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How to Incorporate Floating Exercises Into Your Swim Workouts

Getting exhausted after even the shortest distances in the water is no fun.

In fact, it’s downright miserable.

The worst part is that it’s so hard that the THOUGHT of sustained swimming just seems impossible.

If your approach is to just slog through it and hope for the best, well maybe it is impossible.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative.

Last time, I talked about why you’re probably getting exhausted when you’re swimming, particularly if you’re someone that’s reasonably fit on land.

It all comes down to body position.

If your body position is off, swimming is going to be HARD.

Your legs and hips are going to be low, which is going to make swimming through the water even harder.

Instinctively, you’re going to kick hard to compensate.

Sinking legs are also a threat; it feels like you’re about to drown and that makes you tense up.

These reasons all add up to tired, fatiguing swimming.

Thankfully, improved body position solves all these problems.

How do you improve body position?

It starts with the Ball Float.

This exercise helps you feel the support of your lungs.

It helps you feel effortless floating.

It helps you RELAX.

For maybe the first time, you might find yourself in the water, NOT feeling like it’s a struggle.

Then, you have to learn how to create leverage on your lungs to get your hips up.

It starts with learning to press the head and chest into the water to pop them up.

It may feel VERY weird, but once you get it, you get it.

For some, that’s not enough, and you also have to learn how to create tension in the back of your body to pull the legs up to the surface.

Different ‘letter’ floats are really effective.

Once you learn how to create that tension, you can begin to implement it when you swim.

Dragging legs be gone!

I went over all of this in more depth last time.

If you missed that article, you can find all the details HERE.

Today, to ensure swimming exhaustion is a thing of your past, I’m going to show you how to practice these exercises to maximize the impact they have on your swimming.

When I first learned of these exercises, I did what most of us would do.

I’d have athletes practice them for a few minutes, they’d think it was cool, and then we’d move on.

For some, it made a quick and obvious difference, enough for me to recognize the value.

However, the results weren’t THAT good.

Although I didn’t know what to do, I figured I wasn’t using them as well as I could.

These exercises are great for FEELING the skills of body position.

BUT these exercises are not swimming freestyle and it can be a big jump to transition these skills into freestyle for some.

I found this out pretty quick when implementing them into my coaching.

For some, the skills transferred to their freestyle immediately, others not so much.

The other problem is that you need a lot of repetition.

And floating exercises can be…not exciting, especially for those that like to work.

And the other problem is that you need a lot of repetitions of freestyle to integrate these skills.

You can probably see where this is going, but sadly it took me a while to see where it was going…

The solution!

Perform ~10 seconds of floating work before each freestyle repetition.


It solves several problems all at once, without really adding any extra time to your workout.

It’s not boring- going back and forth prevents the boredom of doing the same thing over and over again.

It allows you to get a lot of practice FEELING the skills and then INTEGRATING them into your freestyle.

This approach is a lot more effective and results in a LOT more progress.

Here’s what it could look like.

You can do whatever type of set you like, just incorporate the floating exercises between.

There are no rules here, other that practice floating exercises before swimming repetitions.

You can perform whatever floating exercises you want, and you can do as many repetitions as you want.

You can perform as much freestyle as you want, at whatever speed you want.

Whatever you want to do, and whatever is working for you is approved by me!

Start practicing and GET BETTER TODAY!

If you found this helpful, I would LOVE it if you shared it with a friend.

Help them improve their swimming.

Keep it simple…


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