As you’ve probably heard, swimming is a very technical sport, perhaps more so than any other endurance sport. It’s true, and with that in mind, it’s best practice to focus some of your time on technique work. Slowing down and doing drills or working with equipment are two great ways to improve technique and help you reach your goals in the pool. We’ve integrated six drills, pulling, and kicking into Workouts, as well as an assortment of equipment suggestions that swimmers of every level can use.
Drills are a staple of nearly every sport, but with swimming, taking the time to slow down and focus on technique can make an enormous impact—from beginner to Olympic-level swimmers. Different drills have different focuses, from body position to arm position. Working on drills in the water can help you improve exponentially faster. With this in mind, we have six drills integrated into Workouts.
FORM Workouts’ Drills
Catch-up Freestyle Drill
The Catch-Up drill works on the pull pattern of the stroke by only using one arm at a time.
Side-Kick Freestyle Drill
The Side-Kick drill improves body position and alignment.
6-Kick Switch Freestyle Drill
The 6-Kick Switch drill improves the length of your stroke by working on how to rotate your body correctly.
One-Arm Freestyle Drill
By isolating each arm, the One-Arm drill emphasizes each arm’s stroking pattern.
Dog Paddle Freestyle Drill
The Dog Paddle drill isolates the initial phase of the arm stroke.
Closed Fist Freestyle Drill
The Closed First drill enhances awareness of your arm stroke by eliminating the hands while pulling.
There are three levels for each of the drills, which we explain in the videos on the FORM Swim App.
Similar to drills, equipment can help improve technique and focus on specific aspects of your stroke. Some equipment has a more isolated use, like using a pull buoy when pulling. Others, especially fins and kickboards, can be used during some drills in addition to being used for kicking.
For Workouts, we’ve included recommendations for when to use equipment and in-goggle cues to let you know when to take out gear and when to put it away. To gain the most benefit from each swim, incorporate the equipment you have or what your pool offers into your swim. Most pools have, at a minimum, bins full of kickboards and pull buoys for public use. The other equipment we address is less standard, and you may want to look to invest in personal equipment if your pool doesn’t offer any. If your pool doesn’t provide equipment, or you don’t feel comfortable using it, you can swim as you normally would without equipment. FORM Workouts incorporate the following equipment:
A floatation device that goes between your legs to help your legs float at the surface of the water. In general, pull buoys are held between the thighs. They can also be held between the ankles, which is common when focusing on body position.
A floatation device that is used to work on your kicking in swimming. Kickboards are held extended out in front of a swimmer with both hands, effectively forcing the swimmer to propel themselves only with their legs.
Hand paddles increase the effective size of your hands to add more power and resistance to your stroke. Paddles vary in size, and it’s best to choose some that aren’t too big for your hands to decrease the risk of a shoulder injury.
Flippers go on your feet to add propulsion. Using fins is a great way to improve focus on kicking.
With Workouts, FORM has made enjoyable and engaging swim training available to everyone. Not only do we want to empower every swimmer with motivation for each swim, but we also want to help you improve and feel more confident in the water!