View Full Version : questions about improving freestyle

October 29th, 2011, 03:38 PM
Hi there, I'm new here so please bear with me :). A few questions about improving my freestyle stroke:

1) When moving your arm backwards, should you pull directly backwards or move your arm in a question mark-like fashion? A swim coach once told me to move my arm in a "question mark" motion, as it moves more water. Sorry about the confusing wording; here's an image to sort of picture what I mean: http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/9103/swimquestion.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/717/swimquestion.png/)

2) When pulling backwards, should my hand be pointing outwards or straight down? Here's another picture: http://img560.imageshack.us/img560/1802/swimpicture2.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/560/swimpicture2.png/)

3) I often hear that you should keep your strokes "evenly spread out" as this guy shows at 0:32. Freestyle Technique: 3 Killer Tips - YouTube But the drills I've been taught always seem to emphasize keeping your non-stroking (resting) arm extended out until you complete a stroke with your other arm. So..which is ideal?

4) When flutter-kicking, should my feet/legs be as down underwater as possible? I notice that I tend to kick near the surface (as a result creating a lot of splashes) which doesn't seem quite right.

5) When doing a flip-turn, I've always used my arms to help me "somersault." However, watching professional swimmers flip-turn, I've noticed that they always keep their arms by their sides while turning (hence not using them at all). Will using my arms slow me down?

Thank you so much for reading!

October 29th, 2011, 06:09 PM
1. It will always be a question mark, or s pull or whatever. There will be some sort of wiggle. Remember to have arm enter shoulder width and let the fingertips drop down keeping your elbow high, then initiate your pull.

2. hand down.

3. Most swimming is done with both arms out in front of you, or front quadrant. this helps your balance and keeps your hips up. Check out some video of Ian Thorpe and Cullen Jones who really demonstrate this catch up technique.

4. Swimmers may not look like they are using their hands, but the hands are often used to leverage the body over, even though they don't move. When done right the arms are outstretched in a streamline before your feet ever touch the wall. If this does not happen, then yes your arms will slow you down.

Allen Stark
October 29th, 2011, 06:44 PM
There have been a few threads about S pull vs the straight pull such as http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=19310&highlight=curved+pull .
Straight pull seems preferred by most.