Stop Your Hand Slipping | A Way To Increase Your Propulsion

If you feel like your hand is slipping through the pull and not holding much water, try this. When you keep your palm facing behind you most of the way it increases the surface area of your paddle. When we film swimmers, it’s common to see many of them with their palm facing inwards through the last part of the pull and press phase. You can use drills like single arm and YMCA to help fix this.


And what we tend to see with a lot of swimmers is that they try and force their way through the water, and try and pull very hard or very quickly in certain parts of their strike under the water.

In the Feedback Friday videos that we do most Fridays, you will see that one of the things we like to look at is the angle of the hands as they’re moving through the catch in the pool. And what we tend to see with a lot of swimmers is that they try and force their way through the water, and try and pull very hard or very quickly in certain parts of their strike under the water. And what can often happen there is that the hand, or the angle of the hand, will turn inwards or it will turn into the body. Where the palm of the hand is no longer facing back behind them, it’s not giving them much propulsion, it ends up slicing out the back. And so for half of your pool, half of your underwater phase, is your hand with the little finger facing back behind you and the hand just slicing out, there is a very little surface area that you’re applying and very little propulsion that you’re going to get from the strike.

So, if you feel like you might be slicing through the water and not really holding or creating much pressure and surface area with your hand and your forearm, then a really simple way to get more distance per stroke, which is one factor in swimming faster, a really simple way that you can make that change is to just keep the palm of the hand facing back behind you pretty much the whole way, until the very end when the hand can just turn into the body to help you get the exit there.

Now, if you struggle with that and you feel like, “Yeah, I don’t know how to make that change.” Start slow. You can put a snorkel on. You might put some fins on. And you might just go through a single arm freestyle drill with one arm out the front for balance and support, the other arm’s moving through the stroke, and your only focus is keeping that palm of the hand facing back behind you.

Another way you can go about it, the YMCA Drill that we’ve shown a lot on this channel. You can go through that drill with the focus as keeping the palms of the hands facing back behind you. So if you feel like that you don’t hold much water because the hand is slicing through the water, then that can be a really simple thing to focus on, that can dramatically increase the distance per stroke, how much water you’re holding, and how much you’re moving forward, and that can just be a simple focus.

Now, remember, with all of these tips that we give, only work on the ones that are relevant to you. So if you know that you don’t do this, then there’s no need to focus on it. And so if you’re not sure what it is that’s going to make you faster, you might look at our Effortless Swimming membership where we have a lot of our technique courses in there. And we also have our Fault Fixer section, so if you know exactly what you’re struggling with, maybe you’re dropping your elbow in your catch, you could go to that Fault Fixer section, have a look at what we’ve got there in terms of, all right, this is what you need to do as part of your warmup every session that you do, and this is going to help you get that high elbow catch over the course of the next few weeks and the next few months.

So if you know what it is that you want to work on, have a look at the Effortless Swimming membership, and we’ve got each of those faults, those common faults that we see in freestyle, we’ve got them there. So thanks for watching. Please like and subscribe if you’re not already. I’ll see you next week with another video.


Join the 5 Day Catch Challenge
for Only $10


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur
sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Already have an account? Sign in.

Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen