Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Corkscrew drill for open water training
Recently, I was asked what's my favorite open water drill during training season. Without hesitating, I responded the corkscrew drill. This drill helps to strengthen the core, improves balance, builds endurance, and helps fine-tune bilateral breathing. There are many variations of this drill. Some coaches recommend going from backstroke to freestyle after every stroke....for me, it caused severe dizziness so I had to adjust the drill. So this if my variation, start off with the freestyle (front crawl). After taking three full strokes, while your right hand is near your right hip and your left hand is extended in front of your left shoulder, quickly rotate to your back, using your core strength to turn. Do not use your hands to help with rotation. Swim three full strokes of backstroke, then quickly rotate to the front crawl using your core strength. Again, don't use your hands to rotate. ***Be mindful of hand entry for both strokes***. Enter each hand stroke in line with your shoulder and don't cross the center line of your body. Continue to swim a few strokes backstroke, rotate, few strokes freestyle, rotate, few strokes backstroke, etc. Rotate core to the right for a few strokes and then rotate core to the left. Incorporate this drill into you workouts for five minutes to start, then as your endurance builds extend your time. This drill helped me when I swam the Strait of Gibraltar. Five minutes into my swim a large wave loosened my goggles. I quickly rotated to my back, adjusted my goggles and continued kicking while moving forward, then quickly rotated to the front crawl using my core strength. One hour later I started having dry heaves from diesel fumes, instead of stopping, I quickly rotated to my back, continued with backstroke, moving forward . My crew gave me some crystallized ginger to ease the nausea (it worked) , I quickly rotated to freestyle without stopping. I completed my swim in record time......I believe my corkscrew drills in practice helped me to have one of my strongest swims. I would highly recommend incorporating this drill into your swim practice.