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high elbow stroke

Hi everyone,

As a novice swimmer I am trying to do as much as I can to improve my technique. I keep hearing and reading about high elbows in the under water part of the arm stroke. Can someone who knows exactly what this means please explain it clearly. Much appreciated


  • hound doghound dog Posts: 293
    It basically means after youve past the catch phase of your front crawl stroke, drop your forearm for the second part of stroke, keeping your elbow high, so you are using your hand and forearm to move the water behind you. Maybe not the best explanation you'll get but thats what it means. Hope it helps.
  • Hi Maverick

    This link can probably explain it better than me:


    If that doesn't help then just stick "high elbow swimming" into google! Basically, the aim of 'high elbow' is to use your entire forearm and hand as a paddle, rather than just the hand. A good way to practice it is to swim one length with your hands in a fist, the next with one finger out on each, then with two fingers etc. When you swim with just the fist you'll find it almost impossible to move anywhere unless you use your forearm as well (and the best way to do that is to keep the elbow high).


  • Rich_CRich_C Posts: 152
    Total immersion sell 'fist gloves' which are basically just a rubber glove that has no fingers but a thumb. I swam with these on for 30 mins and it was hard but got easier at the end.

    It does teach you to use your forearms and body roll to combat the 'lack of fingers'. When you take the gloves off it feels like your hands are the size of dustbin lids!!! LOL

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