In this month's Instructional Video Post, I decided to link in a very basic and quite simple swim drill. Seeing as most of us have been out of the water and unable to swim due to the recent closures from the COVID-19 pandemic, this should help serve you well as you get back in the water. One of the primary goals when re-introducing swimming back into your routine, especially if you are a triathlete and have not grown up with a swimming background, is to focus on short, but high quality swim sessions with a BIG emphasis on drills. This makes sure you are reintroducing swimming to your neuromuscular system with very good technique and form, which is important ion making sure you build back up swim fitness with as good of technique as possible.
A very basic component of swimming is the ability to properly engage the core and to maintain a "taut", or rigid, body while moving through the water. Effectively engaging the core, maintaining a nice, tight kick, and minimizing the sway of the legs from side-to-side ensures that you move through the water without creating additional drag. This drill here, "kicking with a snorkel and kick board outstretched" is a great drill for developing proper body tautness and core engagement. It's quite simple, and a great drill to be doing right now when re-introducing swimming back into your week-to-week.
Give this a try, and continue onwards with this drill periodically throughout each year in fact to continually work on refining your body tautness and core engagement. This is a great staple drill to include and can always be included as part of a warm-up, cool-down, or even a main set during an easy recovery swim session.
Happy training and racing!
-Ryan Eckert, MS, CSCS