Swimming fast primarily relies on drag elimination and therefore shapes.
Streamline – Make certain to reach as far forward as possible so that your arm fully straightens, plus aim to pause for a split-second before trying to find pressure under your hand. This allows you to direct any energy used forward to cut through the water as opposed to pushing.
Balance – Keep your weight constantly forward through your chest and look down with your eyes. This helps your hips to stay high and your body flat which allows water to pass cleanly underneath you. If water needs to change direction as it flows under or around you then this will cause drag which will slow you down.
Rotation – Let your opposite shoulder roll with every reach forward. This will allow you to pull back more, reach further forward (half the shoulder width is employed) and transfer energy from one arm to the other. But the most important role that rotation plays is in drag reduction. As water starts flowing over your body, water should slide past you instead of being forced downward from your chest, getting in the way.
Kick – If you can develop the ability to keep your legs high and your kick compact, this will further reduce disruption to water flow. Your first goal should be to eliminate drag from your leg action rather than to increase the power. A strong but ineffective kick will be unsustainable (hence pointless) because it requires you to become stronger or fitter, but a more effective kick often only requires focus. Even a weak kick can be effective.
Look out for the article next time that delves further into each of these topics above.
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