Lesson 3: Arm Recovery and Hand Entry

Goal: The arm recovers directly over the shoulder (not out to the side) and the hand enters fingertips first with the elbow as the LAST thing to enter the water

Self Analysis: Video yourself from front and the side for future reference

Sensory Drill: Swim 5 strokes with the fingertips entering first then 5 strokes with the elbow entering first, repeat
FEEL: Learn that you cannot catch the water as quickly at the ‘front’ when the elbow enters first

Finds: Possible hand entry problems

  • Do you enter with fingertips first?
  • Do you see your elbow or palm hit the water first?
  • Does your hand cross over your center line as it enters the water on either arm?

Fixes: Swim 50-200 yards of each drill, using the Snorkel to avoid adding breathing problems
Drill 1:

Zipper Drill – run your thumb up your side from the thigh to the head to ensure a high elbow on entry

Drill 2:

Fingertip Drill – drag your fingertips along the top of the water (very close to the body) from the thigh until entry to ensure a fingertip entry and elbow enters last

Drill 3: Glide Paddle Drill – Swim with the Glide Paddles to help FEEL your hand entry, fingertips entering first and then aiming straight downward at a 45 degree forward angle

Comprehend: These drills focus solely on your hand entry and entry angle. But you have to stroke to get back to the next recovery. Notice the impact your hand entry angle has on how you set up your catch phase of the pull. A steep 45 degree entry places your arm into the catch position immediately without shoulder or elbow strain.


Cardio Workout Examples:

Workout 1:

  • 50 360 T-Press
  • 25 Back Kick Race Pace
  • 50 Zipper Drill w/ Snorkel Active Recovery
  • 50 Fingertip Drill w/ Snorkel Race Pace
  • Less than :20 second rest
  • 25 360 T-Press Race Pace
  • 25 Back Kick Race Pace

Lesson 4: The Pull