Surface Arch Drill

Training the Arms without Worrying About the Legs.

I learned this years ago at a synchro camp for coaches and athletes and I have been using it ever since.
It is great because the swimmers only need to focus on what the arms are doing.
1. Swimmers start in a table top position in support scull.
2. As the legs extend the swimmers move their hands to split scull and hold.
3. Optional, roll up to the surface to finish in a layout.
Coaching Points:
  • Watch to make sure the swimmers hands are facing the proper direction. One hand faces the bottom. One hand slices with hand facing surface and then towards body or side wall to other side wall like one would in alligator or reverse propeller.
  • Arms are bent.
  • The hand in front of the body reaches for the surface.
  • The front arm is directly in front of the body and is pulling straight.
  • Watch from the side and from the end.
  • Notice if the hips are even on the surface.
  • Are the feet inline with the hips from the end.
  • Are the shoulders square.


To make it easier use a noodle or the wall.


To give swimmers a challenge use a flutter board or extend out to a bent knee surface arch.


The focus is primarily on getting the arms correct, but the arms could be wrong if the body position is inaccurate.

Author Avatar: Vanessa



Yours in Synchro,

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