Freestyle Side-Kicking Drill with a Twist

I am sure most of you have done the basic side-kicking drill during a swim workout. This common drill works on body position by having one arm extended out in front and the other arm lying flat at your side. As you are now well aware, we are constantly rotating from one side to the other while swimming freestyle. This drill helps perfect your rotation and side body position.

To make this drill a little more difficult and beneficial I am going to add a little twist. In the same side-kicking position, extend the arm that was lying on your side up into the air. For example, if you are kicking on your left side with your left arm stretched out in the water, you are going to have your right arm extended straight into the air, perpendicular with your body.

The arm extended out of the water is going to put much more weight over the center of your body, thus making it much more difficult to maintain your body position. You will start to feel your upper body sink into the water. You will need to counteract this sinking by trying to find a new balance point. Contract your oblique muscles to lift your hips toward the surface of the water and press down on your armpit area with slightly more pressure.

Try to find the right weight distribution that will allow you to maintain this high body position without sinking. Note that you will most likely not be able to maintain this position for an entire lap. Therefore, as you start to feel yourself sink in the water and are unable to maintain a high body position, take a stroke and switch to the other side.

While doing this drill it is perfectly alright to take several strokes during lap to regain your body position on the opposite side. The goal of the drill is to perfect your body position and not to just get across the pool as fast as you can.

To review the drill sequence:

1)     Start by kicking on your side with one arm extended out in front and the other resting on your side

2)     Raise your arm that was resting on your side straight out of the water so that it is perpendicular with your body

3)     Kick in this position while maintaining a high body position

4)     As you start to feel your position digress, take a stroke and switch to the other side

5)     Repeat steadily down the pool


- Kyle