Technical evaluation of swimming performance is an essential factor of elite athletic preparation. Novel methods of analysis, incorporating body worn inertial sensors (i.e., Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, accelerometers and gyroscopes), have received much attention recently from both research and commercial communities as an alternative to video-based approaches. This technology may allow for improved analysis of stroke mechanics, race performance and energy expenditure, as well as real-time feedback to the coach, potentially enabling more efficient, competitive and quantitative coaching. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature related to the use of inertial sensors for the technical analysis of swimming performance. This paper focuses on providing an evaluation of the accuracy of different feature detection algorithms described in the literature for the analysis of different phases of swimming, specifically starts, turns and free-swimming. The consequences associated with different sensor attachment locations are also considered for both single and multiple sensor configurations. Additional information such as this should help practitioners to select the most appropriate systems and methods for extracting the key performance related parameters that are important to them for analysing their swimmers’ performance and may serve to inform both applied and research practices.