One of the most important elements to swimming an effective freestyle stroke is balance.  This list of drills will help you to improve your body rotation and balance on both sides.  Start incorporating these drills in your swim workouts and see the results!

1.  Side Kicking

This is a very simple drill in which you start on your side with your head looking at the black line and your arms by your side.  Don’t forget to keep your neck nice and relaxed.  You want your chest, hips, and tops of your feet facing one wall.  Start kicking, keep a small and consistent kick going.  You will want your top shoulder out of the water and your top hip at the surface of the water.  When you breathe, don’t move your body just roll your head so your eyes are looking at the ceiling and breathe.  Do a couple lengths in a row on one side and then do the same on the other side.  This drill will help you to find your balance point on both sides.

2. 6 Kicks and Switch

This drill starts with you side kicking on one side with your arms by your side.  Before starting the roll, take a breath and put your face back in the water.  Once you are stable roll your body, as a single unit, so that your stomach goes under the water and your chest and hips face the opposite wall.  Make sure to keep the head looking down throughout the entire roll.  Once stable on your other side, breathe and take 6 kicks.  After the 6 kicks repeat the roll to the other side.  This is a great drill to help you smooth out your roll and go from one balance point to the other.  Don’t forget to keep your kick small and consistent throughout the roll.

3. 1 Stroke 6 Kicks

This drill is exactly the same as 6 Kicks and Switch except instead of having both arms by the sides keep the bottom arm out in front of you so your palm is down and your arm is in line with your shoulder about 8 inches deep.  After your 6 kicks take 1 stroke while rolling to the other side.  Once on the side keep the arm out front, kick 6 times, breathe, and then take a stroke and switch again.  When you roll from one side to the next, remember to roll the body as one unit.  The focus should be on a nice smooth and continuous roll and keep the neck relaxed as your roll from one side to the next.

Give these drills a try to help you improve your balance. Videos of all of these drills can be found through a simple youtube search for all of you visual learners!  If there is a drill you like better, put it in the comments so all our readers can improve their strokes!

Good luck and keep on swimming!