Longdog Drill

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Longdog Drill

Post by cottmiler on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:30 am

I first tried this years ago in a Shelley Taylor-Smith clinic and could,nt do it.

However my advances with Reverse Catchup have morphed into needing to master Longdog.

It is the doggy paddle but with full body lengthening

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZhCL2XsQNI

Here is a different version which SwimSmooth prefer because they don’t want you using your legs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmigLeoCirw

I am finding longdog drill is hard work physically because I am not yet getting a glide.

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by Don Wright on Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:08 pm

I learnt about this in Maglischo's great tome - think it was probably some 10 years ago - but kept my arms totally UW during recovery as per instructions, which was not a good idea in my case, since my flutter kicking was (and still is) pathetic.  It worked better when I  substituted a breast stroke kick during arm recovery, instead of the weak leg flutter! Guess am just a "front-end" bod - the arms need to do it all. I see in the first clip the arm recovery is initially partly OW - which makes it more feasible for bods like me - not so much pushing drag - however, that makes it closer still to the proper full stroke, so why bother?

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by cottmiler on Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:01 am

It is rather good to do the progression demonstated by Paul Newsome in his endless pool.

That is, start with half a lap of full underwater recovery, then lift the elbows a bit and do hand drag, then finger tip drag and complete the lap with full stroke.

Bilateral breathing throughout of course.

This joins up all the dots so to speak.

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by Don Wright on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:00 pm

cottmiler wrote:...This joins up all the dots so to speak.

Yes, I do see the point of varying the pushing drag - by getting the elbow, then finger tips etc, up out of the water in stages! But I still shudder at what happens in my own case, when trying to do a full UW arm recovery! I see this at my every session when I do 2 lengths of my "hybrid stroke" (posted yonks ago), in which from a "flat" attitude, I pull each arm in turn back to the hip (as in the old "Combat Side Stroke), then faced with the problem of recovering both arms simultaneously back to the cycle start (ending with outstretched arms again), whilst ideally flutter kicking - in practice, muggins tried first a dolphin kick (since his flutter kicking is abysmal, but then reverted to doing a breast-stroke kick, which is probably the most powerful way to recover both arms simultaneously UW. Ah well!- it takes all sorts to make a world! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by cottmiler on Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:26 am

There is often no apparent connection between swimming and doing a drill which leads one to question the value of the drill. It,s probably because one never learns to do the drill properly.

All the triathlete types in my pool are swimming on their fronts with lots of legs and swimming uphill.

I think this Longdog Drill is helping me swim more on each side and be more streamlined.


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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by Sprinter on Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:46 pm

I did altogether quite a lot of "doggy paddel" and variations, due to different coaches (not the top ones). It seemed I did it right. I never found any benefit in doing any sort of this. Seems to me a completely pointless activity. The only point seems to be to destroy a natural relation to swimming.

Is there any hard evidence, any kind of study, which shows any kind of positive effect?

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by cottmiler on Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:01 pm

I apreciate your responses sprinter because it gives food for thought.

Indeed Coach Stuart McDougal just said on T.I that many years ago they abandonded sharkfin, zipper switch, and 123 tap extend drills because they caused problems.

It is all very confusing because there is SwimSmooth advocating about two dozen drills along these lines.

I can only surmise that a very good swimmer like yourself cannot pin point any particular drills that really contributed to your skill.

I see. numerous videos of top swimmers doing all these drills and imagine that that is the way to go.

My attempts to teach Bregor here are based totally on drills because he cannot yet swim properly. Chicken and egg?

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by Sprinter on Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:21 pm

One possibility why professional swimmers are doing such drills: killing time?!? Nothing else to do? I don't think the coaches have much of a systematic approach (evaluation).

They invent all kinds of stuff. The bigger ones in order to create a brand. Will have some psychological effect on some. For SwimSmooth I guess that's important. In interviews of Paul Newsome about the creation of this brand he speaks quite openly about choosing methods to attract clients.

There is the "fun factor". I guess some evaluation would show that "half" of the swimmers like that stuff, they "have fun", the others don't.

Whatever you do, if you do it only a bit, it shouldn't hurt. But the problem I see is that these drills become some form of "fetish", substitute swimming.

Besides the kicking (which isn't a drill), and emphasising certain elements (especially with the snorkel), the only drill which possibly had an effect for me is the under-water push-off from the wall, just gliding, trying to stay as streamlined as possible, to glide as long as possible. I do this often at the end of a session. Perhaps it's just nice ... If I do it a couple of times, I reach 12m, which seems alright.

When I do from time to time some teaching of colleagues, then I follow the same approach. PLUS dryland -- many movements people just can't perform, and then dryland helps. Plus some nice little interval series, only 4-8 times 25m or 50m, that'll give them a good push.

I have some basic ideas what's fundamentally wrong with drills (especially for the late starter, who wants to swim fast -- for the rest I believe it doesn't help, but it also might not hurt). Once I'm more sure about these things for myself, I write something more cohesive about that.

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by cottmiler on Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:05 am

It has dawned on me what this streamlined body position arising from Longdog practise is similar to.

Some years ago I bought some Finis Agility paddles in Australia and was amazed at what they could do. And that was to encourage that streamlined action described above! Obviously a result of greater pulling force and a general slowdown in oscillatory body motion.

However, there's not much point using paddles unless you can keep the legs high in the water. That's No. 1 priority.

Note that nightcrawler is a fan of Finis Agility paddles.




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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by nightcrawler on Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:29 am

cottmiler wrote:It has dawned on me what this streamlined body position arising from Longdog practise is similar to.

Some years ago I bought some Finis Agility paddles in Australia and was amazed at what they could do.  And that was to  encourage that streamlined action described above!  Obviously a result of greater pulling force and a general slowdown in oscillatory body motion.  

However, there's not much point using paddles unless you can keep the legs high in the water.  That's No. 1 priority.

Note that nightcrawler is a fan of Finis Agility paddles.


Yes it is my favourite drill which improves the connection between the pull+push phases and lower body(hip and legs) action. Regardless of the kicking action body rolls from side to side during pulling and pushing phases, the propelling force is generated from the hips during this phases, and when you drive the hands (or fingers) inside the water you can feel this connection (correct timing) better than normal swimming. Also it helps to teach your body a better alignment position, get a better buoyancy and higher lower body in the water.
You can assume it as a hand drag drill, please see my video below:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcwW_y2h-Nf/?hl=en&taken-by=maratonyuzme

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Re: Longdog Drill

Post by cottmiler on Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:00 am

Thanks nightcrawler for your vote of confidence.

I am working hard at Longdog until I am happy with it. It is quite hard work and needs concentration to achieve a glide which indicates good body balance and streamlining.

The breathing to the right side upsets body balance a bit which needs curing. Faulty head positioning. It needs the head to return to neutral before the catch.


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