Swim, Technique, and Skills Day

Marines with 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, swim across the 43 Area Training Tank during swim qualification at Camp Pendleton. Joshua Young/Marine Corps

Some days should be light, but instead of completely resting and doing nothing, focus on your techniques, especially if swimming is somewhat of a weakness of yours. Here is a simple workout that will help you with swimming and loosen tight muscles from previous workouts, but also build confidence in the water. This is a much needed skill if you’re considering any profession that involves water such as SEALs, AF PJs, Rescue Swimmers, Public Safety and Recovery Divers, Navy EOD and Divers, etc.


  • Tread water without using your hands for 5 minutes.
  • Swim 500m using any stroke, then lightly stretch.

Swimming / Skills Set:

  • Swim 100m fast
  • Bottom bounce 1 min
  • Swim 100m fast
  • Float 1 min
  • Swim 100m fast
  • Travel 50m
  • Swim 100m fast

For PJ or SEAL focused training, an option for you is to keep your hands behind your back and your feet together to simulate the drownproofing test. Do not tie your hands and feet while practicing.  There are good skills to practice in between sets, like a life-saving buddy drag with your partner for 25m, or practice knot tying on the side of pool.

Finish off with a 500m swim with fins.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books: Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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