Friday, June 13, 2014

Swimming Down A Narrow Corridoor

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One of the most common stroke flaws under the body is pulling out wide with too straight an arm:

When this happens, it normally occurs more on one side of the stroke than the other and it is often related to breathing patterns - if you only breathe left you are more likely to do this with your right arm (and vice versa).

A good rule of thumb is that the hand should pull through directly under the shoulder, as we saw in our classic blog post 'Bend It Like Becky' featuring Olympic Gold Medallist Rebecca Adlington:

A good visualisation to improve this is to imagine you are swimming down a narrow corridor:

Your elbows are allowed to brush the sides of this corridor but not your hands, as Paul explains to a swimmer in this short video clip:

Here's Becky again showing us how it should be done with just her elbow brushing the corridor wall:

Pulling straight and wide often only happens on a breathing stroke as you press downwards and outwards to lift your head clear of the water. As well as correcting the arm pull itself, work on keeping your head lower when you breathe using the bow wave trough - that will reduce the need to press down at the front of the stroke.

So try this corridor visualisation the next time you swim, maintaining a focus on keeping your hands away from the walls - even when breathing. If you feel like your pull through becomes smoother or easier you will know you've made an improvement!

Swim Smooth!

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