free style

October 19, 2008

The Stroke

In recovery, keep your elbow high with your wrist and hand relaxed until it enters the water.
Enter thumbs first, pinkie up—do not smash down—and extend your hand in front of your shoulder, not in front of your head. (*Note: Igor says Thumbs first. I feel: do what feels natural, focusing on core pull.)
Keeping the elbow high under the water, use the full surface area from the fingertips and hand to the forearm to catch water and pull strongly back, under your body towards your hip. Keep your strokes even and smooth, do not pause. Do not drop your elbow to glide!! Gliding is not the same as slicing forward to grab water.

Head and Breathing
Look down towards the bottom of the pool. Don’t lift your head to breathe, but roll the head with your body to the side, thinking of clearing the chin out of the water to breathe, not the whole head. This is easier if you focus on keeping the top of your head in the water. Try to breathe so one goggle stays under the water. Very important: make sure you breathe air OUT. New air cannot come in if you don’t get rid of the old air to make room for it!

Tighten your abdominal muscles and arch back slightly to keep your legs high. Don’t stick your rump up. Lengthen out to streamline yourself. Rotate from the core – hips.

Kick small and quickly, in a driving rhythm. The power is from the hips, not knees. The ankles are flexible, and the kick is more like a whip, as if you had to shake off a shoe or sandal, or you are shaking a bug off your foot.

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