In Swim tips 1 we introduced some sculling drills to improve your ‘feel for the water’. Here are three more drills to help you develop a smooth and efficient FC technique:
1. Kicking on your front: Push off from the wall, arms out-stretched in front of you with hands overlapping and face in the water. Remember when you kick your body should remain horizontal and streamlined, kick from the hips (not the knees), keep your feet and ankles relaxed but pointed with your heels just breaking the surface of the water. Kick for as far as you can on a single breath and then complete the length either FC or BrS.
2. Kicking on your side: Push off from the wall, keep your left arm out-stretched in front of you and your right arm at your side as you roll onto your left side. Your right shoulder and arm should be at the waters surface and your chin should be on your left shoulder. Again kick from the hips (not the knees), keep your feet and ankles relaxed but pointed. Kick on your side for as far as you can on a single breath and then complete the length FC. Repeat on your right side with right arm out-stretched and left arm at your side. It’s harder than it looks but if you get this drill sorted your FC will improve massively.
3. Breathing out: Sounds simple but a lot of people get this wrong. Not breathing out fully and/or holding your breath is a major cause of that breathless feeling you might have when swimming. Whenever you swim FC when your face is in the water you should be breathing out. Breathe out evenly and with sufficient force to empty your lungs ready for your next breath. Don’t hold you breath at any point. Ever tried running or cycling and holding breath for even a second or two? It makes you breathless! Try focusing just on your breath out while swimming FC and see how much better you feel.
Try performing drills 1 and 2 as part of the technique set in your own swim sessions. Repeat each drill four (or more) times. You should try drill 3 any time throughout your session but especially whenever you get that breathless feeling!
Once you’ve tried these let us know what you think. Tim (LFTC Coach)