3 Swimming Drills To Improve Rotation | Front Crawl Breathing & Technique Swim Drills


– Rotation is a key element
of the front crawl stroke. It enables you to be strong
and efficient in the water. So once you have mastered the coordination of your arms and your legs, it’s time to look at the body roll. – Yeah, now this movement might well seem a little bit unnatural and
hard to get the hang of, but once you start feeling
used to getting into that pool and rotating with each
stroke, you’ll be amazed at how much faster you’ll swim front crawl and how much easier it’s going to feel. – So it’s time to find
that perfect body rotation. (upbeat music) Before we go any further,
I just want to clarify what we mean by rotation. So in swimming terms, it’s a movement around a central axis that goes down through your head, your
shoulders, your torso, and then an imaginary
line in which your legs move either side of. – Yeah, and you
want to think of your body like horizontal in the water, but rotating 45 degrees
to each side of that axis with thinking of zero as being parallel face down to the pool floor. Now for each stroke cycle,
so that one left pull, one right pull, we’re going to think of it doing two rotations each
type when we’re swimming. – You might be questioning how this additional movement can actually benefit your stroke. Well efficient swimming is very much about having a strong
propulsive phase in your stroke and also having a correct body position. And rotation will benefit
both of these aspects.. – Now reducing drag is
key in any sport, really, but especially in swimming
with the density of water that we’ve got to overcome. So by rotating when we’re swimming, this allows us to take our recovery arm out of the water, which
is less drag in itself, and it also allows us
to breathe a lot easier because we can clear
the water much quicker to get that air in. – Yeah, and rotating into your catch is not only going to
help you catch the water, but then also, as you rotate
over the pool phase of it, it allows you to recruit
those larger muscles and it’s going to put less
strain on those smaller muscles around your shoulders, which
are susceptible to overuse, as well as allowing you to put more power through the stroke. (upbeat music) Making a significant change
to any aspect of your stoke is going to require a
lot of time and patience. And rotation is no different. So we need to break the stroke down and that is where these
drills come in handy. (upbeat music) Let’s start by stripping it right back and taking the arms out of the equation. For this one, it’s a good
idea to pop some fins on as it’ll help you with propulsion and get your body horizontal in the water. Push off the wall with
arms in front of you, and then pull one hand down to your thigh and leave it by your
side with the other arm still extended out in front. And now rotate your body
so that your extended arm is underneath your body and
your arm against your thigh is on top, just on the surface. This should position you
parallel to the lane rope or the side of the pool. And then, in this position,
you should find it easier to breath by just having
to turn your head slightly. Now this is just a
drill, as you are rotated to a full 90 degrees, but when
you come back to full stroke, this should give you more of an idea of how that rotation feels in the water. Make sure you stay on
one side for one length, swap over onto the other side, and swap your arms over to correlate. (upbeat music) – So it’s a natural progression to then add some arms
back into your swimming, but still in this drill type format. So what we’re going to do is
find that rotated position that we were in in the previous drill, but then we’re going to
have one arm out front and kick for six kicks
before then sending through with the other arm that’s been racing and flipping onto the other rotated side, and with another six
kicks, keep doing that right down the length of the pool. You can, of course, keep your fins on if that’s going to make
things a little bit easier. Now, though this does seem like a exaggerated
rotation position to be in, it really helps to bring those strokes back into the stroke
from those other drills and then just start putting
the stroke back together. (upbeat music) – It’s time to up the tempo for the arms, but still sticking with
just one at a time. You’re going to have your
spare arm resting by your side. Now for the front arm, as
your hand goes into the water, you’re going to rotate towards that side. And then throughout the
pull, you rotate your body through to the opposite
side so that on recovery, this shoulder is then
rotated towards the ceiling. Now obviously you’re
going to have your face in the water during this, so
this is a little bit harder when it comes to the breathing. You’ll naturally find that
you’ll probably want to breathe under the side of the arm
that you’re actually using. So it’s very much about
working out the correct timing and getting this right with the rotation. So if you’ve got enough rotation, you should be able to breathe as your hand comes over for the recovery phase. And obviously, the more rotation you have, the less head movement
and the easier it is. If you’re ready to take
it to the next level, then you can try breathing
on the opposite side. So for this, you need
to time it as your arm that you’re pulling with
is in the propulsive phase, as this will naturally
rotate that shoulder up to that side and, in theory, as you’ve got more propulsion, you’ll have a little bit more lift so it should be easy to
breathe on that side. It does just take a
little bit of coordination to start with, though. (upbeat music) – So now it’s time to
add in both of our arms to the swim stroke, and
what this drill does is focus on the recovery phase to really start encouraging more rotation. So what we’re going to do is as our recovering arm
comes out of the water, try and keep it nice and close to our body and drag it essentially from our thigh, past our hips, along our
torso, up to your armpit, and then even past your
ear before we drop it back into the water to
start the next stroke. Now this essentially can be thought of as zipping up the side of your body and this action is really
going to be quite hard if we don’t have a good rotation. Now ideally you should
try and avoid using fins for this drill ’cause it just keeps things a little bit more realistic. (upbeat music) – We’re almost back to
a normal full stroke. And if you do naturally
breathe bilaterally, then you’re already there. But if not, this drill you need to breathe every third stroke, which is basically going to make sure that
you breathe on either side. And if you currently
just breathe on one side, you’ll probably find that naturally you’re a little bit stronger on that side and you’ll find that you’re
rotating more one way than you are the other. So this should help to
even out your stroke. Before we wrap things up,
I do just want to reiterate that rotation needs to
only be to about 45 degrees as over rotation can bring
other problems with it. – Now it might seem like an
awful lot of work right now, but trust us, mastering
front crawl technique is definitely worth it in the long run. And hopefully you find these drills that we’ve incorporated today useful, but if you’ve got any of your own ones, please let us know in the
comments section below. We’d love to read about those. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this video, so hit that thumb up like button and don’t forget to
finally go over on screen and get all the other videos
that we have here in GTN. And if you want to see another video all about the freestyle
technique explained, that is going to be here. – And if you noticed, our
cool colorful swim caps are running out of the GTN kit, then you can click on the
link for the GTN shop. And then, if you’ve got
problems with sinking legs whilst you’re swimming and you
want some tips on that one, we’ve got a video that’ll
suit you right here.

14 thoughts on “3 Swimming Drills To Improve Rotation | Front Crawl Breathing & Technique Swim Drills

  1. My swimming coach always emphasised, with these kinds of drills, that we keep our ear locked on our shoulder at all times throughout the rotation and into the glide- including when you breath. Helps prevent drag between your head and your shoulder (: A good way to practice this is in the first and second drill of this video 😀

  2. Guys, please watch this as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SONx52cyltI&list=PL8urYkMl5dtXSFdHS0WiSzK6cU0lsd5KV&index=2&t=0s

  3. Doing my first triathlon on the 15th. I haven’t had the time to train front crawl, would it make a big difference with the others (mainly adults) on 500m to swim breaststroke?

  4. Maybe that would be too advanced, but what's the deal with that S-curve the hand of top triathletes follows during their stroke?

  5. Zip up & 6-1 drills definitely helped me tons in my swimming. A secondary benefit was I developed my 3-stroke bilateral breathing through these two!

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