Hand position

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dave
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:21 pm

Hand position

Postby dave » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:59 pm

Hi!

I've noticed that some elites, and indeed Bill Kirby in your visualisation do something different with their hand than Mr Smooth. When they are reaching full extension, their hand points out a bit (ulnar deviates, if you're anatomically minded). On the SwimSmooth youtube clip of Kirby, you can see what I mean well at 2mins10secs (above view). I've seen this a few times. Is this a quirk or a taught technique?

Cheers,
Dave

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Paul Newsome
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Re: Hand position

Postby Paul Newsome » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:51 am

dave wrote:Hi!

I've noticed that some elites, and indeed Bill Kirby in your visualisation do something different with their hand than Mr Smooth. When they are reaching full extension, their hand points out a bit (ulnar deviates, if you're anatomically minded). On the SwimSmooth youtube clip of Kirby, you can see what I mean well at 2mins10secs (above view). I've seen this a few times. Is this a quirk or a taught technique?

Cheers,
Dave


Another good question Dave...there's been a few good ones today. Thanks.

OK, the YouTube snippet that you refer to is at 2:16 I believe:

Image

This is also something which I personally used to do and I know is more of a quirk than anything else. Try this:

1) Hold your arm out in front of you whilst sitting at your desk and replicate the same position as Bill in the clip above.

2) Now do the "reverse" and have the index finger angled ever-so-slightly in towards what would be the centre-line if you were swimming (like Mr Smooth).

3) In both these positions, try bending your elbow and seeing which is easiest to maintain a position with your elbow higher than your wrist and your wrist higher than your hand? This is a classic high elbow catch position.

I reckon that it will be the Mr Smooth position over the Bill Kirby position that is the easiest and most effective. We've seen in practice that the ulnar deviation for many swimmers (especially less experienced ones) can cause the wrist and elbow to drop in the water and result in a less effective catch. It also places quite a large load on the shoulders as it tends to inspire more of a straight arm pull through during the initial catch phase, rather than the bent elbow that Mr Smooth's stroke does.

There's more info on Mr Smooth's catch here: http://www.swimsmooth.com/aboutmrsmoothcatch.html

I think ultimately what this boils down to certainly with elite swimmers is that there is no such thing as a "perfect stroke" - every great swimmer has their own idiosyncrasies that work for them without a resultant drop in efficiency or performance. Mr Smooth is not designed to replace the footage of these legendary swimmers, moreso to provide insight into what you should be aiming for.

In this particular instance we have simply found that Mr Smooth's hand and arm extension as he enters into the water helps most non-elite swimmers set up for a better catch. Does this mean that if an elite swimmer displays a stroke like Bill's that they are wrong, or vice versa that this model is incorrect and the elite swimmer is right? No, I don't think so...it's purely a quirk in their stroke compared to a model which we are suggesting will help the majority of less experienced swimmers set up for that all elusive "catch" phase when perhaps lacking the same degree of flexibility, stabilization and feel for the water that an elite swimmer might have at full extension.

Hope this helps?

Cheers

Paul
2013 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim Champion. Don't forget to check out our valuable Know How section on the main site at http://www.swimsmooth.com/knowhow.html

Meowws
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:50 am

Re: Hand position

Postby Meowws » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:34 am

hmmm, but ever since i started using Mr Smooth technique, is much relax compare to the EVF (Elbow Verticle Forearm) technique i learned. i think u are referring to the EVF catch, is indeed very different than Mr Smooth at the hand position as well as the pull.

dave
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:21 pm

Re: Hand position

Postby dave » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:02 pm

Thanks Paul - it does!


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