Dryland Tip: Sand Pulls With Outsweep

Dryland Tip By Swimming World Correspondent G. John Mullen of SwimmingScience.net and CenterofOptimalRestoration.com

SANTA CLARA, California, March 22. THIS week's Dryland Tip from Dr. G. John Mullen is designed to help with a breaststroker's pull.

Purpose: Sand pulls mimic sculling motions and improve a swimmer's feel for the water. In the video, the athlete is working on improving the outsweep of her breast. The outsweep is a weak part in many breaststroker's stroke, as they have difficulties utilizing the shoulder blade muscles to start their stroke. Sand pulls improve feel and initiating the pull with the shoulder blades, moving the hands via the shoulder blades.

Directions: Fill a bucket 6-12 inches with sand, and then have the athlete kneel (while keeping their back straight) and move the sand back and forth. If working on the outsweep of breast (as seen in the video), have the athlete raise their arm overhead, then start the pull with their shoulder blade with the forearm remaining steady. Cue them to move the sand with their back while their hand is firm. This exercise can be performed from 30 – 60 seconds.

Dr. G. John Mullen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. At USC, he was a clinical research assistant at USC performing research on adolescent diabetes, lung adaptations to swimming, and swimming biomechanics. G. John has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimmer Magazine, and the International Society of Swim Coaches Journal. He is currently the strength and conditioning coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, owner of the Center of Optimal Restoration, creator of Swimming Science, and the Swimmer's Shoulder System .