How to Push Yourself off the Wall in Swimming

How to Push Yourself off the Wall in Swimming

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Whether you're training for a swim race or you just want to improve your overall swim time, performing a proper push-off at the edge of the pool can greatly cut down on the amount of time it takes to get you from one end of the pool to the other. Whether you started your push-off from a stationary position in the water, or from a flip turn -- in which you swim toward the wall and then flip your body over to head the other direction -- the mantra for the push-off should be "streamline, streamline, streamline," advises former Olympic swimmer John Moffett.

Step 1

Plant your feet firmly on the pool wall with your knees bent. Try to keep your body completely underwater. Many swimmers aim to put their feet on the "T" at the end of the line in pool lanes.

Step 2

Place one hand on top of the other and tuck the thumb of the top hand around the bottom hand.

Step 3

Reach above your head with your hands together, and tuck the head under the arms. Squeeze your arms into your ears and point the joined hands forward. Squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Step 4

Explode outward from the wall, straightening your legs and keeping your toes pointed. Maintain this streamlined glide underwater until you begin to slow down, and then begin your first stroke. According to the Feel For The Water website, your glide should be about 5 meters long if you are doing it right.


  • Depending on the stroke and whether you're doing a flip turn, you may also be rolling your body over after pushing off the wall. If you are doing a flip turn, you should roll over after you have set yourself into the "streamline" position.


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