Improving Lung Capacity for more Effective Turns

Drills and Skills for the Self-Coached Swimmer by Susan Ingraham

Turns can make or break a great race. Walls are not there for rest, but instead should be used to maintain velocity throughout your event. Turns should be worked on, each and every practice until they become a fluid and seamless part of your swim. There are numerous aspects that all contribute to a great turn. We are going to focus on developing lung capacity. One that all Masters love to perform…Doing turns without air! The following drills are not to be used as a one day workout, but rather be incorporated throughout the month on a regular basis.

6 x 75 Freestyle Swim @ 1:15
Do not breathe 3 strokes before and 3 strokes after, each flip turn.

6 x 50 Kick on your back @ 1:05
Use fins, and practice extending the number of underwater dolphin kicks performed off of each wall. Start with 4, adding 1 more each week, until you can do 12 without gasping as you reach the surface. Remember these are short, rapid movements from the waist-down. Arms are straight, squeezing your ears. Hands remain in tight streamline, cutting a straight line through the water.

10 x 25 Butterfly Swim @ :40
Streamline off each and every wall, using 4-8 dolphin kicks underwater. Remember to keep arms still; your power comes from your core, not your hands, or head, going up and down. Take the first 2 strokes of Fly before your first breath. Keeping your head down on the initial swim strokes helps maintain body alignment. Your body is generating a lot of power off each wall; keep this momentum as you explode through your break-out.

Continuous 400 Swim.
Swim Freestyle down the pool, flip turn, and then perform a full Breaststroke pull out. Yes, this is tough to do! Swim Breaststroke on the return 25. Use an open turn while keeping your head face down in the water as you reach in to touch at the wall. Keep your head down as you pull your knees tightly underneath you. As your feet are nearing the wall, press the head back and catch a quick breath as the back of the head enters the water. Most swimmers pick their head up as they touch the wall. Make it your goal to perform each open turn while you “Breathe as you Leave”.

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