Basic Drill for Balance and Body Position:
The following drill can be valuable for all swimmers, from beginners to elite athletes. This is a drill that emphasizes balance: keeping your body still and relaxed in the water. Body position refers to the angle the body maintains in relation to the surface of the water from both head to toes, and shoulder-to-shoulder. To maintain an ideal body position, keep your eyes looking downward (except on backstroke). While looking down, your hips and shoulders should be parallel to the surface. Press down on your armpit in order to keep your hips and feet on the surface.

Extension Kick on the Side

This drill will help you control your rotation on freestyle and backstroke. Starting on your side (shoulders and hips are perpendicular to the surface), extend one arm out in front of the body, palm down, and the other arm at your side. The arm that is at your side should be at or above the surface of the water from the shoulder to the wrist. When working on freestyle, your eyes should be looking straight down, with your cheek against the extended shoulder. When breathing, rotate your
head to the side using only your head and neck, trying not to affect the rest of your body.

When using this drill to work on backstroke, keep your eyes focused on the sky or ceiling, keeping the tips of both ears slightly and evenly submerged underwater. Your feet will tell you whether or not your body is perpendicular to the surface: if your feet are kicking perfectly side to side and making very little splash, then your body position will be correct. You may have to adjust your head position and lower the angle your eyes are looking at in order to keep your hips on the surface. If you find your hips sinking, you may be lifting your head and eyes to breathe (rather than simply turning your head to breathe).

This drill also can be modified in order to work on rotation for freestyle. Begin kicking on your side, as explained above. After 10 kicks, begin to lift the elbow of the arm that is at your side, dragging your fingertips across the surface. Once your hand has reached your armpit, and your elbow is pointing directly up, begin to pull with the other arm and rotate into the same extended position on the other side. The extension kick drill can also be used with butterfly kick. Keep your cheek on the surface, and your eyes above water, looking toward the side of the pool. Do butterfly kick keeping your upper body balanced and your extended arm fairly still. You should try to begin the kick from the upper abs down into your hips and legs. This will prevent you from pressing the chest too far, or allowing the shoulders to bounce while doing fly kick.