I pulled up a little sore on Wednesday after swimming hard on Tuesday night. Just a bit tight across the shoulders and arms. Sign of a good workout!

The set was more pacing, at randomly chosen varying distances (a “listening” drill from coach Kingy) rather than the usual planned and printed up set. Good fun and another hard swim.

The drill we did at the start was one that I really struggle with. I’m not entirely sure what it’s called (perhaps if my dodgy description rings any bells with anyone they could post a comment?), and I didn’t have any luck finding a YouTube clip to show you, so here goes my best explanation.

  1. Push off the end of the pool backwards like you would for backstroke.
  2. But keep your arms by your sides the whole drill.
  3. Propel yourself by kicking.
  4. Using your core (not by turning your head) rotate your whole body 180 degrees until you’re face down in the water. then rotate back the same way back onto your back.
  5. Do the same thing the other direction. Then alternate directions the whole way down the pool and back.

This particular drill is designed to work on body rotation. This is an unbelieveably big part of good swimming technique. Super important.

Good swimming technique, at its most basic, is about two things: maximising forward momentum, and minimising drag.

A good body rotation helps with both of these things through:

  • Helping get a good long reach when your arm enters the water. Try reaching your arm forward standing straight and holding your torso and shoulders rigid. Then twist your torso at the waist and angle your shoulder forward and look how much further you can reach. Same thing in the water.
  • Your arm comes more easily out of the water and higher on the return part of your stroke. Air has a lot less resistance than water so this is a good thing!
  • Your body is more streamlined and glides more efficiently through the water. Think about if you’re in the surf and a wave hits you front on instead of side on…..

In my case, this particular drill means water up my nose, wonky zig-zag path up and down the pool, and sore legs protesting that they aren’t used to getting so much use!

Guess I must need to keep practising!

Edit: if you odn’t believe me, I found a great SwimSmooth article on rotation. Much more comprehensive than mine and definitely worth a read!