Bonus Points for Technique – Part 1/3, The Swim

Now that we are all getting in to the swing of the triathlon season, with all of our triathlon gear ready to go, and getting in a few workouts each week, let’s talk about what to do during those workouts. Through regularly getting in your swim, bike, run workouts, and gradually building the time or distance you spend on each one, you’ll develop aerobic fitness, and increase your endurance. This is important, and will help you to feel stronger as you progress. In addition to increasing your endurance fitness, it’s beneficial to also become as efficient as possible, which will enable you to go further, faster and with less effort. The best way to improve your efficiency is by improving your technique with form drills. Drills are great to do as a warm up or cool down to any workout and are designed to allow you to focus on a particular segment of your movement in either swim, bike or run. For this week, we are going to focus on my favorite drills for swimming:

  1. Body Roll Balance Drill – Gives you a feel for the correct head and body positioning in the water. Focus on a long spine, with chin tucked, and looking down at the bottom of the pool. Lead the rotation with the hips. To breath, initiate rotation with the hips and then turn your head to the side. Start with 2 x 25 yards, taking a 20 second break in between, progress to 4 x 25. You can progress to side balance drills. Video here.
  2. Finger Tip Drag Drill – Aids you in keeping a high elbow as you are recovering from each stroke. Dragging your fingertips across the top of the water as you recover from each pull forces you to control your arm movement. Start with 2 x 25 yards, taking a 20 second break in between, progress to 4 x 25. Video here.
  3. Vertical Kicking Drill – Helps you develop an efficient flutter kick by practicing fast, narrow kicking. It also helps with increasing ankle flexibility. Start with 2 x 30 seconds, and progress to 4 x 30, then 2 x 60. Video here.

Relax and have fun with the drills, and email me if you have any questions!

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