View Full Version : Thumbs-first entry in free

March 8th, 2011, 06:51 AM
How do I stop it? It's ingrained in me yet I don't even really know that I do it.

March 8th, 2011, 08:05 AM
Well, it's going to take a lot of mental effort on your part and you are going to have to really focus on the feel of your hand entering.

You want the index and ring fingers to be the first to enter the water. By having your thumb enter first, you are putting yourself in a poor position for a good catch and are more than likely sculling your hand outward prior to initiating the catch which puts unnecessary strain on your shoulder. Also, with a thumb first entry, I would suspect that your hands are entering the water inside the width of your shoulders instead of at or just outside each shoulder.

You are trying to fix a major stroke flaw. Do be able to effectively do that, you have to be willing to, and this is the sticking point.....SLOW DOWN so you are 100% focused on proper hand entry. We all want to swim faster but the most effective way is to swim correctly. This is NOT going to be fixed in a day, a week or maybe even a month, it will require constant self monitoring to effect change. But it can be done and once you correct this, you will find yourself swimming stronger. If you can get a coach to give you feedback that would be even better.

Fixing a stroke flaw on your own can be done but it requires a lot of focus on what you are trying to accomplish.

March 8th, 2011, 11:51 AM
Do you look at your hands as they enter the water? I know this will cause you to raise your head, but it will give you a visual reference to the thumb- hand posiition.

March 8th, 2011, 08:58 PM
I'm trying to focus on it but it is difficult for me to judge. Maybe if I bought a snorkel that might help? I also need to videotape.

Is this problem generally also linked to a lack of body rotation? If I go really slow and exaggerate the rotation it seems I might be doing something right, or at least different.

March 8th, 2011, 10:42 PM
High elbows is the first part.