I have seen all manner of Combat Side Stroke technique, good, bad and ugly. You Tube seems to inflence most PST’ers. FYI, the PST instruction allows for the more conventional side stroke too. Most opt out of using the normal or more basic side stroke though.  

I will add, the breaststroke is allowed but I advise against using it. For one thing, of all the swim strokes, B-stroke technique is one that recruits the total body and is demanding. It is terrific if you are adept at B-stroke and have both the stamina and physical make-up to execute it well. The caveat though is this, for the PST, is is much more effective to use either side strike variants since the CSS or conventional side stroke gains a siginificant amount of propulsion via the hips and lower extremities. 

In sum, when using a scissors kick (the appropriate kick for CSS/Sidestroke when swimming without fins) that foundational part of the stroke provides the powerhouse and prime locomotion when covering distance. The torso and arm use is less effective but more key, the shoulders and back do not get “worked” as heavily, therefore during the PST you will have optimal performance on push ups and fresh. 

In any case, what is a weak or greater deficiency though is core strength. It is used and a key element in maintaining a streamline position. It is a essential in pinnacle performance in any sport. Period. The lackluster performer typically is not addressing this in their day to day. That imbalance in overall conditioning is a major flaw and easy to spot when it comes to technique. It takes time and consistency to tune up the entire “core” and do so in a 360 degree sense. The core is the infrastructure to move purposefully, bear weight, asend/descend and do this against gravity. It does not merely come from planks, lower back work, oblique movement. There is mobility issues so increasing flexibility is a non-negotiable piece of the process.    


Looking at the right side on this page? The items here are tools to work with to hone important aquatic skills. If you select the images they will hyperlink to find the items on Amazon. 

Masks of the type displayed are typical ones issued. Swimming laps with a flooded mask and treading water with a flooded mask are skills you should practice. I will not recommend breath-holding since it is a high risk activity, not allowed at most public pools, and especially when practices unsupervised. I have a website link in the drop down to educate reads on why.

Fin work is crucial. Flexible fin swimming is the best starting point for promoting skills in flutter kick mastery. I strongly encouarge all candidates to kick in a streamline position on both sides. Bilateral streamline drills are key! Extend one arm out in a straight position (i.e. when swimming with your left side down/right side up extend your left arm out) and flutter kick, breathing the entire time. Do this on both sides. Strive to remain balanced and stable. High arm dry from shoulder to the wrist. Compress your torso down. Kick from the hips with very little knee bend. Rotate your head up but KEEP YOUR HEAD IN ALIGNMENT w/YOUR SPINE. Neglecting to maintain this subtle yet critical "point of performance" is without a doubt the most common error I see in stroke clinics. If you need a kick board to help do not use the normal “tombstone” shaped boards you see on most pool decks. Use the Finis kick board seen here. 

Brick treading with a 10 Lb. rubber brick. One handed, changing hands. Two handed. Mandatory. Practice with rotary or egg beater kick. Need advice or drills? Email me.

Buddy tow skills using a scissors kick are also compulsory. Using a brick is one way to gain the power necessary to be efficient and effective in a controlled way. Holding onto the brick, placed upon your hip (where the victim normally would be) is supplemental work you should add to your workouts.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UG2YH9C/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00UG2YH9C&linkCode=as2&tag=nswmentor-20&linkId=252801be1c91089dc2c930d4d0fd41cd

© Mark Negele 2021