Freestyle – Full Stroke Drills – Hand Displacement Methods

FRS05 Category: Hand Displacement Methods (to focus on wrist/forearm propulsion)


Normal Freestyle with various types of displacement to prevent the hand from feeling propulsion


Focus the propulsive power on the wrist/forearm as early in the catch as possible and hold it as long as practical.  Helps improve the Early Vertical Forearm or ‘high catch’ method


FRS05-01 Fist freestyle   (GIF – show with Power Bags over fist)

  • make a fist and hold it tight, don’t be tempted to slowly open the hand for more propulsion
  • Power Bags are ideal to put over the hand & forearm to discourage opening the hand
  • Balls (golf balls, ping pong ball or tennis balls) can be squeezed to keep hand closed
  • Alternate between fist and hand (half lap of each)
  • Be sure to maintain full body rotation

FRS05-02 Fist with pointer finger forward (and gradually add more fingers per lap)

  • Same as Fist freestyle.   Opening up 1 finger every lap or few laps.  The added fingers can help the swimmer feel the water differently and develop more awareness of their hand position through the stroke

FRS05-03 Displacement paddles (GIF – show EVF Kit) (Full Video Link)

  • Add displacement paddles such as the Precision, Precise, EVF Kit, or Brute to completely displace from and open hand
  • This encourages a relaxed hand through the stroke to focus more on the forearm
  • This is a more natural way to learn the value of adding power to the wrist/forearm since the hand is natural flat and the swimmer doesn’t need to unnaturally resist the urge to open their fist
  • A nice twist to this drill can be to drop the displacement paddles in the middle of the pool (or other set distances) to continue swimming with the paddles.  This can give an instance discovery of the value of the forearm power in the EVF and power phase of the stroke.
  • The use of displacement paddles can be deceiving as merely only technique devices but swimmers will quickly learn that they are much harder to use (due to their instability in the pull phase) and will develop a much better range of muscles when used regularly