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View Full Version : How much below the surface of the water is your hand at...?



jessed
May 5th, 2011, 11:51 AM
I'm not a great swimmer. I've been swimming for a little over 3 years and very late to the game (late 30's) so I've had a lot of catching up to do. I've made a lot of gains over the three years but I continually find flaws in my technique that I'm looking to improve.

Preface: Excuse my butchering of terminology

I'm wondering at the point when your arm/hand is stretch to the farthest extent (in front of you that is), just before the catch, how many inches below the water is your hand? Is the goal to try to be as close to the surface as possible? I noticed mine, on average, was 5 - 7 inches under the surface and at a slight angle downwards.

Swimosaur
May 5th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Charge
May 6th, 2011, 09:33 AM
Your hand is going to want to sink down into the water, I always swim with the the idea that I am trying to reach out in front and touch the wall, that keeps my hand from sinking. The video above show two key elements clearly, her hand is straight infront of her body until she initiates the catch, and when she does that her arm goes immediately to vertical. Very well done.

knelson
May 6th, 2011, 12:05 PM
I don't think this is so clear cut. The stroke Karlyn is using in that video would be great for distance, but I bet she doesn't swim a 50 that way. Most great sprinters drive their hand down directly into a catch position.

jessed
May 11th, 2011, 01:59 PM
Your hand is going to want to sink down into the water, I always swim with the the idea that I am trying to reach out in front and touch the wall, that keeps my hand from sinking. The video above show two key elements clearly, her hand is straight infront of her body until she initiates the catch, and when she does that her arm goes immediately to vertical. Very well done.

I am a distance swimmer. If I were only looking at this video I would say that the distance between the surface and my hand doesn't matter as long as my arm is horizontal. ?? So my hand could be 1 - 5 inches, let's say, as long as it was straight before starting the catch.

orca1946
May 26th, 2011, 12:29 AM
Keep your hand out till you just finish the other arm pull, then push down & catch to start the next stroke. Yes 1 - 5 below is a good range.

KevinS
May 26th, 2011, 10:41 AM
I don't think this is so clear cut. The stroke Karlyn is using in that video would be great for distance, but I bet she doesn't swim a 50 that way. Most great sprinters drive their hand down directly into a catch position.

This is what I tell my younger swimmers when we get into differentiating sprint vs. distance strokes. With younger or more inexperienced swimmers we usually just concentrate on the long gliding technique. But a sprint you swim it a little wider and instead of extending fully forward with the stroke before the catch, you dive your hands more down directly into the the pull.