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Freestyle – Shoulder Throw

Shoulder Throw is a continuation of the Shoulder Rotation drill. It focuses on recovering the shoulder ABOVE the surface during freestyle. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not as easy as it sounds when you breathe only to one side.

While the quickest fix is to learn to breathe on both sides, you’ll more than likely still favor one side over the other, and potentially end up breathing to that side when you get tired.

This drill is a bit more advanced, and takes into consideration the swimmer’s physical ability to perform the task at hand.

Please note that if you feel ANY pain in your shoulders when doing this or ANY swimming drill, adjust how you do it… or don’t do it at all.

Why Do It:

Throwing the shoulder forward during the recovery on freestyle can help give you a cleaner recovery as well as a faster recovery of the arm.

How To Do It:

1. Start by swimming slow, smooth freestyle, focusing on very good rotation to both sides

2. Lead the recovery of your arm from your SHOULDER, and NOT from your hand or elbow.

3. You’ll feel as though you’re lifting, or pushing your shoulder forward during the recovery. When you do it correctly, the arm will sweep forward.

4. As you feel more comfortable with the move, increase the speed, and make the shoulder throw a bit more ballistic, almost like a karate throw, or attack.

How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):

Don’t worry about splashing the water; you’re gonna. You may also find that this extra lift or throw of the shoulder will increase your rotation, and this is a good thing as well. When you start going faster, you’ll be encouraged by instinct to throw the hand first. Avoid this, and continue to focus on throwing the shoulder and not the hand.

Once you take the drill to high speed, you’ll have to determine whether this is something you want to add to your stroke. You also have to determine early on whether your shoulders are equipped to handle this type of recovery. If there’s any pain, even at slow, learning speeds, you should back off. The decision is up to you, but at least give it a try… slow to fast, feeling everything along the way.