Long Dog Drill

Keep this drill nice and slow and focus on the key elements mentioned in the video below. Over emphasis the movement of the push phase so your hand is flat on the surface of the water at the end of the stroke ie. palm to the sky beside the thigh, not side on to the thigh which translates to a weak push phase position.

"Remember drills are best done by over emphasizing good technique so when you speed them up and apply it to your swimming the technique is still effective."

This drill is fantastic for the rhythm and timing of the stroke and teaching swimmers to push long at the back of the stroke. By doing this it help to promote good rotation and length in every stroke you take. 

Key Points

  1. Timing – arms move together
  2. Don’t initiate the catch/pull phase by pulling from the elbow instead make sure you use your hand and forearm to hold the water (refer to the double arm catch)
  3. Finish the stroke where the hip was before body rotation
  4. Separate the arm movement from the body rotation to generate better power
  5. Arms/elbows don’t exit the water
  6. While the recovery of the arm under the water may not seem important, it is! Make sure you fold the hand and forearm directly under the bicep and streamline the hand directly to the front (catch position)


Progression & IMPLementation

Stage 1

You have to feel the timing of this drill so I'd recommend completing individual lengths just doing long dog focus on the areas discussed in the video. Most people are best to use fins while doing this drill to start with.

Stage 2

4-6 Long Dog Drill Strokes and then swim through to the end of the length maintaining the timing and other key elements of this drill. Continue to use fins! 

Stage 3

Take fins off and complete 4-6 Long Dog Strokes and then swim through to the end of the length maintaining the timing and other key elements of this drill.

Common faults to this drill

  1. The drill is hurried therefore there is little body rotation - pause in a superman position
  2. Timing - arms moving separately almost like catch up style. Aim to move the arms at the same time.
  3. Elbows out of the water - indicates a short stroke so you are not pushing all the way to the back (think of it like a tricep extension). Palm at the surface of the water for the purpose of this drill!
  4. Elbows pulls over the back - separate the arm movement from the hip rotation. Letting your arm simply follow your hip creates a sweeping stroke action which isn't particularly strong and generally then impacts on your arm recovery. 
  5. Keep the arm recovery under the water try not to throw the elbow around the side – firstly bend the forearm and hand to come under the bicep and like a spear drive it through to the front (catch position)