Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week”. 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 Hand Lead Kick, a simple body position drill to work on head position, high hips, and proper kick. To perform the drill, you swimmers will lay face down in the water with the arms extended overhead. Their arms should not be in a streamline, but rather each arm should be in line with the shoulder.
Once they are in the prone position they simply kick down the length of the pool, working on keeping their arms extended, head in line with their spine, and their hips up. When doing this drill, make sure that they are really reaching through their fingertips to keep their body as long as possible in the water. Also make sure that their hands are just below the surface of the water and as still as possible. Swimmers will want to try and use their arms to balance, but watch to make sure they are using their core and propulsion of their kick to find stability in the water rather than their arms.
A snorkel is a great addition to this drill, as it lets your swimmers focus on maintaining the proper body position and not have to worry about disrupting their body position to breathe. This will also help with anyone who struggles with a high head position, as they can focus on keeping their head down and in line with the rest of their body. While this is a great drill for beginning swimmers to work on the proper body position in freestyle, it is also a great drill to incorporate with your older swimmers when working on drills that lengthen out their stroke. Happy swimming!
All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.