Welcome to the Splash Zone!

| April 1, 2012

By: Jeremiah Friday (newsletter 4/1/12)

The following article is a summary of Garry Hall, Sr.’s “How to Position Your Hands” video on his Swim Club website, found at www.theraceclub.net.

When I see people I the pool, they often ask me what they can do to get faster. I try my best to examine their current form, and I give them one or two things to try to improve about it. That is an important thing to remember about swimming – changing one small detail can affect the entire style and efficiency of a swimmer’s stroke. Often we focus on the “top” of the stroke, the part of it that is out of the water, ignoring what is happening underneath it, which is often the true problem.

Many of you know that I have battling a chest/shoulder injury, which has been annoying to say the least. When it started to flare up again last week, I decided to search the internet to look for some explanation of why it was bothering me and some swimming suggestions to improve it. As I searched, I stumbled upon the site for Gary Hall, Sr.’s Swim Club. I found a wealth of great ideas, unique drills, and interesting information about swimming. Along with the articles, many excellent videos help to show the concepts they are discussing. I thought that I would start sharing these videos each week, allowing you some time to work on one skill at a time.

This week’s lesson is about what your hands should do as they pull through the water. What I was taught, and what I have coached for years, is to make a fin with your hands to pull the maximum amount of water. As I swim more now, I know that my thumbs usually separate from the rest of my hand’s “fin.” In the video clip, Gary Hall recommends swimming with fingers slightly apart instead of tightly closed. His rationale for separating the fingers a bit is because when you fingers are slightly open, the water between your fingers become turbulent, creating a situation where your hand acts larger than it actually is; thus pulling more water.

Garry Hall suggests trying a closed, hand, a slightly-open hand, and a wide open hand with a scull drill to feel the difference in pulling. This technique feels a bit odd, and it will take a great deal of practice to promote automatically. I have been working on using this technique, and I have to think a lot about it as I swim, because my natural inclination is to close my fingers. I have to admit that opening my fingers a bit creates an interesting sensation, and I do feel as if I am pulling more water. To learn more about this idea, watch the entire video clip at http://www.theraceclub.net/videos/secret-tip-how-toposition-your-hands-underwater/.

Category: Swim, Team Blog

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