HomeSwimBalance and Rotation Swim Drill

Balance and Rotation Swim Drill

The Balance and Rotation drill is an excellent swim drill that helps the swimmer develop balanced freestyle stroke.

Before I begin, I want to say this is not “the” Balance and Rotation Drill but “a” Balance and Rotation Drill. There are number of drills out there that teach balance and rotation during the freestyle stroke and this is just one of them. However, you will find out why I have never really known an official name for this drill. By all means, if you come up with one that explains it in a few “catchy” terms, holler!

This drill is a little more complicated and should only be done if you are feeling very comfortable with previous drills discussed. If you are an experienced swimmer, you will also find this drill both revealing and helpful.

Shoulder Rotation While Swimming

Shoulder rotation is a very important part to any freestyle stroke. It basically lends to the overall efficiency of the stroke, helps us to breathe a little easier during the stroke and more importantly, allows one to extend further per stroke. Balance too, is very important and I speak of the equal distribution of power with both arms during the underwater portion of the stroke.

Not only will this drill help you develop better shoulder rotation during the freestyle, it will also show you which arm is stronger and which one is weaker when swimming freestyle! Thus helping you achieve better balance in the water. Personally, I love this drill because I found it to be incredibly helpful.

Now read this carefully for this drill can be a little tricky. But, once you practice it a few times, it will become…well…a little easier.

How to Do The Drill

This drill is actually broken down into four parts, all of which include swimming with one arm. And you will use both arms during the drill:

1. Swim with the Left arm, Breath to the left side. The right arm is by your side not out in front of you. This will be written as L st (left stroke), L br (left breath).

2. Swim with Left arm, Breathe to the right side. The right arm is by your side, not out in front of you. Written as L st, R br

3. Swim with Right arm, Breath to the right side. The left arm is by your side, not out in front of you. Written as R st, R br

4. Swim with Right arm, Breath to the left side. The left arm is by your side, not out in front of you. R st, L br

Now, if it will make you feel more comfortable, practice the arm and breathing motion standing in your living room or simply standing in the shallow end of the pool, bent over at the waist, face down in the water. When learning this drill, by all means, use fins to add the support to the legs. As I said, this drill may be tough to get used to. And it will always be a tough one to do. But it will help tremendously.

Sample Drill Set

16 x 25’s, completing steps 1 – 4 four times in the order above. 20 seconds rest between each 25 yard swim.

View any of the other four drills below:
Thumb to Thigh
Touch and Go (aka Catch-up Stroke)
Closed Fist
Balance and Rotation

Rating: 5.00/5. From 1 vote.
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Hazen Kent
Hazen Kent
As a former All-American swimmer, Hazen has spent many years as a competitive triathlete and coach of both triathletes and swimmers.


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