The latest swim innovations include:

*The S-curve. Expert swimmers used to think that pushing water directly backward to set off a column of turbulence helped the arm accelerate through the water. But videotapes of champion swimmers showed otherwise. Now, instead of circling their arms around like a windmill, top swimmers pull their hands inward along an imaginary elliptical pathway. They carve an "S-Curve" by seeking out still water, instead of water already moving, for greater propulsion.

*Blading. Instead of slapping your hands down straight through the water, your hand should knife in thumb-first, at about a 45-degree angle. You don't want to slow yourself down by pushing a cupped hand of air into the entry point.

*Elbows up. Dropped elbows are typically the most common error and energy waster in swimming. If your elbow travels backward before your hands during your stroke, you're pulling inefficiently. As your palm enters the water, your elbows should be shoulder high. Then, at the end of your stroke, think of splashing water back up to the sky to emphasize hand acceleration.

*Chin up. Don't tuck your chin into your chest or stare down at that black line. Look slightly forward toward the wall for a more streamlined position.

*Kicking. Kicking harder won't speed you along as much as it will drain your energy. Remember that most of your swimming power comes from your upper body.