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Underwater Pullout Teaching Progression
Step #3: Recover the Hands (the Sneak)

Step #3 in teaching the breaststroke pullout is to recover the hands. After the pull is completed and the hands are by the legs, the swimmer should bring the palms to the tops of the thighs and roll the shoulders inward. This narrows the body, decreases resistance, and sets up the body for a “sneaky” recovery that helps them maintain momentum.

Right before the body begins to slow down from the pulldown, the hands should begin to recover forward.

The arms bend at the elbow as the hands move inward toward the middle of the body. The elbows remain next to the ribs.

The hands should move forward, thumb side first, and with the palms facing the body.

The hands are flat and stay close to the body as they cross over each other at the belly button and proceed upward under the middle of the body.

The hands move under the face and past the middle of the forehead as they extend into missile position. The hands have turned palm down as they reach full extension.

We practice this recovery without adding the kick.

The hands stay under and close to the body…

The elbows stay tight to the sides…

The head stays in a neutral position throughout the recovery and into the missile glide.