Improve Freestyle Stroke Technique – Issue #36

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Improve Freestyle Stroke

Workout Of The Month

Cut down the distances as needed for your training!

Cruise= an interval you can make 100’s on comfortably with :10-15 rest between each
DPS= maximum Distance Per Stroke
3/4 Catchup= freestyle, almost touch your hands in front on each stroke (come about 3/4 of the way to touching)
Descend= get faster throughout the set

WARM UP: 6×100’s (25 Kick/50 Drill/25 DPS)
Drill= One-Armed Free or 3/4 Catchup. Rest= :15
#1-4) Non-Free
#5-8) Free, Descend

MAIN: 3×300’s Free @ Cruise interval
3×200’s Non Free @ Cruise + :30
3×150’s Free @ Cruise + :05 Descend 1-3
3×100’s Non Free @ Cruise + :25
3×50’s Free @ Cruise + :15 Descend 1-3

KICK: 8×50’s on your side, descend 1-4, 5-8, fins ok

WARM DOWN: 300, Breathe every 3 strokes

TOTAL: 4100 Yards or Meters

Why bend your elbows in freestyle?

On the freestyle recovery, you often hear from coaches (like me) to bend your elbows on recovery. Swimmers may wonder why bending elbows is recommended so often. While there are swimmers, like legendary World Record holder Janet Evans, who have perfected the straight arm or “windmill” recovery, this is not a technique that works for many swimmers, especially in the longer, open water distances. There is of course no “one size fits all”, as many swimmers will have different degrees of how high their elbows are on recovery. However, the high or bent elbow recovery will help most people get more out of their stroke in the long run.

Taken from the website, “The very best arm stroke recovery is one which allows the hand to arrive in time to begin the next stroke but also allows the arm to slow almost to a complete stop just before the hand enters the water.”

Bending the elbow allows you to do this. If the hand and arm come forward and slam into the water, you lose momentum in the form of drag, and your arm fails to move you forward.

To get used to the bent or high elbow recovery, practice the Finger Tip Drag drill. Swim freestyle but drag your fingertips across the top of the water on each arm recovery out of the water.

For workouts, video clips, and the full training plan, click here!