Fitter And Faster Swim Drill Of The Week: Freestyle L Drill


Welcome to the “Swim Drill of the Week” sponsored by The Fitter and Faster Swim Tour presented by Swimming World will be bringing you a drill, concept, or tip that you can implement with your team on a regular basis. While certain weeks may be more appropriate for specific levels of swimming (club, high school, college, or masters), Drill Of The Week excerpts are meant to be flexible for your needs and inclusive for all levels of swimming.

This week’s drill is L Drill for freestyle (not to be confused with L Drill for backstroke). This is a great drill to work on balance, body position, and core strength in freestyle. To perform the drill, position yourself as you would for kicking on your side with an arm extended. All the basics of this simple drill should be the focus here. If your right arm is extended, your left side should be rotated up toward the ceiling while your body is in a straight line right at the surface of the water.

The added difficulty of the drill come from your non-extended arm, which would normally be at your side. In this drill, it should be extended straight up to the ceiling, forming an “L” shape with the arm that is extended in front of your body. This obviously makes it more difficult to maintain a good position and stay balanced on your side as you move down the pool, but that is the point. Experienced swimmers should be able to use their core strength and the power from their kick to maintain a good body position as they move down the length of the pool.

Unlike L drill for backstroke, which focuses more on stroke tempo and timing, this drill should help your athletes develop a more balanced, efficient freestyle by bringing awareness to how they use their whole body in their stroke. While you can have swimmers focus on just one side for an entire length of the pool, you can make the drill easier by having you athletes switch sides after a certain number of kicks. Switching every 6 kicks can allow them to reset and work on finding that balance when you’re introducing the drill before working on extending that balance. You can easily build a progression of 6 kicks to 8 kicks to 12 kicks before attempting an entire length. Happy swimming!

All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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