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CrossFit Endurance Swimming: The Pull Phase by Brian Nabeta and Chris Michelmore - CrossFit Journal

CrossFit Endurance Swimming: The Pull Phase

By Brian Nabeta and Chris Michelmore

Video Article

Join CrossFit Endurance swimming coaches Brian Nabeta and Chris Michelmore at De Anza College in Cupertino, Calif., as they apply their endurance specialty to swimming.

“We can make these swimmers more efficient,” Brian Nabeta says.

In the lecture portion of their training, Nabeta coaches technique through the pull (or anchor) phase of swimming.

“Your leverage and your efficiency decreases when you start applying that straight arm stroke to your pull phase,” he says. The key to fixing this problem is bending at the wrist and relaxing.

“The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to swim,” Nabeta says.

It’s also about the length of the stroke and your body position at the end of the pull. You want to get as much as possible out of each stroke. Watch as the coaches break down the beginning of the movement and rebuild it using better technique.

6min 49sec

Additional video: Bringing CrossFit to Collegiate Swimming by Chris Michelmore and Sage Hopkins, published Aug. 27, 2010.

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8 Comments on “CrossFit Endurance Swimming: The Pull Phase”


wrote …

Thank you for keeping this series of swimming alive and I look forward to additional segments. I've been working on my swim stroke for over two years and the pull phase is always confusing to me, as there are so many methods od doing it "correctly."


wrote …

Looking forward to seeing some more videos on the technical side of the swim stroke. Every bit helps. Thanks guys.


wrote …

This us brilliant!


wrote …

I too thank you for adding more technical videos on swimming. Anchoring the hand makes sense, but I have trouble visualizing the idea of the hand staying in the anchored spot as the body rotates past it. I try using my hips more as I swim, but coordinating the kick with the hips and moving past the anchored hand is still not clear. Please keep providing these great videos.


wrote …

Think about moving or swinging hand over hand from ring to ring. The hand on the current ring is anchored, you rotate your opposite hip and reach for the next ring, that hand becomes the new anchor and you repeat.


wrote …

Daniel, try breaking things down ... have you tried kicking on your side and rotating without using your arms? When you rotate, it starts with your hip ... once you have no arms down, extend the arm in the water and anchor and rotate with hip leading the way.

Richard, what part of the pull phase confuses you??


wrote …

Best video I've seen in a while. I would put this up there with the insulin lectures as best I've seen in the journal. KEEP IT UP!


wrote …

The pull phase is important to the freeestyle stroke but for new swimmiers or swimmers with bad habits it's better to focus on breathing patterns and kicking through the breath. Alot of swimmers do not get in to good swimming technique because when they breathe they tend to pull and breathe at the same time, over rotate or cross the body with the pull and either the kick stops or changes. In return the body is not streamlined, hips sink and the swimmer basically starts the stroke all over again and is swimming "up hill".

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