The “S” Curve
Too many times I have heard swimmers ask me, “should I do the ‘S’ Curve when I pull?”
The “S” Curve has been a method, created by the Red Cross, of teaching a swimmer how to do the “proper” pull in freestyle. However, this is not exactly correct. First, there are many things you need to concentrate on and learn in freestyle before you tackle the pull. Making an S in the water as you pull can actually be disruptive to the rest of your stroke. Learn first to swim on your side by practicing balance drills. Once you have that down, you can then focus on pulling:
As you slice your hand in the water and move it forward, keep moving it forward until it is straight. Bend your elbow and pull back as you rotate your hips and the other arm comes foward. As you catch the water, curve your hand back inward toward your belly button, then out again by your hip as your hand exits the water. The end of the pull should be pushing the water towards your feet by straightening out your arm with your hand next to your hip.
Avoid “crossing over”, or reaching past the middle of your body as you rotate or breathe. Think of keeping your pull to the outside.