Drills - The Key to Efficiency
By Karen Buxton -
UltraFit.com Now is the time to focus on
technique to develop a more efficient swim stroke. Below is a list of drills to
incorporate into your swim sessions.
These drills, which focus on pull, recovery
and feel for the water, can be part of your warm-up or cool-down and if done
consistently, definitely make a difference.
Single arm: Keep one arm in front
while you stroke with the other. Think about reaching over a barrel bent elbow
in the beginning to initiate a powerful pull.
Fist: Swim with your fingers closed
into a fist. This drill helps promote elbow bending in the beginning of the
Catch-up: This is an alternating
single-arm drill. Wait for your hand to meet the other in front before pulling
(touch and go) with the other arm. This drill works on your pull and
Finger-tip drag: On your recovery,
drag you finger tips lightly across the water before entering for the next
pull. This works on high elbow on the recovery.
Scull: On your stomach, with arms
stretched out, place your palms together and thumbs up. Rotate hands so that
thumbs are down and push water out just past shoulder width. Rotate hands to
thumbs up and push water back in (almost a figure 8.) Feeling the water
pressure with your hands and arms should move you forward in the pool. Keep
your face in the water during the drill, raising your head to breathe while
Kicking to improve body
The following drills not only help develop
your kick, but improve your rotation and body position as well.
These dills are easily incorporated into
your warm-up and cool down and should yield good results if done consistently.
Remember, if good technique were easy to come by, everyone would have it.
Discipline yourself this winter to make
these drills a part of your regular swim regimen.
Kick on side: Kick on your side with
both arms at your side. Play with head position and see how that affects how
your hips ride in the water. (Think "downhill" head pushing down and out and
help your hips ride high).
Kick on side with rotation: Same as
above, except after a six-beat kick, roll to your other side, initiating the
rotation with your hips and core (the shoulders and upper body will
Kick on side arm out: Lie on your
side and kick a length of the pool with the bottom arm extended and the top arm
at your side. Concentrate on feeling long.
Kick on side, arm out with rotation:
Same as above except after a six beat kick take a pull and recover (one stroke
cycle) and roll over to your other side. Lead the rotation with your hips, not
Karen Buxton coaches triathletes,
duathletes, cyclists and runners and can be reached at