Friday, December 21, 2007

On the Journey To Swimming's Holy Grail

You might recall that I've been working on swimming's "Holy Grail", the high-elbow catch. Recently we all showed up for Master's swim practice in the morning and the pool was closed for repairs. Our coach took the opportunity to show me an exercise you can do in the gym (or at home with exercise bands) that allows you to build the muscle memory and strength into your arms to accomplish this maneuver. The idea is to keep your upper arm flat and elbow high when you start the catch, and you can verify that you're doing this with a mirror while you perform this exercise.

I'm sorry for the crack in the mirror right in the middle of my arm in these photos, but hopefully you can see what I'm talking about.

Reaching forward like your hand has just entered the water.

Make sure as you pull your hand toward you that your upper arm stays parallel to the floor and your elbow remains high. You can repeat just this part of the catch over and over until it feels natural to your muscles.

If you want, you can rotate your hips to the other side and follow through with the rest of the stroke. I like to do five catches, then a full stroke, and repeat that. You can add weight or thicker bands for resistance.

And yes, that's me as the Black Knight above (you Python fans will know from whence this scene hails. One of my 365 Days of self portraits.

It's just a flesh wound. I'm invincible!

1 comment:

Tri Mom said...

Thanks for the tips Trimom! I am back to blogging again! Happy Holidays to all of you!