View Full Version : Going Wide

October 21st, 2006, 11:27 AM
My master's coach made a comment to me today. He said that my right arm enters a little wide for my shoulder, catches there and then comes back under my body.

He says that I should be entering right in front of my shoulder,catching and letting the arm stay under the body.

Any thoughts on how to correct going wide? What should I try? Possiblity of how it should feel? I have read that some people enter wide to correct crossing over. Seems to me that I might have the opposite problem then.

Any other feed back is welcome too.


October 21st, 2006, 12:27 PM
hey david,

You should try - Catch up Drill. This is a drill where your arms play catch up with each other - sort of a touch and go movement. After pushing off the wall in a streamline position, leave one arm in the streamline and bring your other arm around to take a pull, your hands must touch in the streamline position before your other arm can take the next pull. Your hands just need to touch - don't actually streamline each time - I usually just touch my thumbs with each stroke. This will force you to train your body to not reach so wide and also makes you kick more to stay afloat.

Good luck!

October 22nd, 2006, 11:53 AM
You might try bilateral breathing (if you're not doing this already).

October 22nd, 2006, 01:28 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Two questions for the both of you. If anyone else wants to respond, please do.

Gull, how will bilateral breathing aid in my problem? I have tried it before but most of the time I end up going to one side. I am definitly willing to try it again to see if I can improve.

Lisa, I spend a lot of time trying not to swim flat anymore. From what I have read, the traditional catch-up drill makes a swimmer go flat. Have you had this experience? How did you overcome it too?

Thanks for your responses and continued replies.


October 22nd, 2006, 02:29 PM
Lisa, I spend a lot of time trying not to swim flat anymore. From what I have read, the traditional catch-up drill makes a swimmer go flat. Have you had this experience? How did you overcome it too?

I haven't had that experience, however there are other drills you can incoporate into your practice that prevent going flat.

1. Arm Pit Drill: When swimming freestyle, bring your hand to your armpit and touch it, this forces your arms to bend, therefore perfecting a good bent arm stroke.

2. Finger Drag Drill: When swimming freestyle, drag your fingers over the surface of the water.

I practice both drills, and both seem to really help my arm positioning. Just remember when doing catch up drill to reach over, not around your body. Your arms will fall flat if you are reaching in a circular motion, but if you reach up and over, you will have a more efficient stroke. I was explained to this by my coach saying "which is faster, going around in a circle, or going in a straight line?"

Does that make sense?

October 22nd, 2006, 04:12 PM
Yes, this does make sense. Thanks so much for the extra tips. I will let you know how it goes.


October 22nd, 2006, 04:35 PM
Sometomes wide sometimes not http://www.zippyvideos.com/8182836375871556/speedo_swimmer/

October 22nd, 2006, 05:03 PM
Bilateral breathing tends to make your stroke more symmetric. Do you normally breathe to your left?

It may take a while for this to feel natural. I've read that changing your stroke requires about 100,000 yards.

October 22nd, 2006, 05:40 PM
100000 yards? Wouldn't that be awful.

October 22nd, 2006, 07:09 PM
100000 yards? Wouldn't that be awful.

For a stroke change to be really ingrained, it wouldn't surprise me. If you swim 3000 in a workout, that's just about a month. Anyway, I'll let you know. A few weeks ago I decided to switch to alternate breathing to correct the lopsidedness in my stroke (and hopefully improve efficiency).

October 23rd, 2006, 09:22 AM
That video you posted above sorta answered in part my question on a thread I started today. If only I could do what the guy is doing. Notice he is bringing his forearm dowm and then slightly inward to make the scoop (?) but pushing fast to the side and out. His inward movement of the forearm is very slight. He does not do a complete S shape. Got any more videos you could e-mail them to me, the sites that is...? Thanks, billy fanstone billy@genetic.com.br

October 23rd, 2006, 09:30 AM
My thoughts of the S stroke is the hand enters at or very near the center, as you reach forward it drifts out about 8" then to the catch, a straight I from the catch til exit. But many may not agree. I always said after the S stroke when it was talked about that is really an I stroke.

That video is really not the best I will seach my videos and see if I can come up with a better one.

October 23rd, 2006, 09:43 AM
I emailed a page of videos look at Hackett the first one in the list that is printed in blue.

here it is www.swimmingcyclingrunning.com/Videos/HackettBrilliant.mpeg

October 24th, 2006, 12:05 PM
Sometimes when I get tired, my arm goes wide after entry (it goes into the same 'hole' as usual then slides out). Happens worse on the left side. I used to breathe exclusively to my right... I think that the left arm would slide out to 'prop' my head up for some more air maybe? Which means I was probably lifting my head up more when I got tired too... two bad habits!

Bilateral breathing helped. It took me one entire winter season (about 6 months) until the bilateral breathing felt natural. I will still default to right-side breathing though in races.