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Freestyle - Ankle Pull Buoy

Posted by Glenn Mills on Feb 14, 2012 10:06AM

Maintaining a stable core is an important part of a good freestyle.  This standard drill is a good one to help accomplish this.

Why Do It:
Freestyle is faster when you rotate through a solid tube in the water, rather than squiggle down the pool.  This drill requires the swimmer to tighten the abs a bit to maintain the straight line through the entire body.

How to Do It:
Put on a pull buoy at the ankles, not between the thighs as typical.
2.  Push off and start swimming.
3.  Hold the pull-buoy tight between the ankels by squeezing the legs together.
4.  Keep the hips at the surface by tightening the abs.

How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Limit the side-to-side movement of the legs while you're swimming.  Taller swimmers will move a bit more than swimmers who are more vertically challeneged simply because of the longer line.  Holding the pull-buoy in for longer swims will also show you another benefit of working the groin and inner parts of your legs.

Archived Comments

Responded Feb 14, 2012 05:07PM

Looks like a cool way to use more of the pull buoy. I just hope I don't become a pool snake while doing this.

Responded Feb 14, 2012 05:15PM

I am so going to try this. I have a lot of squigglers (which is a perfect word to describe them).

Responded Feb 14, 2012 05:28PM


Responded Feb 14, 2012 05:29PM

I was waiting to see how to turn with the pull buoy there, was he able to flip?

Responded Feb 14, 2012 06:07PM

Me, too, Stan. I want to see the flip-turn bloopers!

Responded Feb 14, 2012 07:18PM

Yes Stan... the flip isn't the easiest... but it's doable. Between us... I did this for a 400 meter straight, long course, this morning. It really works the groin holding the pull buoy down there, as well as the abs as you really have to hold your mid-section tight. Maybe that just shows how out of shape I am right now. Enjoy.

Responded Feb 14, 2012 07:58PM

Wow what perfect timing just broke my ankle and had it surgically reconstructed last week. Trying to figure out how to keep swimming and rehabbing with the cast in 2 weeks. This might be the ticket. Anyone have any other suggestions or experiences with this set back please share or email me directly at [email protected] ...I am going stir crazy.
Cheers Jaime

Responded Feb 15, 2012 11:00PM

Glenn, I do not understand so much this "vertically challenged".. can you tell me?..

Responded Feb 15, 2012 11:05PM

Short people ;)

Responded Feb 17, 2012 02:57PM

Thanks for explanation...
Another question: with an inner tube around the ankles, my legs are distinctively sinking, and I feel a huge wiggle, but has this practice the same "rewards" (getting a stable core during freestyle) as the pull boy? Thank you in advance!

Responded May 07, 2012 10:57AM

Nice one Glenn!

Responded Sep 13, 2012 07:31PM

Nice drill! Actually, I thought that fast freestyle depends on only on technics. But nowadays-although I think I've improved a lot!:) - I feel like not going anywhere in the water! I am too slow... What do You think- what could be the problem? Thanks:)

Responded Sep 13, 2012 07:34PM

ive been using this drill and i loved it heaps

Responded Sep 25, 2012 07:56PM

Flips turns are super hard but force you to really keep your head tucked tight to the knees as you go around. Doing an open turn with pull buoy between the ankles is equally challenging. You feel it in the core muscles and have to focus on leg position.

Responded Sep 25, 2012 08:41PM

Thanks, swmgrl. A couple of good drill-of-the-week suggestions!

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