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High elbow!

You can hear it like mantra! High elbow, high elbow, high elbow! And then everyone is focusing on arm recovery.Yes, it’s important as swimming economy and little relieve for your arm, but! It’s not that high elbow that you should focus on!!! Focus on pull and push phase of your stroke. That is where your high elbow should do its best! Giving you power and propulsion in your swim.

High Elbow at the pull phase (TriathlonNITeam)
High Elbow at the pull phase (TriathlonNITeam)

Pull starts when your arm reaches out, keep it out with your hand slightly dropped – like beyond edge of table – that allows your catch be straight from beginning. Then your move starts like in doggie paddles – hand with forearm pulling down with elbow staying in top of the water. When hand with forearm come under elbow there should be quick transition of your arm behind you to enter push off phase. Remember that your hand should pass hip and exit water at the upper thigh. Important – push off is directed straight behind you so it’s very powerful so, you don’t want to loose it!

When mastered you pull and push then start worrying about your recovery phase and gain extras there. What is a point of working on recoveryif your main work is not there?

High Elbow at the recovery phase (TriathlonNITeam)
High Elbow at the recovery phase (TriathlonNITeam)

One of the drills for that is to swim 25m of doggie paddles and then 25m front crawl.

Good idea would be work with someone who’s got experience and can watch you from a side to point strong and weak points. With technique is extremely hard to self improve.

Let’s practice your high elbow now!