Over the summer my t1 coach introduced me to the long axis drills. over the next several months i plan on doing the bulk if not all my swimming in a local 24 hr fitness, whose name is misleading since it infers its open entirely 24 hours, and the swim area is closed 11pm-5a.
As much as i struggle to get my work outs in my wife complains that me getting up at 5 am every day has ill effects on her. Although i do get up early every day, as a tri guy i don't spend enough time in the pool. the paltry 3 lap lanes, with no definitive slow-med-fast, can mean planning ahead and getting a large allotment of lap times near impossible, some one jumps in the lane and wants to do jumping jacks, another person insits on swimming down the center of the lane doing 2 handed back strokes.
With this in mind, I like the long axis drill alternating freestyle and backstoke, as it's easy to keep an eye on who's getting in and out of the pool, as well as working on my 2 main strokes, and trying to improve balance in and out of sweet spot. This and zipper switchers will be my main area of focus in the pool over the upcomming winter months!
Originally Posted by Backstroke - The Other Long Axis Stroke: How to use backstroke to enhance your freestyle, By Terry Laughlin
5. Practice long-axis combinations.
A long-axis “combo” is several strokes of backstroke alternating with several of freestyle. You can do this while swimming whole-stroke, or in stroke drills. The longaxis combo helps in two ways. First, the full 360-degree rotation forces you to pay a bit more attention to maintaining a long, clean body line than while swimming either stroke by itself. Second, it reinforces the common aspects of the two strokes. Improvement in your backstroke will more directly benefit your freestyle if you switch between them more frequently. Start by alternating one length of back and one of free, just to get used to switching strokes. Then do a half-length of each, switching at mid-pool. Finally practice switching from one to the other several times in each length (a good combination is four armstrokes of backstroke followed by three armstrokes of freestyle).