Useful Swimming Drills That Every Swimmer Should Know

Whether you are a beginner swimmer or an experienced swimmer who has been swimming for years, there is always room to improve your craft and work on improving your stroke technique. Implementing swimming technique drills is going to help you swim faster, burn more calories, get a better workout, reduce your chance of injury, and make your swimming workout much more fun and engaging!

What is a swimming drill?

A swimming drill is an exercise done specifically with the goal of improving your swimming technique. Specific swimming drills are usually a modified version of one of the four competitive strokes such as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, or freestyle. The swimming drills are designed to help you focus on a specific part of the technique (such as arm position, breathing, kicking) and help you improve it. Here are some of the best swimming drills that will benefit any and every swimmer, no matter their fitness level and swimming experience.

The Zipper Drill

The Zipper Drill is a swimming drill that focuses on keeping the swimmer’s elbow high through the recovery phase of the freestyle stroke.

Asyour hand exits the water and you finish your underwater pull, focuson keeping your elbow positioned above your hand. As your handreaches forward, make sure that the thumb of your recovering hand ispassing gently across your torso into your armpit. If it makes iteasier, imagine that you are zipping up the side of your body withyour thumb.

This specific swimming drill will improve the swimmer’s balance, high elbows, and keeping a consistent stroke rate.

6-Kick Switch Drill

The6-Kick Switch Drill is a fundamental swimming drill in freestyledesigned to improve the swimmer’s balance.

Balance on your side while keeping your head down, take six kicks, then take a single stroke and balance on your opposite side for the next six kicks. If your freestyle technique is good, it will involve continuous rotation from side to side, which requires exquisite balance, and this drill helps you achieve it. Using fins is also a fantastic way to complement this drill and help you hold a high body position.

Head-Up Front Crawl

The head-up front crawl drill is designed to help the swimmer improve sighting, hand entry, and engagement with the water.

While swimming full stroke front crawl, make sure you are keeping your chin on the surface of the water. Focusing on a point at the end of the pool will help you keep your head up, and it will improve your sighting. If your head stays still, you are far more likely to remain in a straight line, which is especially beneficial in the open water.

Catchup Drill

The Catchup Drill is designed to help the swimmer improve their patience in the water and stroke timing.

Use a piece of PVC pipe or any stick that’s about half a meter in length, hold your arms out in a streamlined position and delay the next stroke until your recovering arm finishes. While performing this drill, focus on keeping your body position high. Once you return your hands to the neutral position in front of your head, they should be directly in front of your shoulder, just like they would be before you are ready to take the next stroke.

Monitor your progress.

The drills described above will surely help you improve as a swimmer. Make sure that you log your workouts to notice and analyze your progress. Swimmo is a swimming watch designed exactly with this in mind.


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