Single-Arm Lead (a.k.a. Kicking on Side or KOS)

Purpose: to develop proper body position and balance in the water (resting on lungs)

Pointers: lay on lungs, head underwater looking down, form long straight vessel just beneath and parallel to the surface , imagine swimming through narrow tube


  • Swim on your side (kicking only—small easy kicks) with one arm fully extended straight in front of you about 8 inches below surface and the other arm down by your side. Your hips and shoulders should be perpendicular to the surface of the water.
  • Begin with your head looking sideways to help you orient your body. As you move forward, rotate your head so that you're looking at the bottom of the pool. Don't rotate your shoulders or hips…just your head.
  • When you need to breathe, don't lift your head. Instead, rotate your head and roll to the air so that one goggle and your mouth and nose are slightly above the surface of the water.  Again, be careful not to rotate your hips and shoulders or lift your head. Stay in the tube, balanced and resting on your lungs.

Repeat the drill with the other arm leading. Master body position and balance on both sides before progressing.

Many athletes find it beneficial to use zoomers (short fins) for this drill to maintain forward propulsion and keep feet and legs from falling. 


Tags: TD301

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