Each week, The HUUB USA team and I will take you through some of my favorite swim drills to give you the tools to become a better swimmer. If you have questions or comments, please reach out.
Catch Up + Modified Catch Up
Catch Up Drill-
- This is a dual purpose exercise. First, we are focusing on body position. We do not want the anchor hand to splay out to the side. We want it anchored in the catch position. If you are slipping and splaying your hand out, it usually means your hips are moving laterally and you don't have a steady enough kick.
- Second and equally important is timing, which ultimately affects body position. We want to have a hand out front to anchor ourselves and too often you see swimmers without anything anchoring the front of their stroke. This causes 'falling down' and is not efficient for distance swimming.
What you see:
- Watch when I perform the drill and when I am swimming at the end. You will see that I always have a hand out front, anchoring my position and holding the water. My anchored hand waits for my 'moving' hand before I fully engage my stroke. This helps with timing and positioning.
- Most people touch hand to hand when doing catch up drill. What I would like to see are your hands entering and holding about shoulder width apart. Therefore, you do not need to 'touch' but you want to be 'swapping positions.'
- I have used a small wooden dowel that is roughly shoulder width in length to 'hand off' from one hand to the other to help with this drill.
Modified Catch Up Drill-
- This drill is very similar to catch up drill in both its purpose and execution. The main difference or areas of focus for modified catch up(or double tap catch up) are to emphasize high elbow recovery, long rotation and a proper catch in freestyle.
- This drill also requires you to speed up and engage the hips when you are 'switching' from one side to the other.
What you see:
- All of the same principles of catch up drill apply. In addition, you will see that I bring my 'moving hand' forward to my anchoring hand. I then bring it back towards recovery before bringing it forward again to perform a catch up swim stroke. During this movement, I keep a high elbow, keep my front hand anchored, and a steady kick.
- This drill is great to do with fins as you improve your proficiency.
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