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Advanced & Competition Videos

I have sorted through many videos, and think these are of good quality. Once you are comfortable swimming the basic strokes, you can use these videos to help you refine your stroke. As your stroke technique improves, you will be able to swim greater distances at a faster pace, using a smooth, efficient technique. Swimming is a science, and these videos give you the benefit of the same research that “the pros” use.


World Class Swimmers – What is the speed limit?

On the Postings page, there are several videos that offer excellent views of the techniques of Alex Popov (Olympic champion in sprints) and Sun Yang, in an amazing 1500m record swim. The underwater cameras reveal how much freestyle has changed. Stuff that was wrong, such as a weak kick and major body roll are now the way to swim more efficiently!

Smooth Technique, pt. 1

Well done video on swimming efficiently. It goes with the book Swim Smooth (review).

3 Drills

Coach Josh Davis offers 3 freestyle training drills: Thumb Drag; Fist Drill; Catch Up Drill (5 min.)

Streamline Your Body

Jamie Shaules presents an entertaining lesson on the importance of reducing drag (vs. putting more effort in the stroke). (8 min.)

Shoulder vs. Hip Driven Techniques

Gary Hall illustrates hip driven vs. shoulder driven freestyle techniques (7 min., brief ad).

 What is the Limit? Featuring Alexander Popov

(Parts 2, 3, 4)
Alex Popov is a legendary Olympic freestyler (winner of 100m. gold 2 times) who was famous for his super-efficient stroke. These videos show Popov at his best, including drills, and they also attempt to answer the question, “How fast can man swim?”

Popov Part 3 | Popov Part 4


The butterfly is the 2nd fastest competition stroke. It is also the most difficult stroke to swim efficiently and has no practical value outside of competition. When swimmers are not using the correct techniques, or are not in good condition, you can see them struggle to maintain momentum and a flat body position. These videos show the correct technique and some drills to help you learn the dolphin kick, breathing and a “feel for the water”. It takes time and hard work for most swimmers to become competitive in the ‘fly, so don’t be discouraged–hang in there and keep practicing. Learning butterfly is a good way to challenge yourself, and it will help your overall swimming, even if you never compete.

Basic Butterfly Technique

This video shows the stroke from the front and side, with freeze frames on key points. Note the pattern of the arms: they enter inline with the shoulders, pull outward, then return near the hips at the end of the power stroke.

Here is another good look at the basic butterfly technique. Watch, listen, and learn! (4:11)

1000 Swimmers Analysis

Videos of local swimmers in competition and practice, with some analysis. Your comments and questions are welcome.

50 Yd. Freestyle

San Diego Sr. Games, Sept. 22, 2013

This was the fastest heat. (Ref. Freestyle Analysis no.5)

50 & 100 Yd. Freestyle

San Diego Sr. Games, Sept. 22, 2013

Comparison of stroke rate for 2 races. (Ref. Freestyle Analysis no. 4)