The entry and glide phase of the stroke sets up the pull and what I look for is a clean entry and glide. By the time the hand is finished gliding forward if there are no bubbles on your hand then your pull will be more effective.
So how should your hand be entering the water? I like to see the hand entering anywhere between 30 and 60 degrees. Common mistakes I see are swimmers entering their hands at 90 degrees. This can cause shoulder problems and doesn’t allow for a good glide forward.
Finger tips should always enter first followed by the wrist and then the elbow. If this is out of order then you know either your wrist of your elbow is dropping in the recovery. Or you are entering too far forward and not allowing enough room to glide forward after you have entered.
During the glide phase drive your hand forward and slightly down keeping the inside of your elbow pointing at the bottom of the pool. Two common mistakes I see is the hand will drop very low in the glide which looses a lot of the pulling power and the elbow dropping during the glide which means the arm will slip in the pool and not hold as much water.
Most swimmers I see need to keep their hand higher in the glide so that they can get the most out of their pull.
In the next video we take a look at the pull phase of the stroke and how one change to your timing can improve your pull for good.