Swimming Drills

Fin Drills

Kicking with fins is fantastic training. He careful of using a kickboard too much while training with fins; this may cause back pain. Sidestroke is good but you will need lane lines and flags to prevent careening off course and acquiring a nice scalp laceration. The mainstay of kicking strokes is still prone flutterkick.

Fin kicking drills are essential to building leg strength and specific training for SEAL combat swimmer duties. These drills are effective when imbedded within a pool workout where there are swimming sets that accentuate arm and chest muscle training. This is because the swimmer's legs will be warmed up but relatively fresh and ready for a strenuous workout with fins. Use high numbers of repeats in sets, 10-12, with relatively short rest intervals of 10-15 seconds. A total set length of around 10 minutes is optimal; any longer and the set begins to degrade into a long, slow distance set which is best done in open water.

♦ Fin Sprints: Sprinting 25 meters with fins will allow you to feel flaws in your arm strokes. This drill will consume an extraordinary amount of oxygen and provide a good anaerobic and strength workout for your legs. It also feels great to go fast.

♦ Fin Fartlek: Do this set without a kickboard Kick one length with an easy flutter kick, then flutterkick the next length on your right side with both hands out of the water - effort level high - then back to face down for a length of easy flutter kick, then back at it over a hard length, this time on your left side, again hands out of the water. Repeat several times. This drill is particularly effective in a long pool (45m).

♦ Fin Repeats: Do with a kickboard. Kick flutterkick hard for 50m, rest 10 seconds, repeat for 10 repetitions.

Other Specific Freestyle Drills

♦ One Arm Freestyle: May be done with or without a pull-buoy. Emphasizes body rolling without corkscrewing. This drill will allow the swimmer to concentrate on proper pulling technique.

♦ Catch-Up Freestyle: Hold arm out in front while pulling with the other arm. Recover the pulling arm and then touch hands out in front before initiating the pull with the other arm. This drill will help timing of pull.

♦ Fist Freestyle: Swim with fists. This will make the swimmer concentrate on forearm sculling. Do this drill without the pull-buoy.

♦ Finger Drag Freestyle: Recover arm with fingers skimming the water. This provides the swimmer with feedback regarding arm and hand position during arm recovery.

Common Problems

»Swimmers often develop hypersensitivities and allergies with pool swimming. The source of the problem is the inhalation of chlorinated organic material (guess where this comes from in a public pool). These hypersensitivity reactions may include lung conditions that are quite disabling. Prevention is the key. Ways to minimize your chances of such problems include:

♦ Wearing goggles.

♦ Avoiding any situation where you might breathe a mist or spray that is generated from pool water.

Chapter 6

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