Good Pull from the Side
This sequence illustrates the pull portion of the stroke. The frames are spaced about one-fifth of a second apart.
In all of these shots, the right hand and forearm are like the blade of paddle that is holding a spot in the water while the swimmer levers her body past it.
Notice two things about her elbow: it is out ahead of her when she begins the pull, and it never goes very deep in the water.
Note that her stroke is ending in the fourth frame. You may have been told to finish your stroke strongly by pushing your hand all the way back to your thigh. That may be good advice for a sprinter - but an endurance swimmer will want to release the stroke as the hand passes the belly.
Her left arm enters the water in the third frame and is fully extended in the fourth and fifth frames, as she completes her pull with the right arm. That left arm will stay extended for much of the time that her right arm recovers out of the water. This keeps her body long, and keeps the weight of that arm forward (which helps to keep the hips up).
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