After completing the Great Manchester Swim, I have continued to enjoy swimming and> am  trying to improve for next years event.  I have been doing more and> more drills to improve my stroke and> technique and> spending time swimming endless lengths to improve my endurance and> fitness.

I love swimming and> it gives you a great all body workout so I would really encourage people to give it a go.  If you can get to see a coach to give you some technique tips, great, if not try the drills on my previous post and> here are a couple more.

Front Balance – This is great for improving your body position in the water, and> will help alleviate sinking hips when swimming.  This drill involves pushing off and> using a flutter kick only to move through the water, ensure your head is in the water and> in line with your trunk, looking to the bottom of the pool, keep your arms down by your side.  Concentrate on keeping all your body aligned and> not dropping your hips.  When you want to breathe slowly lift your head out of the water and> take a breath.

Doggy Paddle – This is great for increasing awareness of the arm position on the stroke and> ensuring you can exert force on the water and> make your stroke more efficient.  Keep your head out of the water and> using a doggy paddle style stoke, hand>s always under the water, focus on pulling the water under your body.  Focus on the high elbow position whilst doing this drill.

Single Arm and> Non Dominant -This involves using one arm only for a set period of time (one length or possibly two), it helps strengthen your arms and> improves the power in your stroke.    Use the right arm only for your set time, I would suggest starting at one length, keep your non moving arm outstretched and> then move onto the left side for next length.  To take this one step further you can count the number of strokes it takes to complete a length on each side and> then focus on improving the non dominant arm (the one taking the most number of strokes per length).  Once you have identified your non dominant arm, keep this palm open and> do the fist technique with the other, this will help improve your non dominant arm.

I hope these help with your technique, in terms of exercising in the pool, I would suggest starting with some drills, and> then moving onto either a speed or endurance set.  For speed you could do a set number of lengths and> try to better this time, you may need a stopwatch however.  For endurance try pyramid sets, increasing the number of lengths per set with a controlled set rest period.  For example, 2 lengths (rest), 4 lengths (rest), 6 lengths (rest), 8 lengths (rest), 10 lengths (rest) and> then go back down, 8, 6, 4, 2! You can always increase the final number of lengths you do.

Enjoy your swimming, any questions please give me a shout, I will add my email address to the contact page soon!