Archives for posts with tag: early vertical forearm

Well done for all of your efforts in the pool leading over the last few weeks.  I know many of you found some of the front crawl drills and different strokes challenging but I have seen some excellent improvements from many of you with the hard work you have put in.

Normally in January we start the build-up to the new season by starting some speed work.  This year, however, I plan to delay the start of the speed work until February to give us a bit more time to to focus on the technique improvements we’ve been working on over the Winter.  We will do a bit more work practising an early vertical forearm – since this is the one thing most of us could do more of to improve our speed and efficiency – but also do a bit of work on other aspects like head and body position.

We will stick with the usual pattern of doing time trials every 2 months – on the last Saturday of the month – and the next time trials will be at the end of January.  We won’t be doing any speed work before then so any improvement in your performance is most likely to come from technique. So please focus on your technique over the next few weeks by getting a good lever, with an early vertical forearm, to push yourself forward from a strong core rotation.

See you Saturday,

Rob

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After our backstroke and breast stroke technique work over the last two weeks I am sure you will have guessed that this week it is Butterfly!  Although widely considered as the hardest stroke to master it is probably the most beautiful to both watch and enjoy swimming when you learn the technique.  And – guest what – it also requires an Early Vertical Forearm!

Chloe Sutton has an excellent video with some really good tips which you can watch here:

We will be doing some of the drills she demonstrates, especially the Caterpillar and single-arm drills.

For me, the key to a good Butterly is to relax and really get that nice undulating dolphin motion going.  Don’t fight the water, try and get the rhythm using your head and legs, as Chloe explains,  and enjoy the smooth, undulating motion.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Well done to everyone who did the time trials last week and all of your fantastic efforts.  In December we are going to do a bit of variety and do a few different strokes.  The great thing about all of the other strokes is that when swum well they all have the same principle of a high elbow pull  – just like the early-vertical-forearm we have been practising on front crawl.

This week it we will be doing backstroke and a great example of it being swum well, with a high-elbow pull, is shown by Chloe Sutton below:

We will be doing some of the single-arm backstroke as a drill this week.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Geat work last week on the drills.  It was fantastic to see a really good high-elbow pull, with great Early Vertical Forearm (EVF), especially when you added the pause in the stroke at the EVF position.  Now you have the hang of these drills we are going to do some more work on them this week to practise a bit more.  The most important thing to remember is taking enough time to check that you are in that EVF position, with your forearm and hand pointing vertically downwards, before starting the powerful underwater push to the end of the stroke.

After the drills we will be doing a main set of aerobic 75s and 125s with some drills in the middle to remind you about keeping that excellent EVF position you have been practising.  But please don’t wait for the drill section, though, to think about keeping that strong EVF position – keep it up all the way through the main set and also into the pull subset!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Well done for all your efforts last week on the USRPT 50s, which is probably the most intense session we have done so far this year.  We will be doing some more of these again soon as I think they are a great session for increasing the speed that you can comfortably maintain.  However, this week we are going to slow it down with some steadier-paced swimming to give you more chance to think about technique.

As you know, I love to particularly focus on the high-elbow catch as it is the area of our stroke most of us can gain the most benefit by improving.  And there is a great video by Chloe Sutton, a US ex-Olympian, that has a great demonstration of this together with some drills we haven’t done before.  It is a 9-minute video and I highly recommend watching all of it.  But if you just want to know the drills we’re doing this week look at the two drills starting at 6 minutes into the video – stabilised single-arm and catch-up with a pause.

See you Saturday and I look forward to watching some beautiful high-elbow catches both in the technique subset and also continued into the main set!

Rob

Now the triathlon season is over for most of us it is a great opportunity to think about improving your stroke as we start Winter training.  Although most of us can improve on many different aspects of our stroke the one improvement that most of us will gain the most benefit from is improving the underwater pull.  And the key to doing that is getting the high-elbow catch, or early-vertical forearm as many people call it.  If you want to see a great example you can watch some of this slow motion video of Ian Thorpe.

So how do we all do swim with a high-elbow better?  This week we will be doing some side-line kicking to help practice the body position for keeping a high elbow even when swimming on your side, so please focus on:

  • Keeping your head looking down and slightly forward when not breathing and checking that your hand is below your elbow.
  • Keeping your palm facing downwards towards the bottom of the pool and when you pull
    • Start the pull slowly and not putting any pressure on the water until your forearm is vertical in the water with your hand pointing down to the bottom of the pool
    • Press the water straight backwards once you start applying the pressure and trying to keep pushing straight to the end of your stroke

And please, please, please take your time when doing drills.  Take extra rest if you need it.  The most important thing is doing the drills well and feeling as relaxed as possible.  Since most drills we do are best done while breathing as little as possible you will need to be rested and relaxed before you start each of the drills.

See you Saturday,

Rob

We’ve been doing some pretty intense sets over the last few weeks so this week we’re going to take a step back a bit and give you chance to think about your technique and do some more aerobic-paced swimming.  If you are in the middle of competition season then now is probably not the best time to consider big changes in your technique but I think it is always good to spend some time thinking about technique and making any small changes to any bad habits that have crept in.  We will also be doing some breast stroke for a bit of variety.  Breast stroke is also a great stroke to help practice the important first part of your front crawl pull.

You’ve heard me talk a lot in the past about the importance of the catch by keeping your elbow high and pressing with your hand.  This often gets called the “early vertical forearm” and there are many videos talking about this you will be able to find doing a search on the web.  One particular one I like you can find here.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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