Sculling drill: explanation and demo

ScullingSculling drills are used a lot in swim training, but what are they, and what do they do? During a swim lesson with a client today he asked for a demo, so we videoed it, I thought it would be useful to share. 


Sculling is an important drill in swimming, designed to help the athlete develop a feel for the water and economy in the stroke. The drill is to be done with minimal movement, if you don’t move forwards, redoing it wrong!

Position number one is to develop feel for the water right at the front of the stroke. Minimal movement here in the drill, very small side to side hand and forearm movement: don’t bend arms and don’t wave / flex wrist!

Position two is for the mid part of the stroke. It is important for the upper arm to remain flat on the water and completely still. Elbows bent straight angles, and the water catch should be felt on the forearm. Similar very small side to side movements, as before.

Position number three is the back end of the stroke. This is the most forgotten part. Your stroke should finish as our hand brushes past your mid thigh. Elbows by your side for this drill, elbows still, small side to side movement with forearm as before.

Whichever one you find hard is the part of the stroke you should work on first.

Good luck 🙂

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