Freestyle swimmers can improve their times and workout qualities by trying a few trusted tricks of the trade. For an all-body workout that will improve your times, do more than just the freestyle stroke during your workout. You'll need to practice the breaststroke, freestyle (of course), and some kickboarding, along with using paddles. Start out practicing freestyle, reaching as far forward as possible with each stroke, gliding for a few seconds before pulling down through the stroke. Focus on pulling through the water with force, pushing the water behind you, making sure not to cross the stroke across your body or push the water to the sides. Keep your kicks strong, focusing on kicking from your hips, keeping your legs somewhat straight. Don't fight the water; glide upon the surface. The smoother and stronger the moves, the better the times. Move into using paddles on your hands, feeling how the added water resistance challenges your muscles, aiming to get across the pool with as few strokes as possible. Then switch it up by taking off the paddles and swimming a couple lengths with your hands clenched into fists. Then, resume your normal freestyle stroke, noting how different it feels. Your hands will feel like powerful paddles; you'll be faster, too. When you’ve worn out your shoulders (always be careful to avoid injury), make sure to invest some time using the kickboard. Rest your upper body (it may feel good to stretch your arms out over the board) and kick, propelling yourself forward with long, deep, straight-legged kicks. Make the kicks long and powerful, using all of your legs. Practice on the kickboard until you feel the burn. Switch to a breaststroke kick for a couple lengths, working the outer and inner thigh muscles and giving your quads, hamstrings, and gluts a break. Complete your workout with a last set of freestyle laps, just you, no props. Focus on perfecting every stroke.