Looking for some unique drills to try in the pool? You are going to love these!

Focusing on drills helps you swim faster, get a better workout, burn more calories, reduce your chance of injury, and improve your technique. These five freestyle drills are a bit out-of-the-box! If they are too hard for you to do, check out our beginner drills.

What is a Swimming Drill?

A drill is an exercise done specifically to improve your swimming technique. It’s usually a modified version of one of the four competitive strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke or freestyle. Drills are designed to help you focus on a specific part of the technique, like your arm position, kicking or breathing.

Related: The 5 Most Common Freestyle Mistakes

Remember, water is 800x more dense than air — so because you’re moving through a medium that has a lot of resistance, any improvement in stroke technique can have a big impact on how efficiently you swim.

Related: How to Swim Freestyle with Perfect Technique

1. Paddle On Forehead Drill

Swimming freestyle with a paddle on your forehead is a fun and challenging way to work on your head position and breathing in the freestyle stroke.

Related: How To Stay Motivated When Training Alone

Focus on keeping your eyes on the bottom of the pool. The paddle should be at 90 degrees relative to the surface of the water to feel the most resistance. This drill is actually easier the faster you’re moving.

When you breathe, focus on keeping your head in line and only rotate enough to take a breath. It’s a difficult drill, but will engage your mind and body.

2. Single Leg Drill

The Single Leg Drill will activate your core and legs. To do this drill correctly, you’ll need to focus on holding one leg out of the water, forming a 90 degree angle with the surface of the water.

Related: MySwimPro Helped Me Swim 1,300km!

Try to get keep the thigh of the extended leg in line with your body. This drill will force you to have a strong single leg kick to prevent your body from sinking in the water. Focus on keeping your kicks short and fast and activate your core.

3. Freestyle With a Bamboo Stick Drill

This is a fun yet challenging drill to help you work on balance and extension. Grip the stick wider than shoulder width and try your best to maintain stroke extension and a high elbow catch. You can use any lightweight stick that is easy to hold in the water.

Related: How To Swim In a Hot Pool

This type of drill is as much of a mental exercise as it is physical and will improve your body awareness in the water.

4. Kickboard Tag Between Legs Drill

In this drill you’ll place a kickboard between your thighs where you would normally hold a pull buoy.

Related: How To Do a Breaststroke or Butterfly Turn

The goal of this drill is to focus on the exit of your hand at the end of the stroke. As you swim freestyle, tag the kickboard with your hand as it leaves the water. This will allow you to focus on finishing the stroke fully and maintaining strong rotation.

Also focus on keeping your extended arm in line and don’t let your body sway side to side as you tag the kickboard.

5. Opposite Fin & Paddle Freestyle Drill

Using equipment is a great way to engage your body when you swim. If you swim with one fin and one paddle on opposite sides of your body, you’ll engage your core and activate the stabilization musculature needed to swim a balanced stroke.

Swim half the drill set with your right fin and left paddle, then switch to swim with your left fin and right paddle.

Related: How To Swim Faster

We hope you enjoy these 5 free crazy freestyle swimming drills! Try them out and let us know what you think!

If you’re looking for more drills, download the MySwimPro app to explore our library of Technique Videos, and get a personalized Training Plan designed to help you improve your technique, swim faster and reach your goals. Use code SWIM35 for $35 off your first year of MySwimPro Coach >



  1. One that drill that has helped me is finger trail. Your fingers trail along the top of the water in a normal stoke position. It makes you maintain a high elbow position.

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