With underwater cameras it is easier than ever to examine the stroke mechanics of the top swimmers and try to increase efficiency by adopting some of their habits, when appropriate. A recent post in the Swim Smooth Blog, “Bend It Like Becky,” examines the freestyle catch of Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington. In particular, the authors noted that most top freestylers seem to have a slight downward bend early on in their stroke, leading naturally to the Early Vertical Forearm used by so many top swimmers.
Recently I have been using a new FINIS paddle (below), the Agility Paddle, to help develop a “palm positive” catch in freestyle. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I’m hopeful that the combination of these paddles with their snorkel will help me improve my freestyle catch, body roll and head alignment.