Hand Entry

 
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Broken Arrow

  • This drill is designed for swimmers with tight upper backs and shoulders to help you loosen off
  • It helps you relax your arm and shoulder while recovering over the top of the water
  • It enables you to focus on how your hand is entering the water
  • It’s a derivative of 6/1/6 and should always be performed wearing fins

Key Points

  • Kick on side and without delay raise your top hand above your head vertically and pause there for two seconds – your ‘arrow’
  • Then bend the elbow and spear into the water hand entering in line with your shoulder
  • Rotate onto the other side by catching and pulling through with the lower arm, take a breath, lift it up and pause again vertically fortwo seconds, using the mantra:

Up–break–spear in–breathe

 
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Single Arm Drill

  • Traditionally it was thought isolating one arm pull would help swimmers focus on it

Weaknesses

  • It teaches swimmers to catch the water while completely flat, not rotated as in the full stroke, so the arm pull is being practiced incorrectly and rotation while initiating the catch is reduced
  • Using a kick board out in front exacerbates this problem and puts strain on the shoulder of the lead arm
  • Holding one arm out in front encourages the development of the arm crossing over the centre line for balance as the body rotates and catch up arm timing resulting in dead spots in the stroke
 
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Shoulder Tap Drill

  • This is an excellent drill to work on a positive spearing hand entry into the water
  • It also helps undo a thumb first hand entry with the palm facing outwards
  • It can help loosen off the shoulders and upper back and improve flexibility

Key Points

  • Use fins, kick on your side
  • As the top hand recovers, tap your shoulder
  • Enter the water like a spear; middle finger first in front of the shoulder, palm facing down, think about trying to spear a little fish in front of you!
  • Extend the arm before catching and pulling through and rotating onto the other side
  • Breathe after every rotation, using the mantra:

Breathe–tap–spear in…

 
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Pull Bouy and Paddles

  • Isolate the arms and improve hand entry, catch mechanics and core control
  • Also improves arm strength with the increased surface area and resistance of the paddle

Key Points

  • Using a pull buoy, swim without kicking using your arms for propulsion
  • Wear either the Finis Freestyler or Agility paddles
  • Focus on strecthing through your core and rotating the hips in line with the shoulders
 

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