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View Full Version : Straight Arm v. Bent Arm Recovery



swimming4fun
January 23rd, 2007, 05:06 PM
Which recovery do you use for freestyle and why? I have been a traditional bent arm recovery swimmer for years. Lately, I have been trying a more straight arm recovery(not totally straight and locked out like Michael Klim)
I don't know why, maybe it's because it is different and I don't have the same expectations that I do with my normal stroke, but having more of a straight arm recovery has seemed to help me clean up my entry on the left side.
This could be cause I am not thinking as much about it and just letting it flow. Or it could be more efficient for me. I don't really know at this time.
Thank You for your feedback.

David

okoban
January 23rd, 2007, 05:32 PM
oooops, I am the first to vote, it is 00:26 midnight and I am still in the forum. Before I go sleeping, I have to say that I am in the same process like you. I have a super hi-elbow recovery and trying to fix my hand entry.
By the way what is your best 200 free (your favorite event) and how old are you?

scyfreestyler
January 23rd, 2007, 05:40 PM
I think my recovery becomes more straight arm when I am sprinting but generally speaking I recover with a flexed elbow.

geochuck
January 23rd, 2007, 06:18 PM
Fairly high elbow recovery hand almost touching the water.

Almost my bedtime, sun goes down I go to bed about 6:30pm one hour and twenty minutes from now.

Up at 4am before the sun rises.

The Fortress
January 23rd, 2007, 07:13 PM
I think my recovery becomes more straight arm when I am sprinting but generally speaking I recover with a flexed elbow.

I think this describes me pretty much too. The more I sprint the straighter it gets (more finish too). When younger, I used to have straighter arms and I was told to fix it, so I attempted to. Now, I have a more flexed elbow when doing longer free stuff. But I have a tendency to want to swim straight arm. I wonder if it's a fly thing? My fly is very flat. Anyway, I voted for somewhere inbetween in the poll.

But I'm curious about this topic. I think Frank may have directed us to some prior threads ...

I also read this the other day on the merits of straight arm from Dave Denniston:

"Actually, a straighter arm recovery will help prevent shoulder injuries because when it is done properly it forces the swimmer to use more of their body.

What is interesting is the low hand, high elbow recovery tends to tear up shoulders more and faster than any other stroke. Part of this is because it makes entering thumb first a natural thing to do and this is the WORST thing you can do for your shoulders. Some articles have been written about how David Marsh changed Fred Bousquete's stroke at Auburn to help him go 18.7 in the 50.

On of the best drills for learning this is simply swimming with a straight arm, but on the recovery phase reach for the ceiling like your dragging your fingernails across it. Emphasize the rotation from side-to-side by using the weight of the arm."

Then, I also read an article by Jonty Skinner deriding straight arm. As I recall, his position was that straight arm works well for sprinters in a short course environment, but not elsewhere. I think he also said it could contribute to shoulder problems. So, conflicting advice.

I know it was all the fad to convert to straight arm recovery for awhile. A teammate of mine modified his stroke in this fashion with good results. What's the latest thinking?

ensignada
January 23rd, 2007, 07:29 PM
I also read this the other day on the merits of straight arm from Dave Denniston:

"Actually, a straighter arm recovery will help prevent shoulder injuries because when it is done properly it forces the swimmer to use more of their body.

What is interesting is the low hand, high elbow recovery tends to tear up shoulders more and faster than any other stroke. Part of this is because it makes entering thumb first a natural thing to do and this is the WORST thing you can do for your shoulders. Some articles have been written about how David Marsh changed Fred Bousquete's stroke at Auburn to help him go 18.7 in the 50.

This is interesting. When I first started back swimming, I had my daughter's swim teacher work with me on technique. I had sprained my left shoulder badly last summer and I didn't want to re-injure it. I have a high elbow recovery (like a crane for my lower arm and hand). My shoulder was giving me grief after a couple of hundred yards. One thing he noticed right away was my thumb first entry and recommended pinky first. Since then, I've felt normal muscle fatigue but no shoulder pain. Just a little change in motion, but a big difference in outcome.

Edit: This isn't to say that I haven't made other bigger adjustments, I have, but this one paved the way for me to get serious about swimming without the limiting pain.

Muppet
January 24th, 2007, 09:03 AM
Fairly high elbow recovery hand almost touching the water.

Likewise. My regular freestyle fields regular comparisons to fingertip drag.

born2fly
January 24th, 2007, 11:12 AM
I have the straight arm but like to think I have good hand entry. I've been told that I swim freestyle like I swim butterfly. Personally I do not care what it looks like up top out of the water, I do what works for me and feels comfortable. Its the underwater catch,pull and rotation that I focus on.

Greg