View Full Version : help w/free recovery

June 24th, 2008, 05:17 PM
Hi, I am a decent distance swimmer--my worst stroke is freestyle. I am finally getting more flexible, thanks to yoga and rotation from the core is working better. I did TI drills and like many, I'm sure, developed a poor habit of over-rotating the freestyle. Recently, I was told I don't lead with my elbow - I am rather straight armed. I can do fingertip drag drills, which are very relaxed, but don't swim fast at all if I try to convert that into a stroke. I am in excellent shape - an ex runner for 30 years, I spin, play tennis, lift, yoga and swim 10-12 miles a week. How relaxed is the arm supposed to be in the recovery phase? Is the recovery the same motion as the fingertip drag drill? Thanks very much for any help you can give to a very frustrated freestyler.:dunno:

June 24th, 2008, 06:31 PM
I view the fingertip drill as an exaggeration of the correct recovery. The fingertip drill forces the elbow high and bent. But because your fingertips are dragging across the surface you will be forced to reach forward to get proper extension. No elite freestyler looks like they are doing the fingertip drill.

I would look at the video below on Alexander Popov for a good example of phenomenal technique.


BTW - some elite swimmers have a very straight recovery - particularly female. Janet Evans is a great example.

June 24th, 2008, 07:19 PM
One tip I remember reading (from Johnny Weissmuller's book):

Recover from your shoulder. Your shoulder should rotate/recover/do-the-work for, your upper arm from shoulder to elbow. From elbow to fingertips, every muscle, tendon, fibre or whatever should be at full rest and 100% loose.
In other words, limp wrist (you know what I mean).

I can't explain it better than this, but I'm sure you've seen stills of recoveries where the wrist is bent at almost a 90 degree angle (in reality it's just flopping).

Works for me. Others' MMV (Mileage May Vary).

June 25th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Thanks Hoffam and 3strokes. That is a great help!