Freestyle – Full Stroke Drills – Sculling/Conductor Variations

FRS06 Category: Sculling/Conductor Variations


Elbows should be out from and close to the surface with the forearms hanging downward toward the bottom of the pool.  Scull hands outward and inward (open the pinky as scull outward, open the thumb as scull insward)  while alternating arms or both arms together in a conductor motion. Focus on your thumbs sweeping out and back in.  Can also combine with strokes after a set number of sculls to help train the EVF catch.

The hands/arms can generally be in 3 positions:

Arms up near surface, hands mostly sculling by bending the wrists (GIF)

Elbows near surface, forearms pointed at about 45 degree angle downward (GIF)

Elbows near surface, forearms pointed nearly straight down (GIF)


Sculling drills with freestyle can help train better stroke time, better EVF catch, body position, balance and power development


FRS06-01 With buoy and NO kick  (Full Video Link – forearm sculling)

        • This can be used as part of a stroke development progression
        • Ideal way to learn how to scull and how to incorporate sculling into training
        • By not kicking the swimmer can confirm that their scull is pulling them forward and not just their kick

FRS06-02 Fly and Breast kicks  (GIF)

        • Helps add variety to improve catch, balance, and body position with free sculls

FRS06-03 With Flat Paddles, no straps (GIF)   

        • Once comfortable with sculling in general, flat paddles without straps can maximize the feedback to the hands by ‘enlarging the hands’
        • It is important to keep the elbows up high and the hands pointing mostly downward

FRS06-04 Heads up above water  (with Flat Paddles and no straps or without paddles) (GIF)

        • This drives more pressure to the hands and requires more engagement of the forearms
        • Be sure to focus on the pressure on the forearms and wrists more than the hands

FRS06-05 With Precision or Precise Paddles (heads up… then heads down) (GIF)

        • Displacement paddles will take the force from the hands and allow the swimmer to focus on the pressure to the forearms and wrists
        • By raising up the head above the water the swimmer just catch the water with the forearm/wrists and learn to balance and develop power from more than just the hands
        • The use of displacement paddles can be deceiving as merely only technique devices but swimmers will quickly learn that they are much harder to use (due to their instability in the pull phase) and will develop a much better range of muscles when used regularly