Getting Ready to Go Fast

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

LCM. The purpose of this set was to get us primed and ready for our main set. We did this in about 8 feet depth – the blastoffs involve sinking down to the bottom, pushing off, and exploding vertically through the surface while dolphin kicking. After the 5 sprint cycles, swimmers continued the rest of the 50 smooth.

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Underwater Skills and Speed with 11-12s

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This is part of a practice I did recently with our top 11-12s. Our main focus was on underwater kicking. Our pool has a black line across the bottom approximately 9 yards from the wall.

For the 1:00 vertical kick and rotate, we were flutter kicking with our arms folded across our chest, performing a 90 degree rotation about every 5 seconds accompanied by my demonstration.

Texas 25 = push off and streamline underwater kick to the black line, flip, 4 underwater kicks, sprint back to the wall, turn, 4 underwater kicks and sprint to the opposite end. Texas 25 = 45 yards (everything is bigger in Texas).

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Breaststroke Deep-Water Speed and Power Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We recently did this set in our approximately 10m-wide diving well. Our breaststroke group was nearly unanimous in their enthusiasm for this set, despite the dog-tired looks on their faces when they finished it.

3 rounds:

10 x 10m widths @:10 1 pullout and 1 cycle breast to make it to the other side.

:20 rest

1:00 vertical eggbeater kick, hands and elbows out of the water.

1:00 rest, hook up to stretch cordz

6 x 4 cycles cord-resisted sprint (no pullouts) and float back to the wall @ ~1:00

1:00 rest

For the cord-resisted sprints, we had a cord anchored to a chain link fence about 10 feet from the edge of the pool. This wasn’t quite enough resistance, so a coach held the cord to get enough tension so that the swimmers were only barely moving forward on the 3rd and 4th cycles sprint.

Wild and Wacky Kick Set with Coach Dan Mascolo of CDOG

Dan Mascolo
Associate Head Coach

Cheshire Y/Sea Dog Swim Club (CDOG-CT)

We did this kick set a month or two ago and the kids really liked it. They named it the “Wild and Wacky Kick Set”.

8x      {5x Streamline Blastoffs @ :25

          {:06 Vert Fly Kick (try to do at least 10 kicks) @ :15
          {        2 rounds arms crossed
          {        2 rounds hands out of the water
          {        2 rounds elbows out of the water
          {        2 rounds streamlined
          {:30 Wall Kick right into
          {25 Sprint Kick on board @ 1:00
They LOVED it and worked harder than usual without realizing it.


The Leg Crusher

Ryan Sprang
Head Coach
Nittany Lion Aquatic Club

Here was a set we did on Friday April 26th to crush the legs:
– 1 minute vertical kick, last 15 seconds all out kick in streamline
– 100 kick @ 1:40 strong with board
– 2 x 25 @ :30 12 UW Dolph kicks blast then swim smooth
– 2 x 50 @ :55 – 10 seconds all out wall kick, flipturn, then swim the 50 mini/max (maximum speed with minimum number of strokes)
– 2 minutes vertical kick, last 30 seconds all out kick in streamline
– 200 kick @ 3:20 strong with board
– 4 x 25 @ :30 12 UW dolphin kicks blast then swim smooth
– 4 x 50 @ :55 – same as the 50’s above
– 3 minutes vertical kick – last 45 seconds all out kick in streamline
– 300 kick @ 5:00 strong with board
– 6 x 25 @ :30 12 UW dolphin kicks blast then swim smooth
– 6 x 50 @ :55 – same as the 50’s above
– 4 minutes vertical kick, last 1 minute all out kick in streamline
– 400 kick @ 6:40 strong with board
– 8 x 25 @ :30 12 UW Dolphin kicks blast then swim smooth
– 8 x 50 @ :55 – same as the 50’s above


Breaststroke Challenge Set

Greg Johnson
3 x
I had the swimmers pair up and put one partner in the water for VK and the other partner on deck. The swimmer in the water was to vertical kick breastroke right up on the wall (so their knees couldn’t come up). I had the kicker hold the med ball for 4 kicks and pass on the 5th. The partner on deck would simply drop the ball back to the swimmer. After 1 min, they switched. So actually each swimmer kicked 2 x 1 min.
On the 75s, I had the swimmers think about stretching their strokes out into long streamlines, and although tired from the VK, have them think about lowering stroke count through leg-driven breaststroke and streamline. The interval gave rest to the good breaststrokers and challenged the others (but with rest).
I realized that the attention to the VK and throwing the med ball might be too much for the group, I switched it up each round. I made the partner out of the water do flutter kicks on the edge of the wall while the swimmer in the water VK with med ball, etc.

Vertical I.M. Transitions

Ryan Woodruff

This set is designed to help mimic the crucial transitions in IM sets. In my opinion, much of the difficulty in IM transitions is due to fatigue in the legs. The vertical kicking mimics the fatigue from one stroke and then we swim fast!

2:00 vertical dolphin kick (hands out of the water) straight into…
1 x 100 fast backstroke (50 splits must be within 1 sec of each other)
1 x 100 easy swim

Repeat additional times doing vertical flutter kick (for backstroke) followed by breaststroke swimming. For the br-fr transition, do vertical kicking with a weight followed by freestyle swimming. Intersperse these sets with longer IM sets for maximum effect.

Vertical Kick + Power Tower

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Some vertical kicking and Power Tower work to get you going:

1:00 vertical kick arms across chest
100 drill @ 2:00
8 x 25 Power Tower odd sprint/even EZ @ :40
:40 vertical kick with weight belt in front of chest
100 drill @ 2:00
6 x 25 Power Tower same as above
:20 vertical kick with weight belt held overhead
100 drill @ 2:00
4 x 25 Power Tower same as above

Welcome to Friday Fly Day

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Throughout this set, every time you reach the wall, perform vertical dolphin kicking until your interval comes up for an extra aerobic boost.

300 fly swim @ 6:00
Swim fly as long as you can hold your technique together (i.e. hold you count and rhythm). When you fall off, kick a 25 dolphin kick and then resume fly swimming. Continue until you have reached 300 yards total of fly swimming (it may be a 325, 350, 375 etc. total)

3 x 200 fly
#1 – 12.5 kick/12.5 fly clap drill @ 3:30
#2 – 12.5 triple kick drill/12.5 swim @ 3:00
#3 – 15m swim/~10y no breath fly swim @ 3:00

20 x 50 @ 1:00
#1 – breathe every stroke
#2 – breathe every 2nd stroke
#3 – breathe every 3rd stroke
#4 – fast swim, choice breathing pattern