focus on two things: Your head and your hips. Your head should be neutral, with the eyes looking down or slightly forward. Your hips should be in line with the rest of your body, near the surface of the water. If your hips are dragging toward the bottom of the pool, you’re doing something wrong!
Try These Streamline Drills
The best way to improve your streamline is to create muscle memory. That means working on technique regularly and practicing proper form during workouts, so it becomes second nature. Try these drills to get a better feel for your streamline and body position!
Push & Glide
This drill is just what it sounds like: Push off the wall in streamline and glide as far as you can!
The goal here is to see how far you can glide in streamline without kicking. Hold your streamline nice and tight until your body comes to a stop. Experiment with different arm, leg and head positions to see how they affect your total distance. You can do this on your stomach or your back.
Streamline Kick on Back & Stomach
Kicking in streamline is a great way to improve shoulder mobility and refine your body position. Try kicking on your back and your stomach for a different feel. Focus on squeezing your head with your arms, and make sure your hips stay close to the surface of the water.
If you have a snorkel, wear it while kicking on your stomach so you don’t have to lift your head to breathe.
Streamline-Focused Drill Set
Give this short set a try to incorporate some streamline work into your next swim workout! Before you start this set, spend five minutes working on the Push & Glide drill.
For an extra challenge, try adding some dolphin kicks as you push off each wall during the kick set.
8×25 Streamline Kick
- Odds: Kick on back
- Evens: Kick on stomach
For more technique tips, drill videos and personalized swim workouts, check out the MySwimPro app! Enter your swimming goals and times, and we’ll create a personalized plan just for you.