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    Three Ways to Spice Up Your Swedish Drill Routine

    November 29, 2017 by Dawn Duran

    [dropcap]H[/dropcap]ow is the practice of Swedish Drill coming along in your home? Have you gotten into a rhythm yet?

    If you’ve already cruised through the two complete routines included in Swedish Drill Revisited, then it’s time to mix things up. When properly implemented, Swedish Drill requires the student to closely attend to the commands of the instructor. If your students can anticipate your every command, you’ve lost some of the value of this mode of activity. Take heart, though — the ideas I’m sharing today will help you get out of this rut.

     

     

    1. Mix and match exercises between routines.

    While the order of exercises within the routine is important, there is no principle that prevents you from replacing (or integrating) exercises from one routine into another. For example, in the category of Heave Movements you can choose to perform either Arm stretching sideways, Arm stretching upward, Arm stretching forward, or Arm stretching backward — or any combination of the four. You can perform either a set of 10 repetitions of each movement before moving on to the next Heave movement or, better still, incorporate them all into the same set. For example, your script for integrating these changes might look like this:

    Attention!
    Arm stretching.
    Arms upward — stretch!
    Arms return — lower.
    Arms outward — stretch.
    Arms return — lower.
    Arms forward — stretch.
    Arms return — lower.
    Arms backward — stretch.
    Arms return — stretch.

    Repeat as many times as seems appropriate.

    Remember: only the arms should be moving in this movement, and the movement happens entirely at the shoulder joint. The trunk and lower body should remain stable, and there should be no movement of the head on the neck.

    Another option is to peruse the original manuals and find another exercise from the same category to include in a particular spot in your “routine.” Just be sure that it is age-appropriate and consistent with modern health science principles in order to avoid the potential for injury!

     

    2. Increase pace and/or repetitions.

    If you want to increase the difficulty of Swedish Drill for your students, start by increasing the pace of each movement (i.e., performing them more quickly) while still maintaining proper technique, and/or increasing the number of repetitions of each movement performed, but not to the point that fatigue negatively impacts technique. For example, instead of performing 8-10 repetitions of Arms across bend, you could perform 12-20 repetitions of that exercise.

     

    3. Make them think by opposing the arms or legs.

    Finally, the most challenging way to progress your Swedish Drill practice is to have the arms or legs doing different things within the same exercise. For example, you can combine Heave movements via the various Arm stretching exercises, or Introductory movements via Lunging exercises by lunging in different directions with alternating legs — or staying on the same leg to lunge in multiple directions before moving to lunging with the other leg.

    In the first case your script might look like this:

    Attention!
    Arm Stretching.
    Right arm upward, left arm backward — stretch.
    Arms return — lower.
    Left arm upward, right arm backward — stretch.
    Arms return — lower.

    OR

    Right arm forward*, left arm sideways — stretch.
    Arms return — lower.
    Left arm forward, right arm sideways — stretch.
    Arms return — lower.

    *What is the difference between Arm stretching forward and Arm stretching upward? In Arm stretching forward the arms are raised only to the height of the shoulders, while in Arm stretching upward the arms reach overhead.

    In the case of lunging, you could try the following scripts:

    Attention!
    Wing Standing. Hips — firm!
    Lunging.
    Right forward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Left backward* lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Right side lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Left forward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Right backward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Left side lunge — place.
    Recover — place.

    OR

    Attention!
    Wing Standing. Hips — firm!
    Lunging.
    Right forward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Right side lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Right backward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Left forward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Left side lunge — place.
    Recover — place.
    Left backward lunge — place.
    Recover — place.

    **In lunging forward, the student steps forward with the lunging leg. In lunging backward, the student steps backward with the lunging leg.

     

    This is my final post for Afterthoughts in 2017. I have a new series to introduce in January, 2018 that I am very excited about and which I hope will bless you. I’ll be taking a break from writing about Swedish Drill for a few months to talk about something else near and dear to my heart: Charlotte Mason in community. I hope you’ll be back to join me!

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    2 Comments

  • Reply Mama Rachael May 9, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Hi Dawn — I’ve enjoyed reading about Swedish Drill, and Little Man LOVES it. But I’m finding following the routine on paper, while figuring out the moves for myself, showing him and doing them with him, and not losing him along the way really, really hard. Do you have a video of a whole routine? Not just of the group of kids, but someone we can follow together, who is guiding us through the routine? (of course, it might be too much, and maybe I just need to suck it up, learn the routine and do it….)

    I have enjoyed these posts and plan to read some more. Just realized today what I was struggling with.

    • Reply Dawn Duran May 9, 2018 at 10:22 am

      I’m glad you are enjoying it! I do understand the frustration, and people have requested this type of video in the past, but it is not something that I have plans to produce for an entire routine. The videos for individual exercises will still be made, but a video for a routine would take out a critical factor in Drill: i.e., close attention. It would be akin to the child memorizing a routine and just completing it by rote, which is why I don’t have plans to create it. But – I do understand the desire!

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