Fitter And Faster Swim Drill Of The Week: 6 Kick Switch

Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week” sponsored by The Fitter and Faster Swim Tour presented by Swimoutlet.com. 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 6 kick switch with flutter kick. Pushing off on your stomach, drop your arms to your sides as if you were putting your hands in your pants’ pockets. Rotating to one side, kick on your side with your head down for 6 kicks. After 6 kicks, slowly rotate to the other side while kicking and complete 6 kicks on the opposite side. Continue alternating every 6 kicks all the way down the length of the pool.

While this is a simple body position drill, the importance of this drill should not be discounted. Having your arms are glued to your sides makes you generate the rotation entirely from your hips and core as opposed to just muscling through with your arms. This teaches your swimmers how to generate rotation in their long axis strokes using their entire body, making them more efficient and ultimately maximizes the power of each aspect of their stroke.

Even with more advanced swimmers, it is common to see uneven rotation during this drill. Often, swimmers will try and force the rotation using just their kick or just their hips, creating a delay in their rotation and causing them to jerk their shoulders over late. This is usually because they are used to driving the tempo of their rotation with their arms, not the rest of their body. Regularly incorporating this drill with all levels of swimmers will promote efficiency in their long axis strokes and make them stronger swimmers. Happy swimming!

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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