Swimming tips to boost your training plans

To kick-start your training, here are some simple swimming tips from Jolyon Finck, Swimathon Head Coach.

General swimming technique

  • Body position: This affects your whole stroke so aim to stay as streamlined as possible.
  • Leg action: This helps to keep your body in a good position. Kick as strongly as you can to stay as horizontal as possible. 
  • Arm action: In all strokes except for breaststroke, most of the power comes from your arms.


  • Aim for a flat body position, and keep your eyes looking forward and down.
  • Hand enters the water just inside the shoulder line. Arm pulls down and back with elbow bent, body rolls. Arm recovery is an easy, relaxed action with the elbow higher than the hand.
  • Arm pushes back, head starts to turn ready for breathing. Head turns to side, breathe out and in quickly.
  • The face turns back into the water as soon as the breath is taken.


  • When the arm is at shoulder level the elbow bends, arm pulls sideways, body rolls.
  • Aim for a flat body position; keep your head back with your eyes looking upwards.
  • The arm and leg actions are continuous.
  • Breathe out as one arm recovers and in as the other arm recovers.


  • Make sure you keep a streamlined body position at a small angle, and keep your eyes looking forward.
  • Pull your arms to the side, back and down, making sure that your hands stay in front of your shoulders.
  • Breathe out and take a quick breath.
  • As the arms complete their action, the legs are drawn up.
  • As the arms push forward, the legs drive back with feet turned out.
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