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Problem: Dropped Elbow

When your elbow goes deep into the water:

  • You cannot hold a spot in the water for very long during the pull, because your hand and forearm will be slipping laterally and vertically as they move towards the surface.
  • You have spent time and energy pressing your hand deep into the water. When you are pressing down on the water, your are not pushing yourself forward.
  • At the end of your stroke, you will need to spend time and energy yanking your arm out from that depth.
  • As you pull up on the arm to get it out of the water, somehting else has to sink (hips, usually).

With your arm extended forward, you have two options for getting your hand and forearm vertical in the water: you can drive your hand and forearm deeper to get them under your elbow, or you can lift your elbow towards the surface.

If you focus on driving your hand deeper, you will tend to pull back at the same time and lose some distance on your stroke.

If you focus on beginning your catch by lifting your elbow towards the surface, you will catch the water sooner, get a longer and straighter pull, and spend less time and energy lifting your arm out of the water at the end of your stroke.


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