This week’s S W I M workout comes from Best In The West’s very own RD, Staci Bronson.
Speed in the water doesn’t always come from yards upon yards. Technique is paramount to a smooth, effortless stroke. The less bubbles, splashing and the more you can focus your power on forward motion, the faster you’ll become - even at the same level of fitness.
Today we bring you a swim workout that has a lot of drills mixed in. Doing drills throughout one of your swim workouts each week can help maintain your form, even at the end of a swim when you are starting to get tired.
This workout will take you longer than the same distance on a speed work day because drills aren’t fast. Focus on excellent form and using the drill to help improve your arm/leg/head position and not on how fast you do a lap. With that, there are no sendoff times or goal times.
This week, we will focus on your stroke and leave the kick out of it. If you have a pull buoy handy, this will help keep you streamline (your legs up) while allowing you to focus on your arms.
200 yards normal swim.
100 yards fast - work out the kinks
5x 200 yards - 50 drill, 50 focus
(For a longer workout, 2 x through)
Each 200, choose one drill. During the drill 50, try to get the drill perfect. Don’t go for speed. On the next 50, go back to a normal swim speed but focus on the part the drill was trying to correct. Return to the drill and repeat. Then move on to the next drill.
Drill 1 - Catch Up
This one is for glide. Leave your arm out and gliding until your other arm comes around and enters the water. Before initiating the pull, both arms should be out in front of you.
Drill 2 - Eyes up entry
Look up. Look at your hand entering the water, look at where it enters and where it is going. Crossing over - Does your hand cross the center line? It shouldn’t. If you see it crossing over, try to correct and get it to make a straight line from point of entry to the wall in front of you. Crossing over slows you down. Depth - Does it stay at the top of the water? Does it go all the way down below you? The ideal depth is right around one foot to 18”.
Drill 3 - Bubble Free Entry
Try to get your hand and arm in the water without any bubbles. This one is for a smooth entry. Lift your head position slightly and watch your hand come in the water. If you do get bubbles, glide them away before starting your other hand. You can image there is a circle about a foot from the top of your head that you have to slide your entire hand and arm through in order to get in free of bubbles.
Drill 4 - Wrist, Elbow, Pull
Segmented stroke. Many people have a straight arm stroke. For this drill, we really segment the stroke to try and get you to a better arm position. Start at the pool edge. Place your hands on the gutter and push yourself up out of the pool. Notice where you put your hands for the most strength. Notice the bend in your elbows. This is a similar position to what we want underwater. You want to push the water back behind you. At the end of the glide, bend your wrist. Get it to 90°. Next, bend your elbow. Get it to 90°. Now start your pull and keep your forearm and hand parallel to the back wall until your hip. Bring it around and then start the other side. When you first try this drill, there can be some sinking. Grab a pull buoy so you can go nice and slow. Your wrist starts at 90° flexed but ends completely extended if you are keeping that hand parallel to the wall all the way through.
Drill 5 - Fist Swimming
Close your hand into a fist, nice and tight. Swimming without the surface area of your hand will force you to use your forearm to move forward in the water. Turns out, your forearm has a lot more surface area than your hand. Remember to get a good 90° elbow bend like you just practiced with drill 4.
There are many more drills you can incorporate into your routine, have a look online for more.
100 yards fast - try to un-segment and swim with great form.
100-200 easy with EXCELLENT form.