Originally published September 16, 2008
So you want to get your legs in shape quickly? Here’s a drill that’s not only fun but also just a bit challenging. It’s also a great way to work your legs without injuring the knees.
Why Do It:
Learning how to support extra weight in the water requires that you learn how to use your feet as a very productive part in your swimming. The choice is simple: Kick to support the weight…or sink.
How to Do It:
1. Start by learning a proper eggbeater kick — alternating one leg after the other in a half-breaststroke-kick movement. Start with your hands at your sides to get accustomed.
2. Slightly raise your hands out of the water to begin feeling the added pressure to your feet. Right away you’ll feel the need to connect better.
3. Grab a single med ball, and hold it just barely out of the water.
4. When you feel like you’re getting the hang of it, hold the med ball a bit higher.
5. When you’re really feeling like a champ, grab a second med ball and hold them slightly out of the water.
6. Finally, the graduation of this drill is to take BOTH med balls, and hold them as high as you can without going under.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
This is a very tough drill and, as you can see, will put your body totally out of position. Don’t worry about that, that’s not what this drill is about… it’s only about connecting with the feet, and speeding up the turnover of the legs fast enough so that you can make a length of the pool.
If you really want to test yourself, try to straighten your arms with both med balls held out of the water. This is the REAL graduation test. Enjoy, and remember to use med balls that are filled with sand, so you know there’s nothing buoyant about them.