FORM Fundamentals: The Best Body Position for Swimming

FORM Fundamentals: The Best Body Position for Swimming

Welcome to week one of FORM Fundamentals! We’re so happy you’re here. This week, we’re focusing on one of the most important parts of building a strong swimming foundation—body position.

Trust us, we know how tough swimming can be, but improving your body position can help make your swim more efficient and effortless. The water already has resistance, so you don’t want to create more by having your body out of alignment. To be more efficient and reduce resistance in the water, you need to swim with your head, hips, and heels in a horizontal line—creating the perfect streamline position. A great body position is a foundation for everything in swimming; from kicking, pulling, pushing off the wall, and more. 

Aligning Your Body Position: Head, Hips, & Heels

A great swimming body position starts with your head. With your head in the proper position, your hips and heels will be closer to the surface. As you swim through this week’s workouts, focus on these three things:

1. Look down at the bottom of the pool and maintain a natural head position

A proper head position should feel like your head is half in the water and half out, with the water pushing against the top of your head. You should look down and slightly forward, as if you were standing and looking straight ahead.

2. Make sure your head, hips, and heels are inline

The position of your head will impact the position of your hips and heels. Avoid having your head too high (looking up and forward) or too low, your hips and legs will be lower in the water, which will cause more resistance.

3. Maintain a steady, narrow kick to keep your feet close to the surface

When your body is aligned from head to heels, you should feel your heels close to the surface while you kick, slightly breaking the surface with each kick.

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This Week’s Workouts

You set your baseline with a test set last week and now you’re ready to work on the first fundamental: body position. Some drills to help you improve your body position (featured in this week’s workouts) are side kick and 6-kick switch. Watch this week’s video to see how to properly swim these drills. If you have a FORM membership, you can also watch drill videos in the FORM Swim App.

Check out the workouts below, jump in, and swim!

FORM Fundamentals: Body Position #1 (Total: 1200m)

FORM Fundamentals week one! During this workout, focus on keeping your head, hips, and heels in a horizontal line. Ultimately, you’ll reduce resistance and make swimming easier—who wouldn’t love that?!

Warmup Set

2 x 50m freestyle easy on 20s rest
30s rest
2 x 50m choice easy on 20s rest (choose any stroke)
45s rest

Main Set

2 x 50m kick easy on 20s rest (kickboard optional)
30s rest
4 x 50m freestyle easy on 20s rest
30s rest
2 x 50m side kick drill moderate on 20s rest
30s rest
2 x 100m freestyle moderate on 30s rest
30s rest
2 x 50m 6-kick switch drill moderate on 20s rest
30s rest
1 x 200m freestyle moderate
45s rest

Warm Down Set

2 x 50m choice easy on 20s rest (choose any stroke)

FORM Fundamentals: Body Position #2 (Total: 1300m)

This workout helps reinforce the proper swimming body position. Focus on having your head down and keep your head, hips, and heels in line. Hot tip: maintain a narrow kick to keep your legs up.

Warmup Set

2 x 50m freestyle easy on 15s rest
20s rest
2 x 50m choice easy on 15s rest (choose any stroke)
20s rest
2 x 50m freestyle moderate on 20s rest
45s rest

Main Set

1 x 100m kick moderate on 30s rest
1 x 100m side kick drill on 30s rest
1 x 100m 6-kick switch drill on 30s rest
6 x 50m freestyle moderate on 20s rest
30s rest
4 x 50m freestyle strong on 30s rest
30s rest
2 x 50m freestyle fast on 40s rest
45s rest

Warm Down Set

1 x 50m choice easy on 15s rest (choose any stroke)
1 x 50m freestyle easy on 15s rest

FORM swimmers with a membership can upload this workout to their goggles from the FORM Fundamentals collection in the FORM Swim App. You can print out the workout if you don’t have a FORM membership or goggles. For a detailed breakdown of different efforts, read our article on understanding FORM’s Effort Levels.

Don’t stress if you don’t get it right away! Developing a proper swimming body position takes time, practice, and patience for swimmers at every level to improve their skills. Consistently focusing on keeping your head, hips, and heels in line will help you swim more efficiently.