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How does Brendan achieve World-Record pace? Watch his hands.
Notice how they move quickly and smoothly through the entire pull cycle – with no hitches and no stopping points.
Brendan makes sure that he gets into streamline on every stroke, but he doesn’t spend much time there. His hands flow immediately into the outsweep.
He catches and grabs water, but the hands don’t rest there. Once the hands anchor, they turn and start immediately to sweep back and in.
The hands pull back…but they don’t get stuck. As soon as the chin is over the hands, the hands immediately lift and shoot forward into the recovery.
Let’s watch it again at speed. Notice how the hands move continuously, and notice how quickly Brendan gets them back into streamline.
Here’s a closer look at the insweep. From the side, you can see that Brendan keeps his hands in front of the shoulders.
By keeping the hands in front of the shoulders, Brendan maintains hand speed and momentum.
When he focuses on fast hands, Brendan also thinks about his elbows. In this clip, watch the elbows and notice that he never lets them collapse or drop.
Compare the last clip to this one, where Brendan is letting his elbows collapse and drop too far behind his shoulders. This creates a slight hitch or hesitation in his stroke, and he loses hand speed and momentum.
Here’s another view of Brendan keeping the hands in front of the shoulders and the elbows high. Notice how quickly his hands switch from pulling…to shooting forward.
Another way that Brendan achieves fast hands is to shoot his hands over the water during the recovery.
This cuts down on resistance, and allows the hands to drive into streamline. By working on fast hands, Brendan is able to get his upper body back into streamline before the kick begins. This allows him to get maximum power from his kick.
In this next clip, you’ll see one of the fine points that Brendan works on in his recovery. Notice that by the time his hands enter the water to go into streamline, the palms have turned out and are ready to start the pull.
This is one of the key elements of fast hands. If you recover with palms up, you need to turn the hands over quickly to get ready for the next pull.
In this final clip, focus on how Brendan’s hand speed sets the pace for the rest of his stroke. And notice how fast hands help him maintain constant forward motion, with no stops and starts in his stroke.