Simple Swimming Drills

Get outside of your comfort zone with these challenging swimming drills on your next trip to the pool. These exercises will help you along the path to more efficient swimming. Incorporate them into your normal swim set to keep things fresh whilst you're keeping fit!

Underwater Recovery

1. Underwater Recovery

One of the keys to efficient swimming is learning how you can move through the water with the least resistance. If you can reduce the resistance caused by your body then it will take less effort for you to move a greater distance. This drill will help you to find the smoothest path through the water.

Start by swimming the freestyle stroke, keeping your hands and arms under the water during the recovery phase. Pull like you normally would with your arms. At the end of the pull phase (when your hand reaches your hip) start the recovery phase but do not lift your arm out of the water. Instead, slide your arm up the side of your body, keeping your arm tucked in close to your body, until it has reached the start/reach position once more.

Take a look at this video as an example of the underwater recovery drill:


Try this: 12x25 with 10 seconds rest as 3x (2 underwater recovery / 2 swim)

Tumble Turns

2. Tennessee Tumblers

A variation on hypoxic breathing sets (hypoxic breathing means to breathe less often – eg every 5 or 7 strokes instead of every 3).

Start by swimming towards the opposite wall, when you reach the flags (usually 5m from the wall) go underwater and pull/kick the rest of the way to the wall. Complete your turn and push back off the wall, all whilst remaining underwater. Your aim is to make it beyond the flags before breaking the water's surface and beginning to swim.


Take a look at this video as an example of the Tennesee Tumblers drill:


Try this: 8x50 Tennessee Tumblers with 10 seconds rest.

Tombstone Kick

3. Tombstone Kicking

This one is simple. Develop a stronger kick by adding more resistance to your kick sets. Grab your kickboard and turn it so that you are holding it vertically, with only the top few cm protruding from the water. This will make propelling yourself through the water much more difficult, which will help to strengthen your leg muscles. Keep your body flat and face in the water (except when you need to breathe!)

Try this: 6x75 with 15 sec rest. (25 Tombstone/50 Swim)

Take a look at this video as an example of the Tombstone Kicking drill:


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