Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by John Niecikowsk » Mon, 01 May 1995 04:00:00


My first coach taught me to rotate the shoulder so that the thumb enters the
water during recovery.  I read the same advice in swimming books.  Recently,
during a clinic, the coach was teaching to recover the arm so that the
little-finger enters the water first.  She said this avoids rotating the
shoulder and the arm is then in position for the pull.  I had to re-learn my
recovery, and, it does feel better.  Anyone else have comments, or want to
give advice?
 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by Jeffrey Roddi » Tue, 02 May 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
> My first coach taught me to rotate the shoulder so that the thumb enters the
> water during recovery.  I read the same advice in swimming books.  Recently,
> during a clinic, the coach was teaching to recover the arm so that the
> little-finger enters the water first.  She said this avoids rotating the
> shoulder and the arm is then in position for the pull.  I had to re-learn my
> recovery, and, it does feel better.  Anyone else have comments, or want to
> give advice?

If she was talking about little-finger entering the water first in
freestyle, I hope you didn't pay much for the clinic.  The hand should
enter the water thumb-side down, about 15-45 degree angle.  In back-
stroke, yes, the little-finger should enter first.

It may 'feel' much better and easier to put the little-finger in first
in freestyle, but you're going to be much slower.  It depends on
what your goal's are.

 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by David Streight 12- » Tue, 02 May 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>> My first coach taught me to rotate the shoulder so that the thumb enters the
>> water during recovery.  I read the same advice in swimming books.  Recently,
>> during a clinic, the coach was teaching to recover the arm so that the
>> little-finger enters the water first.  She said this avoids rotating the
>> shoulder and the arm is then in position for the pull.  I had to re-learn my
>> recovery, and, it does feel better.  Anyone else have comments, or want to
>> give advice?

>If she was talking about little-finger entering the water first in
>freestyle, I hope you didn't pay much for the clinic.  The hand should
>enter the water thumb-side down, about 15-45 degree angle.  In back-
>stroke, yes, the little-finger should enter first.

>It may 'feel' much better and easier to put the little-finger in first
>in freestyle, but you're going to be much slower.  It depends on
>what your goal's are.

Agreed...little finger first in freeatyle lowers the elbow and takes you out of the power position.  The thumb/index finger first can also result in that low elbow weak position but at least you start out well with them entering first...
Dave

 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by Robert Durgin Rockwe » Tue, 02 May 1995 04:00:00

I used to have a problem in freestyle with my hands sliding out
flat (parallel to the surface of the water) before I began the
catch and pull part of my stroke.  This put my hand in a bad
position to pull and interfered with my body roll (resulting in
some shoulder discomfort).
Anyway, I found that if I rotated my hand so that my little
finger was going in the water first the "sliding" stopped and I
felt a lot more powerful in the first part of my pull.  One
thing to be careful of is that turning your hand little finger
down increases the tendency to drop your hand and elbow toward
the bottom of the pool.

That's my take on the subject.

Bob Rockwell

 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by Matt Kubitsk » Wed, 03 May 1995 04:00:00

        First of all, I am not Matt Kubitsky but his daughter Anne (12).
This is my first ever post.

 I am on a USS team.  I think you are talking about the backstroke.  
is that so?  If so, I agree.  That is my best stroke.

 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by Kit Mathe » Thu, 04 May 1995 04:00:00

There is enough research that shows the initial outsweep to be of little
contribution to overall stroke power.  Entering with the thumb in
freestyle forces you to sweep out before you can get in position to pull
back.  I have been encouraging my athletes (13-16 years olds) to enter
palm-down or small-finger first.  Get into position to pull down the
middle where you are your most strongest.
-

 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by Jay Fish » Fri, 05 May 1995 04:00:00

On this thumb/index vs. pinky debate:
  When I was in my ***s, my coach encouraged me to try the "pinky first"
freestyle recovery. After 4-6 months of doing this, I developed bad
tendonitis in my shoulders. Was it related? I'll never know for sure-
plenty of swimmers suffer the same injury, but the timing spooked me, and
I went back to thumb first after rehab, and things were better.

BTW, my practice times were no differenteither way.

 
 
 

Thumb first vs. small-finger first

Post by Jason Ho » Fri, 05 May 1995 04:00:00

I swam competitively for about 9 years and when I was younger, I entered
my hand in the water with the thumb first.  When I was about 14, I developed
severe shoulder problems - tendonitis, rotator's cuff, etc...  Changing my
entry from thumb first to tips of my fingers first relieved my shoulder pain
to almost nil.  Regardless of whether entering thumb first or tips of fingers
first increasing the stroke efficiency, I found that thumb first would cause
my hand and arm to swing outward, generating a torque against my shoulder which
caused my shoulder aggravation.

just my 2 cents

jason hong