Another popular drill for swimming good strong freestyle is Zip Up, also known as the fingertip drag drill. It’s an easy one to rush and blag your way through, but if you slow it down and take time (as with any drill!) it can be really beneficial and reinforce some really good habits.
Why Do It?
The biggest thing that can aid your swim efficiency (and hopefully your speed!) is having control of your body and actions. Wild fast movements can really inhibit movement and create extra resistance to your path through the water. By achieving better control and smoothness, you can hold better rotation through the hips and shoulders. This in turn allows greater reach, better power and easier breathing! Also by using your elbow to pull your hand up your body, you take a lot of stress off your shoulders, meaning that you can put more work in under the water.
How To Do It?
1. As your hand exits the water by your thigh, drag your thumb up the side of your body, fingertips trailing through the water.
2. As your hand comes under your elbow brush your arm pit.
3. Slide your hand directly forward out in front of you.
How To Do It Really Well (the fine points)
Keep the fingertip drag drill really slow! This gives you time to think about all the parts of the drill, and make sure that you are doing it correctly, and that you can keep it as smooth as possible. If you don’t rotate your hips and shoulders, you’ll find it really hard to get your hand through underneath your elbow, and then to make sure that you stretch forward. By maintaining a good rotation and stretch, you’ll be able to keep everything in straight lines which will help keep your trajectory straight – which can only be a good thing for open water swimming!
Take your time with this – as with any exercise. The point is that drills are there to make you smoother, stronger, more efficient. Make sure you hit all those target points!
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See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!