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Swimspire
December 26th, 2013, 03:27 PM
Given the importance of swimming technique in preventing injuries and increasing speed and efficiency, I'm interested to find out how often masters swimmers include drills into their workouts. Are drills important to many swimmers, or are intervals and full stroke sets the main emphasis? Thanks for your help!

knelson
December 26th, 2013, 03:36 PM
My team does lots of drilling for the first three weeks of the season, then less after that but still at least one day per week we'll do a drill set. Also warmups are always done with a -2 stroke count per 25 and focusing on turns AND we do clockwise circles during warmup.

__steve__
December 26th, 2013, 03:43 PM
Probably 4 out of every 5 of my swim workouts include drilling, and I sometimes spend the entire workout doing them. This could be because I live 2+ hours away from where my team practices (can't attend), and a requirment for me. .

thewookiee
December 26th, 2013, 03:57 PM
I do drills daily. I use them in warm-ups, especially at the start. I find that doing drills helps me loosen-up my body for one. They also help to tune me into the water and how my body is feeling that day. I also will do drills in between difficult sets. I find this helps me to recover a bit, as well as getting back in tune with my mechanics.

orca1946
December 26th, 2013, 03:57 PM
Almost every workout has some sort of drill in it. From arms to kick to hip rotation to hand position.

Debugger
December 26th, 2013, 04:19 PM
Daily workouts as well. Working on technique is high priority.

smontanaro
December 26th, 2013, 04:26 PM
I use drills a lot. Unfortunately, I'm not sure they are as helpful as they might be without any feedback from the deck. Whether I'm in a coached practice or swimming on my own, I generally get no feedback.

__steve__
December 26th, 2013, 05:30 PM
I'm not sure they are as helpful as they might be without any feedback from the deck. Whether I'm in a coached practice or swimming on my own, I generally get no feedback.
I found a way around this problem by choosing a drill that is so difficult to accomplish that just by its completion warrants proper form.

Watching yourself from video helps too (though others around may think you are weird or a mid-life swim fanatic)

Allen Stark
December 26th, 2013, 08:14 PM
I do some drills in every workout,mostly during warm up and cool down.Dec & Jan I am letting my shoulders and knees heal between SCM and SCY seasons, so I am doing relatively little full stroke now and am mostly doing drills.

aztimm
December 26th, 2013, 09:34 PM
As often as the coach says to do them :bolt:

As others said, if not every workout, I'd guess if I swim 4 workouts with the team per week, we do drills at least twice in there. I usually swim twice a week solo, and I try to incorporate some drills then too.

ElaineK
December 26th, 2013, 10:08 PM
I do drills daily. I use them in warm-ups, especially at the start. I find that doing drills helps me loosen-up my body for one. They also help to tune me into the water and how my body is feeling that day. I also will do drills in between difficult sets. I find this helps me to recover a bit, as well as getting back in tune with my mechanics.

+1, especially for breaststroke and butterfly. Doing drills in warm up is imperative for me before swimming breaststroke or fly as full stroke. If I do have an injury, drills allow me to at least work on part of the stroke rather than abandoning the entire thing. When I injured my adductor, I did a lot of breaststroke pull with a small dolphin kick.

Swimspire
December 31st, 2013, 10:43 AM
Thanks so much for all of your replies. Its great to see that drills do play an important role and I appreciate your having shared some details into what types of drills you use and how exactly you incorporate them into your swimming routine. Happy New Year!

Glenn
December 31st, 2013, 12:24 PM
Drills are a total waste of time.

smontanaro
December 31st, 2013, 12:37 PM
I see no smilies in Glenn's post, so I will counter with, "only if your stroke is already perfect."

I recall Michael Phelps coming to Chicago a few years ago for something or other (not a meet, some sort of publicity thing) and took the opportunity to hop in the UIC pool for a short workout. Our masters coach at the time happened to be at the same pool. She said his entire "workout" was something like 2000 meters, all drill.

Glenn
December 31st, 2013, 01:34 PM
The reason I say drills are a waste of time and don't do them is that I believe that most Masters swimmers usually have enough skill that rather then doing just a drill like say the zipper drill, we can integrate the movement we want to work on while doing our regular stroke. I have never done a zipper drill in a race.

I am always working on EVF - early vertical forearm - I do it while I am swimming my regular workout. I just consciously think about where my elbow needs to be and do it.

knelson
December 31st, 2013, 01:35 PM
I see no smilies in Glenn's post, so I will counter with, "only if your stroke is already perfect."

Perhaps here's the question that should be asked: when you return to normal swimming, has the drill you've just completed done anything to affect your stroke? If it has not, then I'd say, yes, drills are a waste of time.

Glenn
December 31st, 2013, 01:45 PM
Perhaps here's the question that should be asked: when you return to normal swimming, has the drill you've just completed done anything to affect your stroke? If it has not, then I'd say, yes, drills are a waste of time.

Well said, thank you!

Allen Stark
December 31st, 2013, 03:50 PM
There are about 4 areas of BR that I tend to get sloppy with when I am not paying attention.I do drills in warm up to focus on these areas so I am more aware during the workout.

ElaineK
December 31st, 2013, 04:35 PM
There are about 4 areas of BR that I tend to get sloppy with when I am not paying attention.I do drills in warm up to focus on these areas so I am more aware during the workout.

Exactly! After warming up with freestyle, I like to do breaststroke pull drills to just focus on the technique and warm-up of the front half of my stroke. Next, I do easy kicking to gradually warm up my adductors and get my feet used to turning out at the ankles. Once I feel like my legs are ready for full breaststroke kick, I put my stroke together focusing on stroke technique for the entire stroke.

I know from past experience that if I go straight into full breaststroke, I will kick too hard and hurt my leg. The same thing will happen to my shoulder with butterfly. For me, one arm drill is a MUST to warm up the joints and get my shoulder working properly. Just swimming freestyle isn't enough. Once I am able to get the full motion with each arm without soreness, I move on to full butterfly.

If nothing else, drills are great for warming up the muscles and joints before moving into full breaststroke and butterfly. (In my case, it's the short axis strokes where injury is going to happen without a proper warm-up.)

Hey, King Frog? Please give my warmest new year wishes to Seal Girl. And, a very happy 2014 to you, too! :wine:

smontanaro
December 31st, 2013, 11:47 PM
Perhaps here's the question that should be asked: when you return to normal swimming, has the drill you've just completed done anything to affect your stroke? If it has not, then I'd say, yes, drills are a waste of time.

This is related to my earlier comment (not the one in response to Glenn) that without feedback from the deck you can't really know if you're doing the drill correctly. Mind you, I'm looking at the issue from a different perspective than all you ex-college/Olympic swimmers. As someone who is best classified as slightly more than a recreational swimmer, I definitely need more help. Drills help, but really only if I get feedback. Some of that can come from me observing myself, but the most good would come with the feedback from an external observer.

KEWebb18
January 2nd, 2014, 11:48 AM
I only do the drills that will help me. Some of them I don't do because they don't fix anything in my stroke. If you have a coach giving feedback, they need to be someone who can understand your particular stroke mechanics and how to fix them. Otherwise they aren't any better then getting feedback from what you feel.
When I was getting back into the water from a shoulder injury, I felt that the drills really helped me to focus on my stroke. I was able to find parts of my stroke that would put more stress on my shoulder and pick up better habits instead of the ones that were causing injury.

smontanaro
January 6th, 2014, 01:55 PM
Karma, coincidence or Big Brother, I don't know, but overnight, YouTube recommeded this video:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR4IgctibNg

Beards247
January 6th, 2014, 03:44 PM
[QUOTE=smontanaro;293576]Karma, coincidence or Big Brother, I don't know, but overnight, YouTube recommeded this video:

This is one of my bookmarked videos. Note his commentary on technique work @ 5:20-6:02 - 2 months worth of technique. I've also learned technique work does not mean slow work. What he says about breaststroke 2:50-3:20 holds to the old cliche - you've got to swim fast to swim faster!

I do drill work every practice - it is more important than cardio IMO.

Swimspire
January 6th, 2014, 04:03 PM
Here is another example of an Olympian who incorporates drills into his workouts to improve both technique and speed and prevent injuries.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6gW-ZdSfbw

Trondi
January 7th, 2014, 08:56 AM
Yes and No :)

Yes:
I do drills when I am told to do drills within a coached session - but usually feel little benefit other than from the extra rest between harder sets. The main problem is that a lazy coach wont explain in advance exactly the purpose of each drill but will give the command to 'do 100m drills'. An opportunity wasted in my view.

No:
When no drill sets are in view or I swim on my own I try to vary my speed. For example as a warm up I will include 800m of 'mindful' swimming, focusing for 4 laps on hand entry; 4 laps on the pull; 4 laps on the push (for freestyle) ie every 4 lengths a new focus but all within my full stoke albeit at a reduced speed. For me this has the advantage that I get immediate feedback within my full stroke from 'the drill' if thats what you could call it! In that way my whole stroke benefits and my brain - such as it is - learns quicker :)

Have I just contradicted myself?? :argue:

T

wnt2bfst
January 11th, 2014, 11:33 PM
I usually find my workouts from the USMS blogs,then workouts. I skip the work outs that say drill or skull because I don't know many drills or witch ones can help my technique deficits. I also have a hard time with them because they take allot of time. I only have about an hour to spend in the pool. I like accomplishing yardage. You know, Go The Distance bragging rights. Kicks sets take up too much time but I can put fins on and go faster. I do kick sets but feel I am cheating with fins. The pains of being a solo swimmer. Old dog, new tricks, hard to learn something new.

Allen Stark
January 12th, 2014, 12:22 PM
I like accomplishing yardage. You know, Go The Distance bragging rights.

I think anything that motivates one to swimming and fitness is a good thing.I also think GTD does more harm than good,but fundamentally you can have workouts that can help you swim better/faster, or you can have workouts where you go as far as you can,One is not inherently better than the other,it depends on your goal,but they are somewhat mutually exclusive.I am concerned that GTD (and many Masters workouts) continue the idea that longer is better.Longer is fine,but longer is not faster,nor is it the best way to improve stroke mechanics. If wnt2bfst means "want to be fast" I suggest you focus more on technique work and race pace work.