ATW Swim Drills

The Chicken Wings Drill


Chicken Wings Drill with Pro Ironman Triathlete Natalie Barnard


High elbows upon exiting the water after the underwater cycle. Focus on relaxed hands and upper body when performing the recovery stroke.


The elbow exits the water first, followed by the hand. The aim is to raise the elbow to its highest point at the top of the stroke and the hand to slide up the body line and physically touch the armpit with the thumb. The hands need to be relaxed and loose to reduce shoulder tension throughout the recovery stroke.

Head and Legs

The head needs to straight and looking slightly down the pool, this enables a good body alignment and enables the hips and bottom to be near the water line. The Legs should be relaxed, extending from the hips not the knee joints, with plantar flexed ankles (pointed).

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