ATW Swim Drills

The Doggy Paddle Drill


Doggy Paddle Drill with Pro Ironman Triathlete Natalie Barnard


The doggy paddle focuses on the underwater catch and pull of the armstrokes. It has been thought as a beginners stroke for children, but it also has been proven to be an effective drills for swimmers to strengthen their 'feel' for the water and the underwater motions required to propel the body through the water effectively and efficiently.


Focuses on strengthening the wrists, hands and forearms when perfoming the initial movement, the frontal catch. It allows the swimmer to get a better grip and feel for the hold of the water by having the head above water level, causing a deeper pulling action due to body positioning being unlevel.

A pull buoy can be used to help elevate the legs slightly as the head is out of the water, causing the hips to drop below that of normal level.

The arms move through the water alternatively, performing the full underwater stroke, starting from the frontal catch and pulling through the water towards the end pull phase by the hips and thigh.
The arm then will come back up to the start position all under the water level. The elbows and arms should not come out of the water as with the full swimming stroke. This motion repeats simulateneously whilst propelling the body through the water with a slight hip rock.

Head and Legs

The head is out of the water with the chin resting on the water level. A pullbuoy can help raise the body line and the legs to the surface slightly. The feet need to remain relaxed with a slight point to allow fexibility. The knees not have a bend in them and the motion coming from the hips and ankles only.

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