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Balance and Rotation Drill
The Balance and Rotation drill is an excellent swim drill that helps the swimmer develop balanced freestyle stroke

View these other three drills:
Thumb to Thigh
Touch and Go
Closed Fist

Before I begin, I want to say this is not "the" Balance and Rotation Drill but "a" Balance and Rotation Drill. There are number of drills out there that teach balance and rotation during the freestyle stroke and this is just one of them. However, you will find out why I have never really known an official name for this drill. By all means, if you come up with one that explains it in a few "catchy" terms, holler!

This drill is a little more complicated and should only be done if you are feeling very comfortable with previous drills discussed. If you are an experienced swimmer, you will also find this drill both revealing and helpful.

Shoulder rotation is a very important part to any freestyle stroke. It basically lends to the overall efficiency of the stroke, helps us to breathe a little easier during the stroke and more importantly, allows one to extend further per stroke. Balance too, is very important and I speak of the equal distribution of power with both arms during the underwater portion of the stroke.

Not only will this drill help you develop better shoulder rotation during the freestyle, it will also show you which arm is stronger and which one is weaker when swimming freestyle! Thus helping you achieve better balance in the water. Personally, I love this drill because I found it to be incredibly helpful.

Now read this carefully for this drill can be a little tricky. But, once you practice it a few times, it will become…well…a little easier.

The Drill: This drill is actually broken down into four parts, all of which include swimming with one arm. And you will use both arms during the drill:

1. Swim with the Left arm, Breath to the left side. The right arm is by your side not out in front of you. This will be written as L st (left stroke), L br (left breath).

2. Swim with Left arm, Breathe to the right side. The right arm is by your side, not out in front of you. Written as L st, R br

3. Swim with Right arm, Breath to the right side. The left arm is by your side, not out in front of you. Written as R st, R br

4. Swim with Right arm, Breath to the left side. The left arm is by your side, not out in front of you. R st, L br

Now, if it will make you feel more comfortable, practice the arm and breathing motion standing in your living room or simply standing in the shallow end of the pool, bent over at the waist, face down in the water. When learning this drill, by all means, use fins to add the support to the legs. As I said, this drill may be tough to get used to. And it will always be a tough one to do. But it will help tremendously.

Drill Set: 16 x 25’s, completing steps 1 – 4 four times in the order above. 20 seconds rest between each 25 yard swim.


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Swim Workouts
» Swim Pace Chart
» Race Dist. Chart

» Four Drills That Will Help You
    Go Faster!

» Thumb to Thigh Drill
» Touch and Go Drill
» Closed-Fist Drill
» Balance & Rotation
» Putting the Drills to Use
» How to Use Drills To Improve   
   Your Swimming

So What Do You Want to Be:
   A Fast Swimmer or a Fast 

» The Triathlon Swim: Where
    Balance Begins

» Do I Really Need A Swim

Open Water Swim Tips for

» Determining Your Aerobic
    Swim Pace

» Understanding Interval-based

» Learning to Use the Pace Clock
» Four Drills That Will Help You
    Go Faster!

» The Rap on Wetsuits
» The Rap on Wetsuits Revisited:
    Race Day Tips

» Tips on Shaving
» The Real Reason Tri-Guys
    Shave Their Legs


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