Fitter And Faster Swim Drill Of The Week: L Drill

Drill Of The Week


Welcome to the “Swim 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 L drill. L drill is a great backstroke drill that works on balance, tempo, and a setting up a strong catch in your pull. Pushing off the wall, have your swimmers begin a normal backstroke cycle. With each stroke, they will pause and make an “L” shape with their arms. Their lead arm will be extended parallel to the water overhead, while their recovering arm will stop perpendicular to their torso in the water. Pausing for a 3 count in this position, the challenge of the drill will be to maintain 1) a strong kick, 2) a tall, high body position in the water, and 3) proper coordination of their arms.

It is common in this drill to see swimmers try and pause with their recovering arm while beginning their next pull with their lead arm. That shows that your swimmers are rushing through their arm strokes. Having them pause with their recovering arm overhead forces them to check in with the timing of their stroke and shows them how difficult it is to balance without that lead arm in front. Although the timing is obviously sped up during full stroke backstroke, a slightly off timing can have a detrimental effect on the stroke’s efficiency.

This drill also reinforces how critical it is to have a strong kick and stable core while swimming backstroke. If either of these elements are missing, you and your swimmers will be able to notice a dramatic drop in body position as they try to pause with their recovering arm overhead. While this may be a difficult drill at first to grasp, this drill is a great tool to learn how to check into some of the major elements of backstroke. Happy swimming!