SCULL DRILLS TO ADD SPEED

learn how sim­ple sculling can aid your swim stroke and catch

Triathlon Plus - - Training Zone -

WHY DO WE NEED TO SCULL?

Sculling with your hands is the best way to teach a swim­mer to feel the wa­ter. This term – feel­ing the wa­ter – means be­ing able to per­ceive what is hap­pen­ing to the wa­ter as a re­sult of your move­ments, and be­ing able to ma­nip­u­late this to pro­duce the max­i­mum amount of force on the wa­ter.

A good feel of the wa­ter means swim­mers should be able to feel the pres­sure on the wa­ter through the catch and pull phase of their stroke and con­versely feel when that pres­sure is lost.

The act of sculling there­fore max­imises propul­sion by es­tab­lish­ing a proper hand po­si­tion in the wa­ter, de­vel­op­ing the catch of the wa­ter and your ef­fec­tive­ness on the wa­ter.

Here are three drills to get your sculling up to speed. Slot­ting in these drills is ap­pro­pri­ate in any part of a swim­ming set, but it can be es­pe­cially ef­fec­tive to do af­ter your warm up, be­fore any speed work. This primes you to feel the wa­ter be­fore you start train­ing at higher in­ten­si­ties.

SCULL 1

This drill prac­tises the po­si­tion at the ini­tial phase of the catch. It helps to es­tab­lish a firm hold on the wa­ter at the front part of the stroke. • Use a pull buoy to sup­port your legs and raise your head above the sur­face of the wa­ter. • Start fin­ger­tips down with arms shoul­der-width apart, tilt­ing and mov­ing your hands out­wards (thumb down), and in­wards (lit­tle fin­ger down). • En­sure you tweak the an­gle of your hand to keep a light pres­sure on the palm, mak­ing sure your el­bows are fixed, slightly bent in front. • Make sure your el­bow is higher than your wrist and your wrist is higher than the fin­ger tips.

SCULL 2

This drill fo­cuses on a slightly later point in the stroke as you are fin­ish­ing the catch and en­ter­ing the drive phase of the pull. • Again us­ing a pull buoy, place your hands slightly wider than your shoul­ders with your el­bows bent a few de­grees more. • Scull the wa­ter in the same fash­ion as be­fore, out­wards and in­wards, fin­ger­tips point­ing to the bot­tom of the pool. • En­sure that you keep your el­bows high.

SCULL 3

This fi­nal drill de­vel­ops the scull still fur­ther, while fin­ish­ing with a pow­er­ful thrust to de­velop the feel of the re­main­der of the drive phase. • Start in the first po­si­tion for three sculls. • Scull grad­u­ally out­wards to the sec­ond po­si­tion over a pe­riod of an­other three sculls. • Then, con­tinue your progress round to the point where you want to drive back to the hips. • Ac­cel­er­ate your hands. si­mul­ta­ne­ously back to the hips in an ex­plo­sive man­ner, en­gag­ing your shoul­ders and LATs to power the drive. • Re­turn to the start and re­peat.

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