7 Explosive Swimming Sprint Workouts to Boost Speed

swimming sprint workouts

Let’s dive into the world of high-velocity swimming with workouts that’ll turn the pool into your speedway. Whether you’re prepping for a meet or just love the thrill of going fast, these seven explosive workouts are your ticket to boosting your sprint game.

In swimming sprints, speed is crucial. It’s not just raw power but the finesse of strength, technique, and mental fortitude. These workouts challenge and refine these aspects, guiding you to cut through the water with precision. Testing your limits equips you to enhance your sprinting prowess. It’s not just about the destination; it’s about the journey and the jet-like speed you gain along the way.

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1. The Starter’s Dash

The first workout is all about mastering that explosive start. Begin with a series of dive sprints: push off the block and sprint 25 yards as fast as you can, then easy swim back. Repeat 8-10 times with ample rest to ensure each sprint is at maximum effort.

Think of it like drag racing in water; you want to hit top speed from the get-go. This drill hones your reaction time and initial burst, giving you the edge right off the starting whistle.

2. Power Kicks Drill

Strong legs equal strong sprints. For this workout, grab a kickboard and unleash a series of 50-yard power kicks. Focus on explosive, fast-twitch movements with brief, high-intensity intervals. Aim for 10 sets, with a rest interval that allows for a near-full recovery. It’s like putting a turbocharger on your legs, and with time, you’ll feel the difference in your kick’s thrust.

3. Hypoxic Training

Hypoxic training isn’t just a fancy term; it’s a game-changer. By restricting your breathing to every 5th or 7th stroke during sprints, you’re not only building lung capacity but also teaching your body to work efficiently under stress.

Start with 4×50 yards, breathing less frequently with each set. It’s a tough one (and a bit of a lung-buster), but it’ll teach you to maintain speed even when the oxygen tank is running low.

As Jesse Coomer explains in the video –

  1. Definition of Hypoxic Training: Hypoxic training involves exposing the body to low oxygen levels to induce adaptation and improvement in various physiological aspects.
  2. Common Methods: The video mentions different methods of hypoxic training, including training in high-altitude environments, using special chambers, and utilizing hypoxic masks during workouts.
  3. Purpose of Hypoxic Training: The primary goal of hypoxic training is to enhance the respiratory system’s efficiency and adapt the body to function with lower levels of oxygen.
  4. Athletic Applications: Athletes, particularly cyclists, and those seeking improved athletic endurance often incorporate hypoxic training into their routines for overall better performance.
  5. Breath Work Techniques: The video introduces breath work as a key aspect of hypoxic training, highlighting practices like the Wim Hof Method, Buteyko breathing, and certain forms of pranayama.
  6. Intermittent Hypoxia: The importance of intermittent hypoxia is emphasized, distinguishing it from chronic hypoxia, which may indicate underlying health issues. Intermittent hypoxia is likened to training in controlled doses for optimal benefits.
  7. Monitoring Oxygen Levels: The video discusses the use of a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels and emphasizes the significance of maintaining levels between 90 and 99 percent during regular activities.
  8. Benefits of Hypoxic Training: While acknowledging the need for more research, potential benefits are suggested, including a more effective respiratory system, lowered blood pressure, and positive effects on the immune system.
  9. Personal Experience: The presenter shares personal experiences, including lowering oxygen levels during breathwork sessions, and advocates for the safety of hypoxic training when done intermittently.
  10. Accessible Training: The video concludes by highlighting the accessibility of hypoxic training, noting that it can be practiced without going to high altitudes by using breathwork techniques like the Wim Hof Method, Buteyko, and pranayama.
Jesse Coomer

4. Speed Ladders

Speed ladders are the swimming equivalent of a musician’s scale practice—tedious but essential. Start with 25 yards at a moderate pace, then ramp up to a full sprint for the next 25 yards.

Step it down again, and repeat for a total of 300 yards. It’s all about control and the ability to shift gears quickly. You’ll find your cruising speed and your top-end speed start to converge, which is exactly what you want.

5. The Turnover Test

The turnover test is where you measure how quickly you can cycle your arms without losing form. Set a timer for 30 seconds and swim freestyle as fast as you can while maintaining proper technique. Rest, then repeat. The goal is to increase the number of strokes you can take in that time frame. It’s not about flailing wildly; it’s about controlled chaos (and a splash of finesse).

6. Mixed Pace Sets

These sets are like a box of assorted chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get, but it’s always good. Mix up your workout with a combination of sprints and easy swimming.

Try 25 yards sprint, 25 yards easy, 50 yards sprint, 50 yards easy, and so on up to 100 yards. This workout teaches your body to recover quickly and adapt to changing speeds, making you unpredictable and hard to beat.

7. The Anaerobic Push

Anaerobic workouts push you into the zone where your body screams for oxygen but you keep pushing through. Try 8×50 yards with full sprints on a 1-minute interval.

It’s brutal, but it builds the kind of endurance that makes the last leg of your sprint feel like the first. You’ll be gasping for air (and maybe questioning your life choices), but the payoff is worth it.

Fine-Tuning Your Technique

All the power in the world won’t help if your technique is like a fish flopping on land. Spend time on the details: streamline position, flip turns, and stroke efficiency. It’s the little things that add up to make big waves. Imagine your body as a finely tuned machine—every part needs to work in harmony to achieve that perfect sprint.

Recovery: The Untold Hero

Let’s not forget the silent partner in your training regimen: recovery. It’s easy to overlook, but without proper rest, all these workouts are just a fast track to Burnoutville.

Incorporate easy swims, stretching, and maybe some yoga (yes, yoga) into your routine. Your muscles will thank you, and you’ll come back to each session ready to set the pool ablaze with speed.

So there you have it, seven explosive workouts to supercharge your swimming sprints. Integrate these into your training, and you’ll be slicing through the water like a hot knife through butter. Remember, speed is a craft, and with these workouts, you’re well on your way to becoming a master artisan of the fast lane.

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