Lesson # 2: Arm and Hip Rotation - The Shark Fin Drill

author : Tri Swim Coach
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Now that you’ve mastered balancing on your side, it’s time to practice the foundation of the arm stroke.

Let’s start with the shark fin drill.
 

This drill has been around for decades and is the foundation for being able to swim on your side in freestyle. This will tell you how well you’ve mastered balancing on your side in the water, and will allow you to improve your freestyle even more.

 

When doing this drill, you may start sinking when you get to the shark fin position. This is normal! If you do start sinking, slide your arm immediately back to your side, and roll back up into kicking on your side. If you are a sinker, don’t forget about fins.

 

Fins are a great tool in this case to speed up your mastery of this drill and your improvement. Again, stick with the shorter style fins like Zoomers or Hydrofinz.

As you get better at this drill (and sink less!), practice going slower and slower. I recommend doing 20 minutes straight of this drill as part of your swim workout. Within weeks you will notice freestyle getting easier!

 

 

Here’s a look at the drill and how to do it:

  1. Start out as you were in Lesson #1- Kicking On Your Side


     

  2. Drop your head down, pause, then bend the elbow of your trailing arm, and drag your hand along your side, making a “shark fin.”



     

  3. Slide your arm back down to your side, then rotate back into your starting position.

 

Here’s your set to practice:

Set #2: 12x50's. Start in the kicking on your side position as in #1 (above), but lift your elbow up towards the sky, and drag your hand through the water until it reaches your goggle line (or until you've made a shark fin). Slide the hand back down, roll onto your back, grab some air and repeat. Keep thinking about keeping your eyes looking directly at the pool bottom.

Set #3: 12x75's. 1st 25 Kick as in #2, 2nd 25 "Shark Fin" as in #2, 3rd 25 swim freestyle and concentrate on keeping the elbows high and head from moving.

Good luck and stay tuned for the next step in 4 weeks!

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date: July 17, 2005

Author


Tri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com- a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

Author

avatarTri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com- a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

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