Front Quadrant Focus
Front-quadrant swimming means that you have one or both arms out in front
of your torso for most of the stroke cycle. The hard part is learning
to keep the extended arm still out front, while the other arm keeps moving.
Our bodies want to be symmetrical when it comes to moving our arms or
legs. Symmetrical movements work well for walking and cycling, or for
that matter for backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly. But not for endurance
freestyle swimming. We need to condition our neuromusclar system to move
our arms asymmetrically.
Technique Focus Points
- Wait! Wait! with the extended arm. Do not begin your catch
too early. There is a slight pause as your arm reaches full extension.
- Extend! Catch! Pull! And be sure to separate the catch from
- Hurry! Hurry! with the recovering arm. Get that recovering
arm back out in front quickly. Once you begin your pull, the arm does
not stop until it is out front again.
- Pull AND Push in the Front Quadrant. Just as your stroking
arm catches, the recovering arm drives past it. That "balance point"
is in the front quadrant.
What to Watch For
- Your head leading. Always have at least one arm in front
of your head.
- A dead spot at the end of the stroke. When you focus
on the "wait, wait" out front, you tend to stop your
stroking arm at the end of the stroke. Once you begin a stroke, keep
that arm moving until it gets back out front.
- Stalling or sinking.When you focus on the pause out
front, you tend to slow your recovery motion, which means the weight
of that recovering arm is out of the water for too long. That will make
you stall and sink.
Front Quadrant Focus Workouts
- Video Clips - Arms - See the
"3L/3R Single-Arm Drill", and the "Catch-Up Drill".
Almost all of the "Arms" video clips from Glenn Mills illustrate
good front-quadrant swimming, for example the "Practice the Catch"
clip is good in this respect.
Return to Workout Index.
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