Best swimming drills for triathletes

Swimming is a crucial component of triathlon training, as it is the first discipline in the race. To improve your swimming performance and efficiency, incorporating specific swim drills into your training routine is essential. These drills focus on improving technique, strength, and endurance, helping triathletes become faster and more confident in the water.

One of the best swimming drills for triathletes is the catch-up drill. This drill requires swimmers to focus on their arm extension and timing. By swimming with one arm extended in front of the body until the other arm completes a full stroke, triathletes can improve their body alignment and develop a longer, more efficient stroke.

Another effective drill for triathletes is the kickboard drill. This drill targets leg strength and helps improve leg kick technique. By holding onto a kickboard and kicking across the pool, triathletes can build leg endurance and develop a more powerful kick, which translates to faster swim times during the race.

Finally, the bilateral breathing drill is crucial for triathletes to practice. This drill involves breathing on both sides during the swim, which helps improve balance and body rotation. By becoming comfortable breathing on both sides, triathletes can avoid imbalances during the race and maintain a steady pace throughout the swim leg.

Incorporating these swimming drills into your training sessions can significantly enhance your swimming performance as a triathlete. Remember to focus on proper technique and form while performing these drills, and gradually increase the intensity and duration as you progress. With consistent practice and dedication, you can become a stronger and more efficient swimmer, giving you an advantage in the triathlon race.

Best Swimming Drills for Triathletes

When it comes to improving swimming performance, triathletes can benefit from specific drills that target their unique needs. These drills focus on building endurance, improving technique, and simulating race conditions. Here are some of the best swimming drills for triathletes:

  • Interval Training: Interval training involves alternating between fast and slow swimming speeds. This helps triathletes work on their speed and build endurance. For example, a common interval drill is to swim a designated distance at a fast pace, followed by a period of rest or a slower swim. This challenges the cardiovascular system and allows triathletes to simulate race conditions.
  • Stroke Technique Drills: Triathletes can benefit from drills that focus on improving their stroke technique. These drills help them to become more efficient swimmers, which can increase overall speed and conserve energy for the other legs of the triathlon. Examples of stroke technique drills include single-arm drills, catch-up drills, and fingertip drag drills.
  • Open Water Drills: Since triathlons often take place in open water, it’s important for triathletes to practice specific drills that simulate these conditions. One example is sighting drills, where triathletes learn to lift their heads out of the water to navigate and maintain their course during a race. Another example is swimming in a straight line without lane markers, which helps triathletes develop their ability to swim in crowded or unfamiliar open water settings.
  • Brick Workouts: Brick workouts involve combining swimming with other triathlon disciplines, such as cycling or running, to simulate the transitions between these activities. For example, a triathlete might swim a designated distance, then immediately transition to cycling or running. This type of training improves overall race performance and helps triathletes adapt to the unique challenges of switching between different activities.

By incorporating these swimming drills into their training routine, triathletes can enhance their performance and improve their overall swimming abilities. These drills target specific areas of weakness and help triathletes prepare for the physical demands of a triathlon race.

Freestyle Technique

Freestyle Technique

Developing a strong and efficient freestyle technique is crucial for triathletes looking to improve their swimming performance. A solid technique helps swimmers move through the water with less effort and increased speed, allowing them to conserve energy for the other disciplines of a triathlon. Here are some key aspects of freestyle technique that triathletes should focus on:

Body Position: Maintaining a streamlined body position is essential for minimizing drag in the water. Triathletes should aim to keep their bodies horizontal, with their hips and legs near the surface. This can be achieved by engaging the core muscles and extending the body while swimming.

Arm Stroke: The freestyle arm stroke consists of three phases: the catch, pull, and recovery. Triathletes should focus on entering the water with a relaxed hand and engaging the forearm to catch and pull through the water. The recovery phase involves bringing the arm out of the water in a smooth and efficient manner, ready for the next stroke.

  • Kick: While the kick is not as crucial for triathletes as it is for competitive pool swimmers, maintaining a steady and controlled kick can help with overall body balance and propulsion. Triathletes should aim for a small and consistent kick, using the hips and core to drive the movement.
  • Breathing: Breathing is a key element of freestyle swimming, as it allows swimmers to take in oxygen and maintain a steady rhythm. Triathletes should practice bilateral breathing, where they breathe on both sides, to ensure balanced muscle development and adaptability in open water conditions.
  • Drills: Incorporating specific drills into training sessions can help triathletes refine their freestyle technique. Examples of drills include catch-up, where one arm remains forward until the other completes a full stroke, and fist drill, where swimmers close their hands into fists to emphasize the importance of forearm engagement.
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By focusing on these key aspects of freestyle technique and incorporating drills into their training, triathletes can improve their swimming efficiency and become stronger swimmers in the water.

Breathing Drills for Triathletes

Strong and efficient breathing technique is essential for triathletes to maintain a steady rhythm and maximize their performance in the water. Incorporating specific breathing drills into your training routine can help improve your lung capacity, oxygen intake, and overall swimming skills. Here are some effective breathing drills that triathletes can practice:

1. Single-Arm Breathing: This drill involves swimming with only one arm while focusing on breathing on the opposite side. By isolating one arm, you can concentrate on your breathing technique and ensure that you are inhaling and exhaling smoothly. Gradually switch arms and repeat the drill to develop bilateral breathing skills.

2. Rotary Breathing: This drill involves rotating your head and body to the side while breathing, simulating the natural movement of the freestyle stroke. Practice rotating your head to both sides and inhaling during each rotation without interrupting the rhythm of your stroke. This drill helps improve your lung capacity and allows you to breathe more comfortably in open water conditions.

  • 3. Breath Holding: This drill involves holding your breath underwater for short periods while swimming. Start by taking a deep breath and submerging yourself, then swim a short distance before resurfacing to exhale and inhale. Gradually increase the duration of your breath holds to improve your lung capacity and train your body to handle longer breath-holding intervals during races.
  • 4. 3-2-1 Breathing: This drill involves altering your breathing pattern by taking three strokes and then breathing on one side, followed by two strokes and breathing on the other side, and finally one stroke and breathing on the opposite side again. This drill helps improve rhythmic breathing and enhances your ability to control your breathing pattern amidst varying swim conditions.
  • 5. Sprint Breathing: This drill involves sprinting for a short distance while taking quick, shallow breaths. This exercise challenges your lung capacity and trains your body to take shorter, faster breaths during intense swimming efforts. Incorporating sprint breathing drills into your training can help improve your ability to maintain a fast pace during races.

Remember, mastering breathing drills takes time and practice. Gradually incorporate these exercises into your swim training routine and focus on proper technique and form. With consistent practice, you will improve your breathing efficiency, endurance, and overall swimming performance as a triathlete.

Kick Drills

Kick drills are an essential part of swim training for triathletes, as they help to improve leg strength, flexibility, and propulsion. By focusing on the kick, triathletes can enhance their overall swimming performance and efficiency in the water.

One kick drill that is beneficial for triathletes is the flutter kick drill. This drill involves lying on your back and kicking your legs up and down in a continuous motion, ensuring that your feet break the surface of the water with each kick. This drill helps to improve ankle flexibility and leg strength, which are important for generating power and maintaining a streamlined body position in the water.

Another kick drill that can benefit triathletes is the dolphin kick drill. This drill involves lying on your stomach and kicking your legs in a dolphin-like motion, making smooth undulations from your hips to your toes. The dolphin kick is particularly useful for triathletes during the swim portion of a race, as it allows them to conserve energy and maintain a fast pace. By practicing the dolphin kick, triathletes can improve their body control and efficiency in the water.

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As part of a well-rounded swimming training program, incorporating kick drills into your routine can help to enhance your overall swim performance and contribute to your success as a triathlete. Whether you are focusing on improving leg strength, ankle flexibility, or body control, kick drills provide a targeted way to work on specific areas of your swimming technique. So, dive in and start incorporating kick drills into your swim training today!

5 Best swimming drills for triathletes

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Question and answer:

What are kick drills?

Kick drills are exercises designed to improve a swimmer’s kicking technique and strength.

Why are kick drills important in swimming?

Kick drills are important in swimming because they help improve leg strength, power, and endurance, which are essential for maintaining a proper body position in the water.

What are some common kick drills in swimming?

Some common kick drills in swimming include flutter kick, dolphin kick, scissor kick, and breaststroke kick. These drills help swimmers develop different kick techniques and strengthen their leg muscles.

How often should I do kick drills?

The frequency of kick drills depends on individual training goals and the swimmer’s level of experience. However, it is generally recommended to include kick drills in swim workouts at least two to three times a week.

What are the benefits of doing kick drills?

Doing kick drills can improve a swimmer’s overall technique, strengthen leg muscles, enhance body position in the water, and increase speed and efficiency in the water.

What are kick drills?

Kick drills are exercises specifically designed to improve the kicking technique in sports like swimming, martial arts, and soccer. They focus on developing leg strength, flexibility, and coordination, helping athletes become more efficient and powerful in their kicks.


In conclusion, kick drills are a vital part of any swim training routine. They help to improve leg strength, kick technique, and body position in the water. By incorporating kick drills into your swim workouts, you can become a more efficient and powerful swimmer. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced swimmer, kick drills offer a wide range of benefits that can greatly enhance your overall swimming performance. So don’t neglect your kick drills, and watch as your swimming abilities skyrocket to new heights.

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Harrison Clayton

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