The final component of the arm movement for the freestyle stroke is the finish. The finish will help you improve the efficiency of your freestyle stroke.

A simplified way to think about any form of locomotion is: speed = [distance per revolution] x [revolutions per minute]. For a runner, this means that in order to increase their speed, they either need to go further with every stride, or take quicker strides (without losing stride length). In swimming it is very much the same. In order to swim faster, we need to either increase the distance we move with every pull or increase the frequency with which we are pulling.

The finish of your stroke is a place where increasing the stroke length can be done. Think about flicking the water toward your toes, reaching as far down your thigh as possible without bending your body to do so.

Remember, it can be useful to practice your arm movements independently so that you can concentrate on the each of the four sections. You may find it useful to use a pull buoy to help support your legs closer to the surface of the water and as you stroke, concentrate on each of the four components of the arm movements: recovery, catch, power, and finish.

Check out Freestyle Power Pull Swim Tip

By Jason Britton and Victoria Mitchell

Jason is a full-time Lifeguard/Instructor here at MacEwan University Sport and Wellness. He has over 19 years of aquatic and coaching experience and is one of the main organizers of  SwimRun Edmonton. Victoria is a Lifesaving Society Swim Trainer and Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer.  She is also MacEwan University’s full-time Aquatic Programmer.