If you like to swim freestyle, you'll benefit from these reliable swim stroke exercises, all of which will strengthen your stroke and improve your times. For an all-body workout that will improve your times, do more than just the freestyle stroke during your workout. Make sure you include the breaststroke, freestyle, and kick-boarding, at the very least. Begin your practice with freestyle laps, being sure to always reach forward, extending as far as possible with each stroke, and letting the stroke glide in front of you before pulling down. Make every stroke count, engaging your muscles as you pull through the stroke, pushing the water behind you, not to the sides. Make sure your kicks are strong and coming from the hip, and that your knees are only slightly bent. Don't fight the water; glide upon the surface. The smoother and stronger the moves, the better the times. Practice several lengths with paddles on your hands, which will help you move much faster and will increase the water resistance. Then try a couple lengths with your hands balled up into fists (and the paddles off, obviously). Finally, resume freestyle laps in your normal manner. You’ll be much more aware of the power of your hands and will find you’re much faster. When you’ve worn out your shoulders (always be careful to avoid injury), make sure to invest some time using the kickboard. Take this time to stretch out your shoulders as you rest on the kickboard, propelling yourself through the water with strong, powerful, lengthy kicks with straight legs. Extend each kick deep into the water, challenging yourself to use all the muscles you can. Use the kickboard until you feel the burn. While still on the kickboard, switch to a breaststroke kick, exercising your legs in a new way. End your workout with more freestyle laps, using your best technique. Feel the strokes in every muscle as you work to perfect your stroke.