Fingertip-Drag Freestyle is just about the oldest drill in the books. It’s been around a long, long time — and for good reason. This old standby teaches you a smooth, low, and balanced recovery — the starting point for learning a great freestyle. Where you go from here is up to you.
Why Do It:
Fingertip-Drag Freestyle teaches a high-elbow/low-hand recovery. It helps keep your body in a balanced position during the recovery, and helps guide your hand to a good angle of entry to begin the extension forward.
How To Do It:
1. Start by swimming normal freestyle, except that as your hand exits in the back, do not allow the fingers to come out of the water.
2. Keep your fingers IN the water during the recovery phase of your freestyle. Drag your hand up your side, past your shoulder and just past your head, and then pierce it into the water on a line directly above the shoulder.
3. Pull normally with your other arm. As the hand completes the pull, keep the fingertips in the water during the recovery.
4. There really isn’t a step 4. I just thought that since this drill was so easy, it looked a little light on the explanation.
How To Do It Really Well (the fine points):
Make sure you don’t push too much of your hand through the water. In the third photo, you’ll see Dave’s fingers just showing from under the surface.
Rotate around the centerline of your body. Just because you’re exaggerating the low-hand recovery, try not to allow your hand to swing OUT too far. Keep the hand tight to your body during the recovery, and feel your shoulder popping up and out, to get out of the way of the water.
Extend forward, and get ready for the next stroke.
It’s an oldy but a goody. Fingertip Drag is a staple in just about every program in the world, and for good reason…it works!