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Most coaches will tell you that the backstroke recovery is thumb out…pinky in. As you can see, that’s exactly how Aaron does it – thumb out…pinky in.

Let’s watch that again from the surface, and notice how cleanly Aaron’s hand exits…and enters. There’s no resistance as the hand slices out…and slices in.

But if we watch from below the surface, we can see there’s a lot more to it than thumb out…pinky in.

When the hand enters the water it should slide into the water.

The hand goes in pinky first, but watch how it goes in. Notice how few bubbles there are…and how little distortion.

Also notice that Aaron doesn’t allow his hand to sit on the surface. It goes right in, and it slides in. He keeps the hand entry as clean and direct as possible.

As soon as Aaron’s hand is completely under water, he begins the pull by pointing his hand toward the other side of the pool.

Let’s watch that in slow motion. The hand slides in cleanly, with no bubbles. Then it points immediately toward the other side of the pool.

Just as you don’t want the hand to “sit” on the surface, you don’t want to let it “fall” beneath the surface for too long before you start the pull.

In this clip, Aaron sends the hand too deep, and this makes his pull less effective.

In this clip, Aaron is focusing on sliding the hand in. He tries to catch and start the pull as soon as his thumb is submerged.

Here you can see it in slow motion. Watch for the pinky to slide in first. Then, as soon as the thumb is submerged, the hand turns toward the other wall and starts the pull.

When the hand slides in… the bubbles fall off, and this gives Aaron solid water to grab onto for the catch and pull.