Improving your swim

When I’m not doing a long and hopefully non stop swim I’m practicing my technique and working on getting that little bit faster.
I have 6 go to techniques which I will try and explain as well as I can without pictures. I’m not sure what would happen if I tried to film myself doing these!
I do all the arm related ones with a pull buoy. However I do struggle with a pull buoy on occasion because my bum is buoyant enough so my legs used to just fly out to the water. My advice is to find a small pull buoy like a junior specific one. I have this one from Wiggle which is a regular size but it does the trick. I sometimes cross my feet over to weigh them down and really ensure my arms are doing all of the work. In triathlon you want to save as much energy in your legs as possible as they’ll be doing all of the cycling and running (poor things!)
1. Ballin’ it into a fist
The stroke as always is freestyle (front crawl) and all you need to do is ball your hand into a fist. Thumb on the outside please and try not to actually punch the person swimming towards you. Now will all these techniques it’s completely up to you how many lengths you want to do. At first it can all be a little strange so I understand if you only go for a couple. What you should be concentrating on here is the arm whilst in the water. Understanding how much pull you get from your arm itself and not just what you get from your hand.
2. Finger drag
Here your fingers are out again like a normal freestyle stroke. The drill is called a finger drag as your finger tips just drag along the water starting from your armpit. In this drill you are forced to keep a nice high elbow for an optimal position.
3. One armed swim & One arm float
Drill 3 and 4 can make you feel pretty silly but it really helps to identify your stronger arm. I would also put the pull buoy down and get your legs back into action especially at the beginning. Start with one arm constantly out as if it’s helping you to float. The other arm will be the one doing all the work. This arm will be doing a full stroke rotation. When it comes to your breathing you will be breathing into the arm that is moving, as you won’t get far with the other side.
4. One armed swim
Now an extension of number 3 is rather than using one arm as a float you will now need to put that arm by your side. As before the other arm will be doing all the work until you decide to change over. The breathing this time is harder as you will be breathing away from your moving arm. When you arm is moving back you need to rotate your body to the same side to help with recovery, practically sinking the opposite shoulder into the water. This drill is tricky and you do look pretty silly but a really achievement when you feel like you’re moving at a fair speed using one arm! 
5. Doggy paddle
Imagine you are a dog. Again try this without a buoy. Here try keeping your arms in the water, extend your arm foward one at a time and pull your arm back almost cupping your hand. Think dog. Now these you can extend then out far or keep them close and snappy. 
6. Side leg – 6/3
Now we move onto the legs. Now a standard leg dril like we’ve all done at school is holding a float in front and just kicking those legs getting some power in or like me just trying to see how much of a splash I can make. I probably don’t do as much on my legs as I should. This one I quite like. Here you are swimming in the water on your side. One arm in front of you and the other by your side. Here you kick for 6 then resurface make 3 strokes and turn to the other side and repeat.
7. Side leg – 6/1
This is the same as the first but instead of 3 strokes it’s just one so it’s much faster. Your legs in both of these drills will be doing scissor kicks
I hope the above made sense, if you have any questions just ask and be #preparedtotri x

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