Learn How To Swim - Correct Freestyle Hand - Arm Entry

Correct arm and hand entry in front crawl or freestyle is a critical factor in efficient movement through the water.

The result of an efficient stroke is maximum water catch and the more water that you can pull and push through with your hand. The more water that you can push and pull through with your hand the better you will move through the water.

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Previously I have talked about how to change the pitch of the hand. What that does is makes sure that you are grabbing as much water as you can from the very moment your hand enters the water. If your hand enters the water at the wrong angle there is a good chance that you will actually be pushing water the wrong way resulting in you effectively pushing yourself sideways or even backwards: which is obviously not efficient at all.

Whilst the pitch of the hand can change the shape of the arm and hence the entry of your hand, it is also true that the shape of the arm can and will effect the pitch of the hand.

I have watched swimmers struggle to get their hand position correct, but try as they may they have been singularly unable to adjust the pitch of their hand. If this is your problem, try and reverse engineer the problem. Instead of trying to adjust your hand, try and adjust your arm.

To adjust your arm all you really need do is move your arm away from your body, in an exaggerated way  and raise your elbow toward the roof.

The result should be that you have more freedom to rotate you hand into the shape you want for an efficient hand entry. This is so because for some people, their arm is so structured that the more they move their arm away from their body the more they are able to pointing their elbow to the roof and the easier it is to rotate their hand and change its pitch as it enters the water.

Ideally your hand should enter the water at just above your ear and push through the water close to the surface until your arm is fully extended.

With your hand at the optimal pitch you should find that you are now pulling and pushing more water and hence swimming more efficiently.


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