ANALYSIS – You can see from the 1st video that Chris was placing his right arm straight into the water and dropping it too low straight away. This means that Chris was losing catch and pull right from the off at the beginning of the underwater stage. Following the arm down, you can also see that there is very little elbow bend as the arm pulls back through the water, losing propulsion and forward momentum. If you then concentrate on the left arm, you see that when the hand enters the water, there’s too much of a gap between two fingers, the hand then points upwards just before the point of pulling down. This acts as a brake and slows you down right from the off. As the left arm pulls down, its similar to the right one in the way that the arm just drops straight down, with no elbow bend. As the breathing takes place whilst this arm is under the water, you can also see that the right leg kicks out to balance the stroke, again causing drag and slowing Chris down.
ANALYSIS – As you can see from the after video, you can see that both arms are now pulling from much higher in the water and elbow bend is much more pronounced. This cuts down the amount of forward drag whilst increasing the amount of propulsion gained from each underwater arm pull. This is a result of the elbow bend underwater engages the bigger muscles in the back and shoulders. Catch up is a good drill for this, as it makes you keep your arm up high before you then start the catch and arm pull down. It’s quite an easy one to fix; it just needs some concentration and time spent on it. This is helped if you can do this drill with a snorkel, which allows you to concentrate on what your arms are doing without having to turn your head to breath. Another really nice drill for this is to stretch one arm out (let’s say left for now) and roll your body onto that side whilst kicking your legs (use fins to make it easier to start with). Keep your arm up high so it’s just under the surface of the water, with your head resting on your arm, almost as if you’re breathing. It will really help to get muscle memory for keeping your arm up. You could do 10 kicks on one side, then 10 kicks on the other side repeatedly, doing a stroke to swap in between sets of 10 kicks. It works really well.