Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Technique Progression Drills

This article outlines the drills that you can use in order to improve your balance, alignment and pull pattern.

You can get more detail by purchasing the Total Immersion book and/or video.


Back Kick
Think surfboard -- rigid spine
Push shoulders down
Only mouth and nose out of water

Back Kick Twist
Face up at all times
Rotate hips and shoulders to left (pause) and back (pause), to right (pause) and back (pause)

Back Kick Twist - down
Establish position on back
On to side, stabilize
Chin down, look straight down
Chin up to breathe
One side at a time

Same as above, but...
Rotate left, chin down, chin up, breathe, to back
Rotate right, chin down, chin up, breathe, to back
Repeat

Same as above, but now change sides by rolling across front (rather than to back)
If you have trouble with the transition, pause on your front
Slow the movement down
The goal is to become balanced at all times of the rotation
Speed is meaningless -- balance is your goal

Side Kick - low arm at side
Chin up to breathe, chin down rest of time
Shoulder to wrist, out of water
If you have trouble, roll a little onto your back for your air

Side Kick - low arm extended
Even though this one is easier, you get a LOT of benefit from mastering the arm at side drill. I highly recommend it.
Arm should be about 6-8 inches underwater
If your extended hand is at the top of the water... your hips are down!

Side Kick - single change
Underwater stroke, change to other side
Think "two rails"
Step A - Change to side, then breathe
Step B - Straight to air
Step C - Straight to air, three breaths, repeat

Side Kick - three-stroke change
Same drill with three underwater strokes
Step A - Change to side, then breathe
Step B - Straight to air
Step C - Straight to air, three breaths, repeat

Single Stroke - above water
Step A - To side, stabilize, breathe
Step B - Straight to air
Step C - Straight to air, three breaths, repeat
Step D - Straight to air, one breath, repeat
Extended arm should wait a little

Three Stroke - above water
Step A - To side, stabilize, breathe
Step B - Straight to air
Step C - Straight to air, three breaths, repeat
Step D - Straight to air, one breath, repeat
Emphasize the rotation, moving from one rail to the next
Full stroke length, balanced at all times
Extended arm should wait a little
Three strokes are continuous, stroke should flow

Once you hit Three Stroke, Step D, you are bilateral breathing. Congratulations!

Key Points

* Rotate hips and chin to breathe (chin up, chin down) -- head is stable at all times
* Head down -- even more important in open water
* Novice to Intermediate Swimmers -- I am willing to bet BIG money that if you swam masters once a week and did these drills 2-3x a week for eight weeks then you would PR at all distances
* Drills must be done slowly and efficiently

The drills are best mastered in order and done frequently. We are trying to overcome our innate response to water.

gordo

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