Welcome back friends,
We. Are. Back. Boom! Back (finally) with another installment of our Learning Freestyle series, in which we go step by step to introduce the various elements of the stroke. For those of you who need a jog of the memory, we finished up a few weeks ago with our post about the "catch" and working into a high elbow anchor. Now, after our brief hiatus, we look to continue with the next element of the power phase, the true "Power phase", or that which occurs after the catch and before the finish of the stroke. Here, we take our power diamond and high elbow to the next step.
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During the power phase is when we have to be thinking most about the efficiency of our catch and anchor. It is extremely common for people to drop their elbow inward rather than keeping it pointed toward the side walls. This ultimately leads to only the hand and tricep facing behind us in propulsion. If we keep our elbow facing outwards, we use the entirety of surface area of the arm and this can also aid us in rolling into our rotation over the catch. Thus, we maximize our potential. To reiterate, you have to keep in mind the purpose of the power phase: to really anchor and propel ourselves through the water. If we are lackluster through this point of the stroke, it could really accumulate to short change our speed. And, too, we should look to avoid any crossing over the body line underneath or getting too wide outside.
Fact of the week: To maximize your freestyle, it's important that you don't think of it as pulling your body through the water, but rather that you're pulling your body OVER your arms. Imagine your arm is relatively stagnant once it has anchored, and you are just looking to bring your body over the arm. This will maximize the pull that we use with our back and lat muscles, allowing us to really attack our freestyle speed. The power phase, though just a piece of a greater phase, is the MOST propulsive point of the freestyle arm cycle, so let's not waste it with "chicken arms" or elbow drops. Stay tuned and check out YouTube for more!
How does my child move up? Come to every swim class, bring your progress report, earn those stickers, and ask your child's instructor or location's deck manager if you have questions.
How do I move up? Attend as many of your classes as possible, communicate with your instructor on your struggles, goals, and where you're at in our curriculum. We also have many adults who purchase a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness while they are taking lessons so they can practice 2-3 times between classes.
Power up your next swim! Glad your swimmer is learning to swim with us!
The Sigma Team