Enhance your feel of the water and perfect your catch in all four strokes with sculling! We’re sharing our tips for swimmers new to sculling, including a workout with two awesome sculling drills.

What is Sculling?


Sculling activates the nerve endings in your fingers, hands and forearms. To scull, sweep left and right with your hands, without taking full strokes. You can be in a number of different positions when you scull. Read on for a workout that incorporates a few types of sculling!

Tips for Sculling

Sculling with paddles

If you’re new to sculling, start out simply treading with your head out of the water. Sweep your hands back and forth, as if you were spreading frosting onto a large cake! Once you are comfortable here, begin to tilt your body forward and place your face in the water. Continue the sweeping motion with your hands and add a slight freestyle kick to move yourself slowly forward. Feel free to use a pull buoy between your legs or wear fins to help keep your hips up.

Think about leading with your little finger when you sweep your hands out, and with your thumbs as you bring your hands in. Look straight down at the bottom of the pool.

The Workout

Sculling drills

Distance: 1,250 yards or meters

Duration: 33 minutes

Warm Up

  • 3×100 Freestyle
  • 6×50 Broken IM

Scull Set

  • 4×25 Front Scull
  • 4×25 Front Scull with Paddles

Main Set (3x)

Round 1: No equipment; Round 2: Add fins; Round 3: Fins and paddles

  • 100 IM (Descend by round)
  • 50 Freestyle, Easy 

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