Swim Drills for Triathletes

By: TGB Training

Far more than running or cycling, swimming is about technique. How you move through the water and your feel for it. This makes learning correct body position very important before you start putting in high mileage. Skip the drills early in the season and you will be ingraining less efficient technique into your muscle memory. This will lead to backtracking later on when you will have to not only have to forget what you taught yourself, but learn the correct form as well.  Opps!

Lets just do it right from the start.

Drills are the key to any early season workout. Most importantly, when done right they promote the efficient technique that provides the foundation to a strong swim leg later in the season.

The following are a list of common drills to help you get to an efficient position and good feel of the water:

How to do it:

  • Hands at your side
  •  Head in line with spine, maintain sturdy core
  • Press chest towards pool bottom
  • Breathe by lifting your head straight up

Feel for:

Butt breaking the water surface when head is down
Hips dropping when head is up for breath

What it does:

Gives the feel of good position (high butt) vs. bad position (low hips)

When to use it:

Beginning of all early season swims

How to do it:

  • In deep end, tread water using a flutter kick, keeping hands crossed over your chest
  • Every 5” turn 90 degrees to R, then 90 degrees to L

Feel for:

Body rotation coming from your hips
Hips and shoulders moving together

What it does:

Improve body rotation, maintain coordinated hip/shoulder movement

When to use it:

Beginning of all early season swims

How to do it:

  • Same as the Plank, but rather than breathing by lifting your head rotate your body

Feel for:

Body rotation coming from your hips
Hips and shoulders moving together

What it does:

Improve body rotation, maintain coordinated hip/shoulder movement

When to use it:

All early season swims, after first two weeks of swimming, stop using the Plank and replace with the Corkscrew

How to do it:

  • Lying on your side with the bottom arm outstretched, reaching for the far end of the pool as if it’s your last stroke and you’re reaching for the wall
  • Top arm rests on your upper side, hand on thigh
  • Straight spine, head in line with spine, goggles splitting the water surface (one in, one out)
  • Strong flutter kick keeps you in position

Feel for:

High body position in the water
Hand resting on your hip breaking the surface of the water
Pressure on your chest/lat

What it does:

Teaches high position in the water, during recovery

When to use it:

All early season swims, after 2 weeks progress to the drills below

Progression:

1) KOS with rotation (KOS for 5 sec., take a stroke and kick on your other side 5 sec. and stroke, repeat)
2) KOS with 3 strokes (KOS for 5 sec, take 3 strokes kick on the opposite side 5 sec, and repeat)

How to do it:

  • Like the regular free stroke, but keep the lead arm extended until the recovery arm/hand “catches up” and touches the hand of the lead arm

Feel for:

Long, gliding strokes
Rotation starting at the hips with the shoulders mimicking
Maintain the KOS position while gliding between strokes

What it does:

Combine the KOS with the full stroke cycle
Emphasis on long strokes

When to use it:

This is a good one to use throughout the season

How to do it:

  • Like the regular free stroke, but stroking with only one are, the other remains straight at your side
  • Rotation comes from the hips
  • Breathe to the side your are stroking from (if you are pulling with your right arm, breathe to the right side)

Feel for:

Differences from one arm to the other
Body rotation starting from the hips

What it does:

Puts focus on one arm at a time

When to use it:

This is a good one to use throughout the season

How to do it:

  • Regular Freestyle stroke, but keep your hands closed in a fist
  • Maintain a high elbow position when the stroking hand enters the water

Feel for:

The pull coming from your arm pit
Pressure on your forearm rather than your hand

What it does:

Makes you aware of the surface area you can pull with
Makes you pull more with the larger back muscles, than shoulder muscles

When to use it:

This is a good one to use throughout the season
Try doing sets of 50 yards hands closed, 50 open, 50 closed, 50 open

2016-12-08T22:24:16-04:00 Categories: Training|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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