Fitter And Faster Drill Of The Week: Roller Coaster


Welcome to the “Drill of the Week” sponsored by The Fitter and Faster Swim Tour presented by Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill is “Roller Coaster,” a body position drill for backstroke. Pushing off the wall with your arms overhead, swimmers will kick all the way down the pool. The catch is that their hands, which are overhead, should be hovering just an inch over the surface over the water. While it is a small change from just having your arms overhead in the water, this drill forces swimmers to use their core and legs to keep a stable body position.

It is common for swimmers to struggle to keep their hips and legs at the surface during this drill. Encourage them to adjust their body position and kick intensity to find a way to keep their body position as straight at the surface of the water as possible. This is a useful drill for young swimmers who are just learning backstroke, or for IMer’s whose weak stroke may be backstroke.

This is a great drill to include at the beginning of a drill progression for backstroke, as it sets up the high hips and good body position for your athletes. A sample progression may look like this:

20 x 25 backstroke drill:

        1-4: rollercoaster

        5-8: R arm only

        9-12: L arm only

        13-16: 2-2-2

17-20: swim DPS

Happy Swimming!

Coaches and swimmers should take precautions to avoid shallow water blackouts when performing underwater drills. All training should be conducted by a certified and experienced coach. Coaches and swimmers who use these drills should do so at their own discretion. Learn more about shallow water blackouts

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  1. Amy Foran

    Alex I tried this this afternoon…. I sunk pretty fast!!

    • Alex Timms

      I may have to run this one later in the week

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