Skills & Technique

Body Position

Float face down working on a relaxed body position along the water.  Pull your shoulders back and down. Try to achieve good posture in the water, the water will then “lift” you up.

Push off wall or bottom, set your body position and glide as far as you can in the streamlined position.

Arm movement

1 arm drill – isolates each arm movement

  1. Hold 1 arm straight in front of your body in line with the corresponding shoulder. Do arm strokes with the other hand breathing every 2nd stroke.
  2. Arm enters the water fingertips first and then extends straight. The elbow bends so fingertips are then pointing to the bottom of the pool / ocean.  Pull arm back in a straight line all the way back to extend to your thigh.  Lift elbow up and move forward to the front – Repeat.
  3. Swap arms

Catch up Drill. – Works on glide while focusing on each arm

Similar to the 1 arm drill but alternating arms. Do each arm individually – hands touch out in front before the next stroke begins.

Fist swimming – works on your catch and using all your arm muscles to move forward

Swimming with your fists clenched. Can be done as 1 arm drill or as catch-up.


Start with your relaxed body position, taking the tension out of your leg muscles and kick from your hips with pointed toes, not your knees.  Think of yourself as standing on tippytoes.  Need to use thighs rather than calf muscles. Kick up trying to flick your big toe out of the water. Try not to “cycle” your legs.

Training tips

Make it varied, include some stroke work, challenge yourself

Basic session – Warm up – 300-500 odd mixed easy swim

  • Drills about 500 odd ( eg 25 left arm, 25 fs then 25 right arm, 25 fs)
  • Main set – 5 * 200 build, (increase speed over the 200)


  • 10 * 100 doing 1 fast and then 1 easy
  • Or 400, 300 200 100 – getting faster as the distances get shorter.
  • Add some 50’s mixing up speed. Eg 25 easy / 25 fast

Warm down – 200 odd easy


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