WHY DO IT:
No-Hands Slinky is a short-axis (SA) drill that teaches you to use your core body ‘ chest and hips ‘ to move down the pool. In breaststroke and butterfly (the short-axis strokes), you’ll move more efficiently if you learn to use your core body, rather than your arms and legs, for propulsion. This drill teaches the fundamental body movement of butterfly and breaststroke.
HOW TO DO IT:
1. Start by lying face down in the water, with your hands at your sides.
2. Gently press into the water with your CHEST, then release the pressure on your chest and allow your torso to pop back up to the surface. Repeat this press-and-release movement for several cycles.
HOW TO DO IT REALLY WELL (THE FINE POINTS):
1. Try not to press in with your face or head. Let your CHEST do the work. Keep your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed. If you press in with your CHEST, you’ll notice that your head barely goes under the surface.
2. As you press in with your chest, your hips and rear end will rise up and over the water. Allow this natural movement to occur. As you press in with your chest and your hips rise, your feet will attempt a downward dolphin kick. Let this happen, too, but don’t kick so hard that the kick becomes your main focus. Focus on pressing your CHEST into the water, and let the hips and feet follow.
3. As you release the chest press and your torso pops up to the surface, your hips will fall and your feet and legs will attempt an UPWARD dolphin kick. Let this happen. This rise of the feet and legs gets you into the best position for either a breaststroke kick or another dolphin kick.
4. Set up a steady rhythm with your body, and when you need a breath, fit it into your rhythm. This is a perfect time to use the Tempo Trainer to maintain a steady rhythm.
5. When you take a breath, keep your head and neck in a neutral (aligned) position and keep your eyes looking DOWN.
6. When you take a breath, don’t use your hands to hold you up or to gain momentum. You can gain momentum by drawing your hips forward, and by lifting UP with your feet and legs.
When you do this drill, you’ll move forward very slowly. If you are getting NOWHERE, or if you’re moving BACKWARDS, it’s time to use fins! Fins will help you get the true feeling of the drill ‘ using your core body for propulsion. If you use fins, try not to overkick.
Feel like a board?
Be patient. Trust in the natural movements of your body and allow the hips and legs to follow along behind your initial chest-press. You could also take a deep breath and try doing the No-Hands Slinky under water until you get a feel for the movement.