I love swimming, but I hate swimming drills. Why do we do them? And, who needs them anyway?

Recently, I asked Shawn Tannenbaum of Total Master Swimming on Long Island what he thought. Here’s what he said:

“Efficient swimming needs two key elements to ensure success.  Proper technique and improved swim fitness.  The Drills below could help improve swimming speed and efficiency which will help you have an easier time adding distance.   Some may only swim for distance but a strong discipline of drills will make the whole process more beneficial.   Not using your drills is like a basketball team only going to games and not practicing their shot.”

Here are two drills Tannenbaum recommends:

Drill 1:

Vertical Kick — “This is a challenging drill and great for building an effective flutter kick,” Shawn Tannenbaum said. “Vertical kicking is done by kicking in a stationary position in deep water opposed to kicking across the pool on the surface of the water.   While kicking from your hip, not your knee beginners can keep their hand next to their side and try and slightly keep their shoulders out of the water.   It is basically strength training for your core and legs.”

Drill 2:

Catch Up — “This drill focuses on the ‘Catch’, which is the moment you first start to pull your hand/forearm through the water,” Tannenbaum said. “The catch-up drill is done by assuming a prone position in the water and extending your arms forward.  With both arms a bit under the surface of the water and pointing forward.  One arm then performs a regular freestyle pull with a bend in the elbow and a straight wrist, while the other arm stays in front as a counterbalance/support.”

“The swimming arm catches up to the forward arm that is extended.  One arm is pulling while the other is not.  With a wide entry as wide as your shoulders this drill will help you keep your balance and not fishtail and, most importantly, teach you to use your entire forearm to pull and not just your hand.  As with all freestyle, it is key to bend your elbow nice and early and engage the catch as soon as possible.  Dropping your arm too quick will not ensure forward momentum,” Shawn Tannenbaum said.

Thanks, Shawn! To reach Shawn and his partner, Warren Rothman, at Total Master Swimming go to https://www.totalmastersswimming.com/.