Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Swim Stuff

Hello All, Diana and I wanted to start sharing some knowledge in respect to swimming. So we'll put up different items each week so that you can all try some different items. We'll put up sets, drills, or whole workouts depending on feedback and interest.

This week we'll put up a drill progression called the Minnesota stroke drill (mainly because I love Minnesota). For those of you who were at the rainy day fun swim, some of the drills have already been covered. The progression consists of three drills and "perfect freestyle" evenly distributed over the course of the chosen distance. The drills are below:

CATCH UP -- Touch your thumbs at the front of your freestyle stroke. Focus on a good solid catch and then pull underneath your body. Ensure that you are not crossing over or sliding your hand outside your body. If your hips are dropping, look directly at the bottom of the pool and increase your kicking. The point of this drill is to emphasize a solid catch and quality body roll.

FINGERTIP DRAG -- Drag your fingertip in the water during your recovery (from the rear of your pull all the way to your entry). Ensure that you lift your hand out of the water at the end of your stroke right below your suitline (for the guys) and about one hand below your suitline (for the ladies). Doing this correctly will cause your hips to fully roll to each side. Be careful that your hand is not slipping to the outside at the beginning of your stroke and your catch is made directly in front of your body. The point of this drill is to force body roll and teach a clean recovery.

ARMPIT TOUCH -- During your recovery, touch your armpit with your thumb, then enter as normal. Ensure that you are still making a solid catch and pulling underneath your body. This drill will re-enforce the feeling from Fingertip Drag. Be sure to enter directly in front, some people tend to enter wide on this drill so really focus. If you feel this drill is causing your recovery to turn screwy, let me know and I'll give you a different drill to do.

Finish with "Perfect Freestyle" -- re-enforcing a solid, elbow high, catch; hip roll; and pulling directly underneath your body. If you can, breathe every third stroke in order to balance your stroke and work on breath control.

Sample Sets:
4 x 200 (1 x 50 each drill to reach a 200) 10 seconds rest
4 x 100 (1 x 25 each drill to reach a 100) 5 seconds rest
You get the point.

Ensure you follow up the drill set with 300 or more of freestyle (not necessarily straight, e.g. 6x50) in order to re-enforce the technique emphasized in the set. Hopefully this is clear, if not, let me know. I will post more next week.