Welcome back to the second part of our series on the High Elbow Recovery! This week, we will be discussing a drill that helps you achieve a “High Elbow Recovery”, along with improving the 3 technical aspects needed for a “High Elbow Recovery”. Not sure what those technical aspects are, check out last week’s post HERE!
Let’s get started!
As far as the High Elbow Recovery is concerned, swimmers must achieve a positive angle within their shoulder joint–in order to get the elbow pointing straight up towards the sky during their recovery.
There is NO way for swimmers to achieve a positive angle with their shoulder joint without rotating! Rotation is the KEY factor to having a nice High Elbow Recovery!
If your swimmers are not used to swimming on their side during Freestyle–now is the time to emphasis that!
Here’s a drill to help you do so:
The drill above is what I like to call 4-Tap Drill. To perform a swimmer, must hold their point of maximum rotation and tap through the recovery at 4 different points: hips, shoulders, head, and entry.
During the extended 4-tap recovery, swimmers must keep their body on their side and maintain a constant kick.
I’ve found this drill really helpful with my swimmers as it allows them to see where the palm and fingertips are pointing through the taps. We want all our swimmers to enter the water with their middle-finger, palm facing down…why? [CLICK HERE]!
Also, this drill forces your swimmers to spend more time on their side than on their stomachs. Which in a FAST Freestyle, swimmers spend more time on their sides than their stomachs!
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Things to Look-Out For during this Drill:
1. Swimmers with the Straight-Arm Recovery (shown in the TOP swimmer above)
Tell those swimmers to watch their hands as they recovery and to keep their elbows as the highest point. Eventually, they will make connection on bending the recovery arm to achieve the High Elbow Recovery.
2. Swimmers who Cross-Over at Entry (shown in the TOP swimmer above)
Tell those swimmers to enter their fingers straight in-front of their respective shoulder joint. If it’s still happening, they could hold a small PVC pipe with the non-recovering hand, which will force them to enter wider to grab a hold of the pipe during the transition between arms!
3. Swimmers who STRUGGLE with Kicking through their Rotation
Tell those swimmers who struggle with the kick to have small, tight, and fast kicks throughout the rotation. Avoid using the legs to initiate the rotation back towards their stomach—instead start the rotation from their mid-body and use the legs generate momentum to go with!
Start out by using this drill for a set of 50’s or 25’s. You can then reduce the drill to 2-Taps–I prefer keeping the Head Tap and Entry. From there, you’ll notice a more significant High Elbow Recovery from your swimmers. Plus, an overall more RELAXED Freestyle!
Until Next Time,