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Breaststroke – Sculling at the Wall

First published February 13, 2009

Sculling at the Wall is a great drill fro learning how to move your hands from side to side (rather than pulling back) in breastsroke.


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Why Do It:
Putting your hands and forearms in distress during practice will prepare you for what happens at the end of tough races.  This drill, done correctly, can help you learn how to use your hands in both the outsweep and the insweep.

How to Do It:
Wall Pull requires some equipment to help you isolate the movement you’re trying to learn and to focus on what you’re doing.   We use a lot of tools so we can really focus.  

First, to stay at the wall, you’ll need to be tied up with a stretch cord.  Next, put on a Swimmer’s Snorkel, a pull buoy, and some paddles.

1.  Start by doing front scull, slowly moving yourself forward with each insweep and outsweep.
2.  As you creep toward the wall, stop just short of touching the wall.
3.  Stay there, trying your best to sweep your hands along the line of the wall, getting them as close to the wall as possible, without touching it.
4.  On both the outsweep and insweep, do your best to have your hands stay just a few inches away from the wall, without touching it, and without pulling back.
5.  Stay there for a while.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Try not to kick too much, and if you’re feeling a lot of bobbing up and down, you may be pulling back too much.  Stay as stable as possible and focus on one spot on the wall.  This drill should be done for 4 to 5 minutes without allowing yourself to move backwards.  Change the width and rhythm of your arms if you start to drift away from the wall.  The goal is to maintain a smooth connection on both your outsweep and insweep.

Also, make sure the cord is tight enough to draw you back pretty quickly when you stop.  If it doesn’t pull you back right away, it may not be tough enough.