In the 3rd episode of my series Progressive Swim Skills All Triathletes Should Master I cover an important topic: arm trajectory.

Triathletes quite often exhibit one of these arm trajectory problems:

  1. In an effort to gain more “distance per stroke” (a teaching styles that drives me nuts!), they over-extend their reach.  This causes their elbow to drop, usually entering the water before the hand.  This prevents any possibility of the desired high elbow set, and frequently leads to shoulder pain; or
  2. They cross over the center line on their hand entry.  Again, this results in a dropped elbow.

As you’ll see in the video, my advice for most triathletes (who typically lack shoulder and back flexibility) is to slightly shorten and widen their arm trajectory.

Doing so will help you achieve that elusive high elbow set, and give you a stronger and more powerful stroke.