Swimming Flat? Try This Drill

If you know you swim too flat in freestyle and lack rotation, try ‘Slide and Glide Drill’.


So if you’re too flat, there’s very little connection through each part of the body.

Hi, Brenton here. In today’s video, we’re looking at rotation and how to make sure that you’re getting the right amount of rotation If you know that your swim flat. Maybe someone’s told me that you swim too flat, maybe you just feel like you’re putting a lot of effort into your arms or into your legs, and you know that you’re not going far enough onto the side.

Now when we look from the front at most we’ll see them rotating to 35 to 45 degrees, usually somewhere in this range. Often you will say see some swimmers with very long strikes going a bit further than that, but with all of my work with triathletes and open water swimmers most of the time it’s around that 35 to 45 degrees. So that’s roughly where you want to be.

Now, if you’re below that, then you’re probably going to find that a lot of the effort is going to go into pulling yourself forwards with your arms and with your legs. That’s where the effort goes into as opposed to being able to use the rotation of your body and the drive through your core and through your hips as you connect up your catch with your rotation and with your kick. So if you’re too flat, there’s very little connection through each part of the body. So that’s why we want to make sure that we’re rotating enough.

Now there’s a really good drill that you can do to help you get the rotation to be correct. So in terms of changing your stroke, it helps to isolate the movement that you want to improve because it’s really about skill acquisition and muscle memory. So it helps to just repeat something again and again and again until it becomes a habit and you develop that muscle memory. So if you know you’re too flat this stroke can help. So what I’ll normally do is and I did this morning with someone and it was working really well. It’s called sliding glide drill.

So it’s best if you put fins on and a snorkel on. And you’ll kick flat with one. I’m out in front, one on by the side. And then you’re going to reach and extend forwards with the arm, get on the side to about 45 degrees, and then just come back to flat. And you go back and forth. You go from flat to reach and extending out and then going back. And what you’ll find is you do this when you are reaching and extending you’re on your side. You’ll get this little bit of tension to develop through your core, through your torso, and then it will release as you come back. And it’s this tension that you want to feel because when you do swim, as that builds up, you can then be so much stronger through the catch in the pool as you release that tension.

Whereas if you don’t get the rotation, there’s nothing that you really sort of expanding and creating that tension with. So a lot of the work is going into just pulling through without that build up of tension and then rotation of the body. So it’s a little bit of a difficult one to I guess understand and think about if you’re not doing it when you’re swimming. And it’s a little bit harder to show on some of these videos, but see how you feel. As you do this drill when you go to the pool next time, notice that little bit of tension build up and then release. And then go into just normal swimming and make sure that you’re getting that little bit of rotation side to side, and that reach and extension out, and see if you can feel that tension build up. Because that is when you’ll really get this nice drive through your hips and through your core. And that’s what we want to work towards.

So if you know that there’s something in your stroke that you want to change, it can help to just isolate that movement, practice it correctly again and again and again until it becomes a habit. And that’s all improving your swimming is about. It’s just that muscle memory that we want to build. So I find that a really good one for working on your rotation.

Now, if you do enjoy this video, make sure you like and subscribe. I’ll see you next week with another video. And we are not too far for leasing the video membership where I’m going to be teaching our five core principles. And rhythm and timing, finding your rhythm and timing is the fifth core principle and there are some nuances to it. It’s one of the things that’s a little bit more difficult to see in the stroke. And it’s almost like the final 10% to 15% of your freestyle that you’re looking to refine when it comes to your rhythm and your timing. So that is one of the drills that are in that module there. So thanks for watching and I’ll see you next week. I’ll let you know when the video membership is available for purchase.


Join the 5 Day Catch Challenge
for Only $10


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur
sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Already have an account? Sign in.

Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen