Building Leg Drive & The Snorkel

Courtesy of FINIS, a SwimSwam Partner.

FINIS, swimmers_snorkel_lOne of the key advantages to using the Swimmer’s Snorkel is that it allows you to work on other areas of your stroke without being interrupted by the need to breath. A constant flow of oxygen into the body goes a long way in keeping the swimmer calm and focused on the task at hand. As coaches and athletes, we are consumed by the idea of swimming as fast as possible for as long as possible during training. Although this is arguably the best way to improve when you are new to the sport, elite level swimmers are quick to mention that focusing on stroke mechanics and your feel for the water are the best ways to keep improving late in your career (ex. Anthony Ervin going personal best times in his early 30’s).

With that being said, the Swimmer’s Snorkel is the best tool for the job when you wish to slow things down and take a look at what is happening beneath the surface. There are many different methods for training balance and they depend mostly on which stroke you wish to improve upon. Freestyle and backstroke are long axis strokes, so timing of the catch and rotation are critical to the amount of force generated.

Core stability is also a critical element to the stroke, especially at the speeds of the elite-level athlete. For a great core and leg workout, try swimming free or backstroke and pausing with one arm out of the water. Kick with this arm extended for either 12.5 or 25 yards at a time. Kicking on your side is the easier option, while flattening out your body to face the sky or the bottom of the pool will make your work harder. You can also add a pair of Fins or Zoomers to this drill, if desired.

Try the following set to work on your freestyle core strength and leg drive, using the Swimmer’s Snorkel!

4 Rounds
1 x 50 Swim w/ Snorkel, Easy
4 x 25 Stability Drill w/ Snorkel; One arm held in place out of the water, strong leg drive
*If needed: switch arms every 12.5 yards
1 x 50 Swim, FAST + overkick (with or without Swimmer’s Snorkel)

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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