People often ask me what drills to do – and how to do them to get the most out of them. In this article I want to talk about one of the most common drills to do, the catch up drill – and what it can do for your stroke if you do it correctly
Why Do It:
Doing the catch up drill has many different benefits to it:
1) Improves length of stroke.
2) Helps maintain posture and core rigidity.
3) Focus on engaging pressure on the water on your hands and forearms right at the very front of your stroke.
4) Making sure that you’re pull is symmetrical, balanced.
How To Do It:
1. Start with a standard streamline push off, and keep your thumbs together.
2. Take a stroke with your right arm, keeping your left arm out in front of you.
3. As your right hand recovers stretch it forward to meet your left hand out in front.
4. Repeat with the left hand, and continue.
How To Do It Really Well:
If you swim the catch up drill slowly, you can think through each of the focus points of the drill. By making sure you meet thumb to thumb at the front end, you can get the maximum out of your stroke length. This doesn’t mean that when you swim you have to have a glide (though for some that works!), but you’ll be able to travel a bit further per stroke, and gain better leverage. Also by having both arms stretched out in front, you pull your core and glutes in tight, which will minimise drag and help your body flow through the water better. As you pull each time, you can focus on really feeling the pressure of the water on your hands and forearms; as we have discussed before, this is what will help you move forwards. And finally, if you keep your head still then you can watch your hands come through under your nose, and replicate the same action on both sides. If you really want to make sure you keep your head still, you can always invest in a front mounted snorkel. This isn’t a complete necessity though!
Take your time with this – as with any drill. The point is that drills are there to make you smoother, stronger, more efficient. Make sure you hit all those target points!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here!
See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!