DragSox 101

If you're just starting out with DragSox®, this progressive schedule complements your regular training and will help you adjust to using DragSox. We suggest doing 2 to 3 of the DragSox workouts a week. Please do a long warm up before starting with DragSox, as well as a long cool down after your workout. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is a key component to training and keeping lactic acid at bay. Keep in mind that it will feel difficult in the beginning, but if you stick with it, you’ll reach the next level at which you’ll feel stronger and more powerful. In fact, your confidence will grow to the point that you’ll feel you can do anything!

Introduction to Written Workouts

When workouts are written there are several “sets” that make up the entire workout. Each set is often repeated a few times. These workouts are based on a 25 yard pool. A 25 is one length, 50 is 2 lengths. If we specify a 100 that would be 4 lengths.

3x (

  • 2x 25 kick @ RI :15
  • 2x 50 swim @ RI :30
  • 100 easy swim, no gear

)

This example set would be repeated 3 times. The first task is 2 single lengths (25’s) of kicking with a rest interval (RI) of :15 seconds after each. Then, 2 double lengths (50’s) of swimming with a rest interval of :30 seconds after each swim. This is followed by 4 lengths (100) of easy swim. No gear means it’s just you and your swimming suit!

Workout 1

This is your first workout with DragSox. The goal is to experience the feeling of DragSox. Spend 5-10 minutes swimming or kicking any way you want. Once you’ve finished, try the following sets.

2x (

  • 25 flutter kick with DragSox
  • 50 easy swim, no gear

) take as much rest as you need.

Tip: A narrow kick is more effective than a wide one. Picture yourself inside a tube slightly bigger than you. Imagine kicking inside that tube as you go from one end to the other.

The 25 kick will feel very challenging. You might think: “OMG, there is no way I can do it”. You can. This is a normal reaction when you first start swimming with DragSox.

2x (

  • 25 swim with DragSox
  • 50 easy swim, no gear

) take as much rest as you need.

Tip: This time as you swim, focus on the rotation of your shoulders as you maintain a steady kick.

If at this point you feel OK, you can repeat both sets again. If you feel too tired, then take DragSox off. Let your body process the new challenge. Swim easy and then cool down. Congratulations! Your DragSox adaptation period has just begun.


Workout 2

Now you know what to expect. It will still feel hard, but you (and we!) already know that you can do it. Once again, you can do these sets any time during your regular workout.

2x (

  • 25 flutter kick with DragSox
  • 50 easy swim, no gear
  • 25 flutter kick with DragSox
  • 50 easy swim, no gear

) take as much rest as you need

2x (

  • 25 swim with DragSox
  • 50 easy swim, no gear
  • 25 swim with DragSox
  • 50 easy swim, no gear

) take as much rest as you need

Tip: When you swim, pay attention to your body position. Keep it straight, don’t let your hips or legs sink. Also, try to maintain a steady narrow kick and focus on the rotation of your shoulders.

Just like the first time, if you feel good, you can repeat one or both of the above sets. When you’re finished, cool down by doing some easy swimming, at least 15 minutes. Good job!


Workout 3


Today we’ll introduce dolphin kick with DragSox to your training. You have 4 rounds of dolphin kick: 2 on your stomach, 2 on your back. Then a kick set.

4x (

  • 2x [ push off the wall + 3-5 streamlined dolphin kicks with DragSox and come back to the wall ]
  • 2x [ same as above but this time no gear])
    Note: You can try adding a breakout (i.e. add 2-3 strokes with your arms).

Tip: Your upper body should travel in a straight line, not bobbing up and down. On the recovery part of the kick imagine that you are pushing water backwards with the bottoms of your feet.

2x (

  • 2x 25 kick with DragSox, flutter kick down, dolphin kick back
  • 25 sprint swim, no gear
  • 25 easy swim

) RI 3:00 between rounds to make sure you’ve completely recovered.

Tip: Give it 100% when you sprint as fast as you can. The key thing to aim for is quick feet: turn it over as fast as possible while remembering the narrow compact kick.

The kick usually feels very good after a set with DragSox. The stronger you get, the faster your kick will become. After your workout be sure to cool down. You’re done for today!


Workout 4

Put your DragSox on. If you have fins, please put them on through the opening at the bottom. If you don’t have fins, you can still do this set, so don’t worry.

1x (

  • 4x 25 kick with DragSox and fins @ RI- take as much rest as you need.
    50 easy swim, no gear
  • 2x 25 sprint swim with fins @ Rest interval 0:45
    50 easy swim)

1x (

  • 4x 25 swim with DragSox and fins @ RI- take as much rest as you need.
  • 50 easy swim, no gear
  • 2x 25 sprint kick with fins; Rest interval 0:45
  • 50 easy swim)

Tip: Let’s focus on the nice and steady compact kick through this set. Also, when you swim, pay close attention to your balance as you rotate from side to side. Try to maintain a straight line as you rotate along the central line of your spine.

That’s enough for today. Good Job!


Workout 5

Today you will do your first Combo set. Combo set is when you combine pull, kick and/or swim in one set. Combo sets are challenging and make the workout more fun.

2x (

  • 2x 25 kick with with DragSox @ RI 0:30- 0:45
  • 2x 25 pull with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 sprint swim; no gear
  • 25 easy swim)

Tip: When you pull with DragSox, it’s OK to have an occasional kick to keep your legs near the surface. As an alternative, you can try pulling with a slight dolphin kick (dolphin kick freestyle). Try to keep your body as straight as possible. Do not let your legs sink.

2x (

  • 2x 25 swim with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 2x 25 sprint swim; no gear @ RI 0:45

) Rest interval between rounds 3:00. Make sure you’re fully recovered before starting the second round.

Tip: Remember the steady kick to keep your hips anchored and drive the rotation of your shoulders as if you were paddling a kayak.
How about some easy swimming? Then a long cool down to work out the lactic acid.


Workout 6

We combined a few things together in today’s workout, kicking it up a notch. But don’t worry, you did these thing in the last few workouts, so we know that you’ll be able to handle it.

2x (

  • 2x 25 dolphin kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30 25 sprint swim
  • 25 easy swim
  • )

Tip: Try the dolphin kick as underwater streamline as far as you can go. Remember to keep your shoulders, head and arms as still as possible. Focus on the recovery part of the kick.

1x (

  • 50 kick with DragSox @ RI 1:00
  • 2x 25 swim with DragSox @ RI 0:30 25 sprint swim, no gear
  • 75 easy

)

Tip: Since this is your first time doing a 50 kick with DragSox, do not sprint it. Try to maintain a even pace and focus on the steady, narrow kick.

If at this point you feel OK, you can repeat this sets again. Otherwise, do a long easy swim without DragSox and cool down. Congratulations... you’ve made it to the next level!


Workout 7

We’re going to add a short backstroke kick set. Keep in mind, backstroke kicking with DragSox is harder than flutter kick. That’s why we haven’t done it before. Now you’re ready for it!

2x (

  • 25 backstroke kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 flutter kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 50 fast kick; no gear
  • 50 easy swim

)

Tip: When you kick, concentrate on the recovery part. Think about pushing the water with the bottom of your feet. Don’t forget about the narrow kick!

Now let’s do Vertical Kick and some sprints with DragSox. Vertical kick is just like regular flutter kick but done vertically, keeping your head above the water. Let’s start from the deep end.

2x (

  • 4x 0:15 vertical kick, no gear, try to keep your hands out of the water @RI :015
  • 25 all out swim with DragSox
  • 25 easy

) @ RI 2:00

Tip: Concentrate on the steady, narrow kick. Having quick feet is a good thing.
Good job! Cool down and get plenty of rest.


Workout 8

Today, we’re going to do one, relatively long set. We’ll mix power with sprinting. All sprints are without DragSox.

  • 2x 25 swim with DragSox at 80% effort @ RI 0:45
  • 25 sprint swim, no gear @ RI 0:45
  • 25 easy swim

  • 2x 25 swim with DragSox, try to swim the second half faster @ RI 0:45
  • 25 sprint swim with small paddles @ RI 0:45
  • 25 easy swim

  • 2x 25 swim with DragSox, try to swim the second half faster @ RI 0:45
  • 25 sprint swim with small paddles and fins; @ RI 0:45
  • 25 easy swim

Tip: On the sprints, focus on keeping a very powerful steady kick. Keep it narrow and don’t let up. Remember to rotate with the shoulders as if you’re paddling a kayak.

If at this point you feel OK, repeat the entire set one more time. If you feel tired, cool down with some easy swimming. Try to remember the feeling of swimming fast as you add gear. Eventually, you’ll be able to swim that fast without any gear!


Workout 9

Today we have short warm up set with dolphin kick. Then a longer endurance set. If you’ve noticed, we’ve been throwing in a little more variety and making the sets a little longer. No worries... we’re sure you’ll be up for the challenge!

3x (

  • 25 as underwater streamline Dolphin kick as far as you can go with DragSox, the rest easy
  • 25 sprint swim with DragSox) RI 1:00

Tip: Keep everything from the shoulders up as still as possible. A very effective dolphin kick is all from the hips. Also, try to focus on a tight streamline, that will get you farther, faster.

3x (

  • 50 pull with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 2x 25 kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 50 swim with DragSox @ RI 0:30 100 easy swim, no gear

) RI 1:00

Tip: Stay focused. Pay attention to your body position. Make sure you’re rotating with your shoulders on the pull and swim sets. Maintain a steady narrow kick during the kick and swim sets.

This is probably the hardest set so far. Dig deep and try to make all 3 rounds. We’re sure you can do it! Once you finish, do an extra long cool down of 15 minutes or more, all easy swimming. This is the best way to get rid of all the lactic acid build up. Also, be sure to drink lots of water. Congratulations on a job well done!


Workout 10

Today is mostly a kick day. You’re getting stronger and can handle a longer sets with DragSox.

3x (

  • 4x 25 flutter kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 100 no gear as,
    Round1: 2x 25 sprint kick @ 0:45, plus 50 easy swim,
    Round 2: 25 sprint swim, plus 75 easy swim
    Round 3: 50 sprint kick, plus 50 easy swim

)

Tip: Try to stay relaxed when you sprint. The more relaxed you are, the faster you’ll swim. Patience is the key, don’t rush the stroke and stay connected to the water.

3x (

  • 25 backstroke kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 swim with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 flutter kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 swim with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 50 easy swim)

Tip: When you swim after the kick, pay attention to your legs. Maintain a steady kick and remember quick feet. Focus on keeping a straight line in your body position and don’t let your legs sink.

That’s it for today. Remember to do a long easy swim for the cool down. Your legs are probably tired but you’ll feel great when you get home!


Workout 11

Today we’ll be doing sprints. Please remember, when you swim all out, be sure to rest long enough to fully recover. This means that you should not be breathing hard when you start.

2x (

  • 25 swim with DragSox, sprint first half, easy second half
  • 25 swim with DragSox, easy first half, sprint second half
  • 25 sprint swim with DragSox

) RI - take as long as you need to fully recover between 25’s

Tip: Focus on keeping your head as still as possible. Imagine that your spine is a rod that goes to the top of your head and is aimed at the target at the end of your lane. To stay on target, you’ll need to maintain a very still head position and let your shoulders rotate along the center of your spine.

3x (

  • 2x 25 sprint swim @ 1:30)
    Round 1: no gear
    Round 2: with small paddles
    Round 3: with small paddles and fins

Tip: Remember to keep a strong and powerful kick. This is what anchors your stroke as you rotate your shoulders, driving you through the water.
This was a short, fast workout. However, make sure you cool down and stay hydrated. Good job!


Workout 12

We’re back to a longer endurance set today. Stay focused and pay attention to your body position. Keep your head still and your feet up at the surface.

3x (

  • 50 pull with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 50 kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 50 easy swim, no gear)

Tip: Concentrate on the steady narrow kick and keep your body straight. During the pull, think about your shoulders rotating as if you are paddling a kayak.

3x (

  • 2x 25 backstroke kick with DragSox @ RI 1:00
  • 50 flutter kick with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 easy swim, no gear
  • 25 sprint swim @ RI 1:00)

Tip: Try to maintain a good body position. Your hips should be near the surface. On the backstroke kick, if your hips are dropping, arch your back and press down with your shoulders.

This was a tough one! Swim a nice long and easy cool down for 15 minutes or more, and get lots of rest. Did you notice we cranked it up a notch? Good job!


Workout 13

Today we’ll introduce you to a broken swim. It’s a specified distance divided into shorter lengths with brief rest intervals. Today it will be broken 100’s. Watch the clock and try to remember your times for each of the broken swims.

2x (

  • 4x 25 swim with DragSox @ RI 0:10
  • 200 easy swim, no gear [take as much rest to fully recover before starting another round]

)

Tip: Try to maintain a strong pace. Do not try to sprint, but rather try to keep your times the same for all 4 of the 25’s.

1x (

  • 25 swim with DragSox and fins @ RI 0:05
  • 50 swim with DragSox and fins @ RI 0:10
  • 25 swim with DragSox and fins
  • 200 easy swim, no gear)

Tip: Try to maintain a steady kick, good head position and rotate your shoulders along your central line.

Great job! This workout is the basics of all race pace training. Do some more easy swimming and cool down. Be sure to drink plenty of water and get lots of rest.


Workout 14


It’s a big day for kicking and pulling with DragSox. By now you’re gaining strength and power. It’s going to be hard, but we know you can do it!

3x (

  • 2x 25 backstroke kick with DragSox @ RI by rounds 0:30, 0:20, 0:10
  • 2x 50 flutter kick with DragSox @ RI by rounds 0:10, 0:20, 0:30
  • 25 swim as half fast, half easy, no gear @ 1:00
  • 25 sprint swim, no gear @ 1:00
  • 50 easy swim, no gear)

Tip: Stay focused and keep your kick as steady as possible. Think about having quick feet.

3x (

  • 2x 25 pull with DragSox @ RI 0:15
  • 50 pull with DragSox @ RI 0:30
  • 25 swim as half fast, half easy, no gear @ 1:00
  • 25 sprint swim, no gear @ 1:00
  • 50 easy swim, no gear)

Tip: Be sure to hold your head still. Remember to drive your shoulders as if you are paddling a kayak.

That’s great! Only one more workout to go. Get plenty of rest. You’re going to need it!


Workout 15

For our final workout in this series, we’re going to introduce you to a set where we start with all our gear and slowly take it away, piece by piece. We call this Strip Down. The goal here is to maintain the feel and technique of driving your shoulders as if you’re paddling a kayak while maintaining a strong steady kick. Your times are not as imporotant as the technique. The sprint 25's could be shorter than the full 25 as you take gear away.... for example, the rounds with no gear could be a half length sprint.

7x ( 4x 25 odds fast, even easy, @ 1:00)
Round 1: DragSox, fins and small paddles
Round 2: DragSox and small paddles
Round 3: DragSox
Round 4: no gear
Round 5: fins and small paddles
Round 6: small paddles
Round 7: no gear

Tip: Focus on a very still head. Remember to stay on target while keeping up the steady narrow kick.

Great job! You’ve made it through the beginning stages of training with DragSox. Remember how tough it was on day 1? Now look at what you can do! Here’s to new beginnings---congratulations!


Foundation for Learning

Congratulations, you’ve made it through the first 15 workouts with DragSox. We hope that we’ve given you a foundation on which you can build. We’ve introduced you to the fundamental ideas on how we train and use DragSox, as well as some of the basic ideas on technique.

In today’s world where there’s so much information at our fingertips, it’s often hard to know where to begin. If you’re unsure of the next steps, or would like additional information concerning workouts, or just want to know where to get more information on swimming technique, please contact us at info@aquavolo.com. We’re here to help and would love to hear from you.

Happy training!