I thought I’d give a little bit more discussion on recovery’s role in propulsion. It’s likely a new concept for many people; I discovered it first when I watched Bill Boomer’s Freestyle Reimagined DVD (I highly recommend watching that if you’re a swim nerd like me!).
We focus so much on the catch and pull aspect of swimming that we have ignored what the recovering arm can contribute to forward propulsion. In Total Immersion, we already like to teach swimmers how to use their whole body to generate propulsion and not just the stroking arm. When you can do that, your efficiency goes way up and your struggle to move in the water disappears. You quickly figure out that swimming is not so strength dependent but rather it’s a carefully choreographed sequence of events that builds momentum and uses timing of the body elements to launch momentum forward. Adding the momentum of recovery only makes this even more effective. Have a look and let me know what you think: