If sculling makes you feel like you’re getting nowhere fast…wait till you try SIDEWAYS sculling.
Why Do It:
With sideways sculling, your goal is simply to go from side to side… or to go around and around in CIRCLES.
While you won’t be traveling very far or very fast, you WILL be working all the small muscles in your hands, wrists, and forearms – the muscles that come into play when you sweep OUT and then IN on your breaststroke pull.
How to Do It:
1. To give yourself a bit of flotation, use a pull buoy or a pair of Zura Alpha fins, like our swimmer is wearing.
2. Position yourself sideways in a lane or in the diving well, and sit in a "V-like" position with legs straight and with your toes just above the surface of the water. Your head should also be above water and, yes, this drill is just as tough on your ABS as it in on your FOREARMS.
3. While maintaining your "V-like" position, start moving your hands and forearms so that you move SIDEWAYS. If you’re moving to the RIGHT, you should instinctively change the pitch of your hands so that the left palm is mostly pushing out and AWAY from the body, and the right palm is mostly pulling in and TOWARD the body.
4. If we slow down the tape, you can see this more clearly. The left palm pushes out and away. The right palm pulls in and toward the body.
5. As you change directions and move to the left, the pitch of the hands will change and the emphasis will change. Now it’s the RIGHT palm that pushes out and away from the body, and it’s the LEFT palm that pulls in and toward the body.
The Fine Points (How to Do It Really Well):
Use your abs to hold your body in a solid "V". Don’t let your body wobble around.
Try not to PULL with the hands, or let the hands pop above the surface of the water. Keep them under the surface, and keep your sculling motions even and rhythmic.
For a special challenge, try sculling in circles – first in one direction… then the other direction…then the other direction.
Now take your synchronized swimming skills and try a few lengths of breaststroke, focusing on how sideways sculling translates to a more definite OUTSWEEP and INSWEEP in your stroke.