Backstroke - Marching Soldier

Jul 22, 2008
Backstroke - Marching Soldier

Sometimes you get introduced to a drill that's so tough, you just have to try it.  Marching Soldier is one of those drills.

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 - Check out the greatest backstroker of all time - Aaron Peirsol's DVD

Why Do It:
Marching Soldier is an extremely challenging drill that not only works your coordination, but also is very taxing on your legs.  This drill can help you with body positioning when you're under tremendous strain.  Yeah... in other words... it's a LOT of fun.

How to Do It:
1.  Start on your back, kicking flutter kick.
2.  Have one arm extended above your head, and the other down by your side.
3.  Move each arm above the water in different directions, one from back to front, like a recovery...
4. ...the other from front to back, like a reverse recovery... moving both arms at the same time.
5.  Don't let the arms stop, or relax.  Keep switching from front to back, and back to front, above the water.
6.  Maintain your body position as best you can, by kicking and leaning into the water with your upper back.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
If you're having a tough time with this because your kick is not that great, put on a pair of fins.  While fins won't turn this into an EASY drill, they'll at least allow you to experience it.

As fatigue sets in, you may also notice it's not easy to keep your arms going straight back overhead for the recovery.  If you notice your arms flailing a bit out to the side... it's time to take a break.

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