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Make Your Hands Magical Part I

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

More than any other part of our body, the hands are critical for effective swimming, particularly when it comes to creating propulsion.

I'm sure you've seen swimmers with 'magic hands' that just seem to glide through the water.

I want to help you learn those skills.

One of the biggest challenges in establishing a better feel for the water is that you are constantly bombarded with the SAME sensations and the same information.

You’re not experiencing anything novel, yet you’re hoping they’ll begin to feel differently.

It’s not going to work.

If you expect to feel something different, you need to experience something different.

Because the hands provide so much sensory information, and because they’re so critical to effective swimming, this should be our first stop.

We need to change how the hands are being used to create the right environment for learning.

Let’s take a look at those strategies.

Decrease Surface Area

Although the effective use of the hands is the secret weapon of any effective swimmer, you are going to something counterintuitive.

You’re going to take them away from yourself. Most swimmers will use various paddles to make their hands larger or more effective.

You’re going to do the opposite.

You’re going to use various strategies to make your hands smaller.

Not only does this change the sensory input the hands receive (very good!), it you have to use your forearm as a propulsive surface.

Because the hand is gone, you’re FORCED to use the forearm. It’s not necessarily that the forearm is better than the hand, it’s that the forearm can be used in addition to the hand.

The problem is that this type of action FEELS much different than you’d expect, and attempts to verbally describe the action don’t do it justice.

There’s more to it than just learning how to use the forearm more effectively.

By reducing the action of the hand, the sensory information is greatly decreased. The hand goes ‘silent’.

The magic happens when you open your hand back up and you’re FLOODED with new information.

I guarantee you feel your hands in a way that you’ve never felt before. The learning happens while the hands are closed AND when they’re opened again.

It’s much more effective to be forced to make a change as opposed to ‘think’ your way or be instructed to a change.