10:1 & 6:1 Drill
Your progression once you've set up good kick technique is to develop body rotation along with your kick. It is good to practice this with and without fins. A quick guide to these drills are
- 10:1 Drill (body position at 90deg)
- 6:1 Drill (body position at 45 deg)
As you implement these drills keep your head position stable as you rotate your body about your head, also when you are on your side keep your hand at the front of your thigh not over your back - this helps to stabilize your posture through your core not your back (arched back).
Key Pointers 10:1 Drill
- Starting position (Superman) 1 arm in front, 1 arm on the side of the body and hips and shoulders are parallel to the side of the pool or 90degrees to the bottom of the pool and preferably head looking directly to the side of the pool.
- Count approx 10 kicks and then take your arm stroke and roll to the other side (which is the 1 pull) - alternate this down the pool.
- The sequence of movements as you swap sides needs to be
- head position moves from looking to the side to a neutral position (ie. down at bottom of the pool),
- arm starts the movement (recovery) to the front of the body
- at the same time the body rotation moves about the head
- Finally the head moves around to the other side to take a breath.
- The key part which you are trying to learn here is to drive the rotation from your hips not your shoulders. By leading from your hips your shoulders should follow.
Key Pointers 6:1 Drill
The 6:1 is a progression from the 10:1 and is a closer simulation to the swimming technique. Key differences are around the body and head movement through this drill.
- Starting position (Superman) 1 arm in front, 1 arm on the side of the body and hips and shoulders are at approx 45-60 degrees to the bottom of the pool - head position is down (neutral position)
- Count approx 6 kicks and then take your arm stroke and roll to the other side (which is the 1 pull) - alternate this down the pool.
- The sequence of movements as you swap sides needs to be arms starts the recovery and then the body rotation moves in time with the arm rotation about the head (neutral position) and then the head moves around to the other side takes a breath and then moves back to the neutral position.
- The key part which you are trying to learn here is to drive the rotation from your hips not your shoulders.
- Try and swim over the center line of the pool and make sure that each time you rotate to the other side you are not fish tailing from left to right across the lane (this is generally controlled by your arm movement and refers to arm recovery drills).
- Keep the head in a neutral position and when you change sides try not to let the head dive deep into the water or lift up and swing from one side to the other.
- When you rotate to the other side use the black line on the bottom of the pool as your visual cue as to where to place your hand.
- Once you've placed your hand in the correctly then make sure you drive it forward - (finger tips toward the end of the pool) not across to the side of the pool. Again use the black line at the bottom of the pool as your visual cue to ensure that the arm is extending straight ahead - parallel to the black line.
Now apply the 10:1 & 6:1 Drill to your swimming. Remember the hips aren't going to rotate quite the same amount as they were in the drill. Drive the rotation naturally with your hips. If you feel like you are having to force them to rotate then you are probably trying too hard and will be overdoing the rotation.
You should feel a lot more efficient in the water if you do this properly. The body rotation helps develop the 'distance per stroke' in your swimming and when done correctly for many swimmers reduces the load on the shoulders as the hips now drive the rotation.
Getting to the stage when Body Rotation is working effectively is possibly the easiest and most effective way to see an improvement in body position on the water.
Additional Body Rotation Drill
Fast Forward to 4:30 in this video to see Body Rotation Drill using one fin and one paddle.