Swim Training is courtesy of FINIS, a SwimSwam partner. Featured image: Olympic Champion Anthony Ervin
The Shark Fin Drill
The break in stroke cycle activates stabilizing shoulder muscles that support a high elbow recovery. This drill also engages major back and core muscles for a proper body rotation. We like the Shark Fin drill because you can easily build it into any workout – use this drill to focus on technique during warm up, or plug it into a main set to refine technique when fatigue sets in.
For increased technical focus, try using the Forearm Fulcrum. The figure-8 design locks the wrist in the same plane as the forearm, stabilizing a proper high elbow position during the catch and recovery.
The Water Polo Drill
Swim freestyle with the head lifted completely out of the water. To ensure proper head position, identify an object at deck-level on the opposite side of the pool and try to maintain focus on that object while swimming.
This is a great drill for all swimmer types – competitive, fitness or triathlon/open water. Lifting the head forces a higher elbow in order to clear the surface of the water. Additionally, the sighting component of the drill is an excellent way to practice proper open water technique during pool training.
This drill also pairs well with the Forearm Fulcrum or another hand paddle that will ensure proper technique during such a demanding drill. For the full effect of head-up freestyle, we like using a water polo ball. Go figure! Driving a ball through the water ensures that the upper body does not collapse when elevated above the natural plane of the water. Don’t have a water polo ball? No problem – grab a Foam Pull Buoy or a small kickboard like the Alignment Kickboard.