Whatever stage you’re at with your Swim for a Mile training, we’re with you every stroke of the way! To help in these early stages we’ve put together some descriptions and technique tips for training, so you can make the most of your Swim for a Mile journey!
Description of the 4 Phases of a Freestyle Stroke
Your hand should enter in line with your shoulder to prevent crossing over your centre line – this is an imaginary line down the middle of your body, which you should never cross! The reason we stay outside of the centre line, is to ensure that all of your energy is going into moving forward. If you cross the centre line, you are apply force to the side, meaning the propoluson you receive will be to the opposite side, creating that well known snake motioned stroke. We want to push back to go forwards!
This occurs immediately after your hand enters the water. The catch is basically a small scull pushing into the water, however it is called the catch, as you are literally trying to catch or grab the water to use the resistance to push you forward during the underwater pull. This is one of the rare occasions where we want to have water resistance!
This can be further broken down into the initial downward phase and the latter backwards phase. Initially you want to push your palm and forearm down into the water WHILE keeping your elbow at the surface, creating a “high elbow catch”, this position allows for greater surface area, in which to grip the water. Once your hand passes the line of your chest, you begin to rotate your body in the direction of your stroke arm, keeping your hand close to your trunk, explosively push past your hip until your hand exists the water.
The recovery, as suggested by its name is the relaxed part of the stroke! Its purpose is to get your hand from the exit position back to its entry position. All you have to remember is to keep your elbow high in the air, pointing to the ceiling WHILE your hand stays directly below and close to your body. This ensures that your hand is in the perfect position, ready for the catch.
Full Stroke Freestyle Demo Video!