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How to torpedo scull in synchronised swimming

The torpedo is essential in synchronised swimming in order to travel horizontally in the pool! Virginie Dedieu shares her secrets about torpedo sculling.

Virginie Dedieu torpedo sculling

In the torpedo movement, the body is as straight as a plank and travels very fast. All that, using only your arms and hands as paddles! You are horizontal, on your front or your back. In other words in the "front" or "back" torpedo position. Depending on the direction you travel in, we can also add "feetfirst" or "headfirst". Champion Virginie Dedieu shares some tips on effective torpedo sculling.   

How to torpedo scull in synchronised swimming

How to torpedo scull in artistic swimming

Virginie Dedieu: "The most important thing is to press your fingers very tightly together. They must be as solid as a paddle. And definitely not apart and limp! To do this, remember to bend your wrist. So that it is not aligned with your forearm. 

For headfirst torpedo sculling, bend your wrist inwards. Your palm faces the interior of your arm. This enables you to draw the water towards you. 

For feetfirst torpedo sculling, do the opposite! Bend your wrist outwards. In this way, the back of your hand is close to the topside of your arm. To give you an idea, imagine that you are pushing against a wall."

In both case, try to make scooping movements with your hands and remember to slightly bend your fingers. Your arms are not necessarily very straight. They should be slightly folded to be as close as possible to your body and to benefit from the mobility of the pressure point. It is also very important to stretch out your body quite straight, in particular to gain buoyancy and to remain on the surface of the water.”

Some exercises to perfect your torpedo sculling

V.D. : “Put a pull buoy between your legs or a board under your feet
This will make it easier to stretch your body, so that you can concentrate more closely on your hands.

Then, try to push the wall of the pool, while staying pressed against it. Make regular movements to avoid producing any jolts with your hands."

Virginie Dedieu torpedo sculling
Lalie Chassaigne torpedo sculling

Any tips for us?

V.D. : “Personally, I like working on my breathing during this movement. Completely underwater, I go as far as possible without taking a breath. You can go really fast, just like a torpedo!”

Now it's your turn! By following these tips when practising, you will quickly learn to master this technique. 
So, what's your record number of lengths in torpedo sculling mode?

Véronique Estrade

Véronique Estrade

Yin yoga, hiking, cycling, … (OK, on an electric bike sometimes ;-) ). I prefer slow sports. My goal is to combine, well-being, escape and leisure. I also find all the artistic disciplines just marvellous. My 10 years of gym dancing probably explain this!  But what I like most is to feel the enthusiasm of the passionate athletes I meet. And then to share their enthusiasm in the tutorials and tips I write here.