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  • How to Swim the Combat Swimmer Stroke

    The Combat Swim

    When people first try the combat swimmer stroke, a fancy nickname for what is really a modified side stroke, they can often look silly. Even swimmers have issues with this stroke. Athletes and non-​​athletes both share a few weeks of difficulty getting the timing down of this common stroke used by Special Operations communities. The first video is a three part breakdown so you can learn how to do the stroke correctly. Three Part BreakDown of ... more

  • Combat Swimmer Stroke Technique — Now What?

    Swimming practice.

    The combat swimmer stroke (CSS) is really the nick name for a modified version of the side stroke. If you have ever seen military special ops (SEALs, EOD, SF, RECON, etc) swimming with fins on the surface, chances are it is some version of this underwater recovery stroke. In a nutshell, it is a mix of the side stroke, breast stroke, and free style all rolled into one very efficient and fast swim stroke that enables special ops swimmers move in... more

  • Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Combat Swimmer Stroke Critique

    Popular Swimming Workouts

    Hello Stew, Here is a clip of me swimming the sidestroke. I noticed that my timing might be incorrect for my breaths. This is a 25 meter pool. That looks excellent. However, you should do the breast stroke pullout off the wall instead of kicking into a glide and going right into the stroke. See the three-part breakdown for the pullout sequence. Now you really just have to work on a few nit-picky items and get your conditioning so you ca... more

  • The Biggest Mistakes When Swimming the Combat Swimmer Stroke (CSS)

    Kickoff in pool.

    For a while I have been coaching and critiquing young men and women learning proper military swim techniques. Usually they're seeking programs in the military that require an underwater recovery stroke for the entrance fitness test and/or requires swimming with fins during training. These programs include: Navy SEAL, Navy EOD, Navy SWCC, AF PJ / CCT PAST, and Navy Diver.  The goal of any Spec Ops swimming test is to meet an above averag... more

  • The Combat Swim

    The Combat Swim

    "What is the best technique for swimming with fins" is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from future and active duty military personnel. Most are looking for the most efficient way to swim with fins in challenging special operations training such as Navy SEALs, EOD/Diver, Army Rangers, Green Berets, USMC RECON, and Air Force PJs and others. The Combat Swimmer Stroke is a relaxing and super efficient swim stroke that is an... more

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