5 Swimming Tips

Tip #2: Patient Leading Arm

What Do I Do With My Arms?

If you’ve ever watched a skilled swimmer, you see harmony, grace and ease.

At the heart of this are techniques that sometimes go against our own instincts to churn, kick and keep our heads above the water so we don’t drown.

Water, as we know is very different from our natural environment of air and solid ground. For one thing, we can’t breathe under water. This causes our instincts to switch to survival mode and we end up fighting with the water. A battle you’ll lose.

Replacing these survival instincts with the techniques I give you will allow you to glide through the water with ease and comfort. You’ll swim like a fish — at home and at ease in the water.

Tip #1: Hanging Head was about allowing you to feel relaxed and keep your body aligned. Patient Leading Arm is again about ease and relaxation. Ideally your leading arm should remain "patient" until your recovering hand passes your head.

Although your instinct might be to keep both arms busy, economy of movement is always your goal when you’re swimming. This tip will help you be more relaxed; conserve precious energy; and be a more efficient swimmer.

You can practice Patient Leading Arm even on dry land. Just follow these steps:

  • Stand up straight. Place your right hand on your right thigh and point your left arm up (pic. #1).
  • Bring your right hand toward your head. Slightly bend your right arm and place your fingers next to the elbow of the left arm. (pic.#2)
  • Pause for a moment to imprint this position. Then switch: stretch your right arm upward and place your left hand to your left thigh. (pic.#3)

Repeat, starting with the left arm.

Repeat 20-30 times on both sides so that the arm exchange is fluent and automatic.

Next time you’re in the pool, practice Patient Leading Arm. By resting one arm while the other arm completes a stroke, you’ll travel further on each stroke and your arms won’t tire as fast.

Give yourself enough time for this. It is a complex skill and there’s no rush. Enjoy!

All 5 Tips:

Tip #1: Hanging head

Tip #2: Patient leading arm (now reading)

Tip #3: Glide

Tip #4: Power from the core

Tip #5: Emphasize the exhale

Short of having a chance for a live coaching, the best way to master all the skills is to follow video Freestyle Mini-Course. Now for introductory price (80% off).

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