In this analysis, we’re looking at a swimmer who has hit a plateau in her swim speed. What technical things can she focus on and change to help her get to that next level?

The things that stand out the most for me is what the arms are doing in the entry extension and with the catch and pull through.

1. Entry and reach

With both hands, her fingers are entering first which is good. As she reaches forwards to begin catch, however the forearm, hand and the fingertips are flat. We like to aim for a slight downwards angle with the fingertips being the deepest part of the arm. To help with this, she should be reaching a little bit further with each arm. It is a minor change in terms of the actual position but it actually makes a big difference to the next part of the stroke which is the catch.

One both arms the hand is slipping wide at the end of the reach to outside should width. We like to keep this in line with the shoulder at the end of the reach phase.

2. Catch and Pull

Like with most athletes, the catch is where a lot of time should be spent working on. By following the freestyle catch drill progression in our Effortless Swimming membership, this swimmer will be able to maintain a higher elbow position during the catch phase which will improve her overall pull.

The left arm when she doesn’t breathe gets to a strong position when it passes under the shoulder and is within the 100-120 degree range.

You will notice that when she breathes and on her right side the hand slips out wider than the elbow as she comes under her shoulder. This makes it difficult to engage the lats and is a weaker ‘power zone’ than if the hand remains narrower than the elbow.

3. The Exit

If you look closely at the exit of the hand, it finishes 10-15cm wide of the hip and isn’t pressing back enough to finish. We want to be able to press back a little bit more and closer to the hip.

We do this type of analysis for swimmers and triathletes all over the world inside our Effortless Swimming membership. If you’re stuck at the same speed and need help getting to the next level with your freestyle, find out more about the membership here.