One of the biggest issues I find for athletes (swimmers or triathletes) is being able to put power down in the water, and to connect up what they do from sculling drills into “real” swimming.
The Biondi drill is a fun but practical way of concentrating on getting a real hold on the water – anchoring your forearms on the water and pressing it back past your hips.
If you watch the video above, you might notice a similarity to butterfly- and you would be 100% correct. This drill is exactly the same as the underwater/power phase of a butterfly stroke. Which is exactly the same as both frontcrawl arms pulling at the same time.
How to do it:
- Lie flat on the water, arms out in front. You can do it from a push, or kick your legs up gently behind you.
2. Push the elbows out to the side, push your hands down toward the bottom of the pool so your forearms are vertical.
3. Squeeze your arms back past your hips until your arms are fully extended.
4. Glide, then lift your head forward to take a breath.
5. Put your hands back in front, head back down and repeat.
How to do it well, the finer points:
- Try not to grab at the water, being a fraction slower and smoother bending your elbows will mean that you can feel pressure against your forearms and hands.
2. Squeeze everything back using your lats, get used to using these so that when you swim your full stroke you can feel the power there!
3. Keep your head still until your pull has finished – otherwise you’ll end up with a face full of water!
One of my favourite ways to do this drill is to get athletes to do it for 3 different lengths. On the first length, get used to the motion, the action and to feel the power. On the second length, do exactly the same but with maximum power, really accelerate your hands backwards, drive yourself forward as hard as possible each push. And finally follow the same technique, but with minimal power – what I would refer to as ghost pressure. Between the 3 lengths, what you should (hopefully!) feel is that it takes you roughly the same number of strokes to finish each length. But the difference should be the speed that you travel at…
Not only does this drill give you the opportunity to get used to really anchoring on the water and feeling power. It also makes sure that you understand how to go faster through the water, so that when you try and put more effort in you do it in the right way; without spinning your arms round and round but by putting more power down under the water.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch; either by email, facebook or leave a comment on here! Remember, you can always get your swimming reviewed in the endless pool with our video swim analysis packages.
See what’s up next week for our #SwimTechTues tip!