4 Effective Swim Workouts to Boost Your Speed and Power

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Swimming is not only a great way to stay fit, but it also provides an excellent opportunity to improve your speed and power in the water. Whether you are a competitive swimmer looking to enhance your performance or a recreational swimmer wanting to take your skills to the next level, incorporating specific swim workouts into your training routine can help you achieve your goals. In this article, we will explore some of the best swim workouts for speed and power, providing you with a variety of exercises and training techniques to unleash your full potential in the pool.

Interval Training

Interval training is a popular approach to swim workouts that focuses on alternating periods of high-intensity swimming with periods of rest or lower-intensity swimming. This type of training is effective for improving both speed and power in the water. By pushing yourself to swim at a faster pace during the high-intensity intervals, you will gradually increase your overall speed and power.

One example of an interval training workout is the “sprint ladder.” Start by swimming at a moderate pace for a warm-up, and then perform a series of sprints at different distances, gradually increasing the distance with each repetition. For example, you could start with a 25-meter sprint, followed by a 50-meter sprint, then a 75-meter sprint, and so on, until you reach your desired distance. Rest for a short period between each sprint, and repeat the ladder a few times.

Resistance Training

Resistance training in the water is an excellent way to build strength and power, as it provides resistance against your movements. There are various tools and techniques you can incorporate into your swim workouts to add resistance and enhance your speed and power.

One effective exercise is the use of resistance bands. Attach a resistance band to a stationary object at the edge of the pool, and then wrap the other end around your waist. Swim against the resistance of the band, focusing on maintaining proper form and technique. This exercise targets your muscles, helping to increase your power and speed in the water.

Another option for resistance training is the use of hand paddles. Hand paddles are flat plastic or rubber devices that you wear on your hands while swimming. They increase the surface area of your hands, creating more resistance as you pull through the water. This added resistance helps to build strength and power in your upper body, ultimately improving your speed.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric exercises are explosive movements that involve quick and powerful muscle contractions. These exercises are beneficial for improving speed and power in swimming, as they mimic the explosive movements required during starts, turns, and sprinting.

One example of a plyometric exercise for swimmers is the depth jump. Stand on a box or elevated surface, and step off, landing softly on both feet. As soon as you land, immediately jump vertically as high as possible. This exercise helps to improve your explosive power and leg strength, which can translate into increased speed and power in the water.

High-Intensity Intervals

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a training method that involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. This type of training is highly effective for improving cardiovascular fitness, as well as speed and power in swimming.

To incorporate HIIT into your swim workouts, choose a distance or time interval, and swim as fast as possible during that interval. Rest for a short period, and then repeat the high-intensity interval. For example, you could swim at maximum effort for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat the interval several times.

Technique Drills

Improving your swimming technique is crucial for maximizing your speed and power in the water. By focusing on specific drills and exercises that target different aspects of your stroke, you can enhance your efficiency and effectiveness in the water.

One technique drill that can help improve your speed and power is the catch-up drill. Start by swimming freestyle, but only move one arm at a time. As one arm completes a stroke, touch it to your other hand before starting the next stroke with the opposite arm. This drill helps to improve your stroke timing and coordination, ultimately enhancing your overall speed and power.

Open Water Swimming

In addition to pool workouts, incorporating open water swimming into your training routine can help improve your speed and power. Open water swimming presents different challenges compared to pool swimming, such as unpredictable currents and navigation. By training in open water, you can develop the necessary skills and adaptability to swim efficiently and powerfully in various conditions.


Improving your speed and power in swimming requires a combination of specific workouts, training techniques, and a focus on technique. By incorporating interval training, resistance training, plyometric exercises, high-intensity intervals, technique drills, and open water swimming into your training routine, you can enhance your overall performance in the water. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to avoid injury. With dedication and consistency, you can unleash your full potential and achieve your swimming goals.