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As you reach full extension with your body, make sure you aim your hands forward, toward the wall at the other end, not at the bottom.

As you can see here, even when the hands are aimed directly forward, the body will still settle, or sink a little, during the extension. Aiming the hands down will cause the body to go too deep. Send them forward, not down.

Common Errors
Some swimmers spend too much time going up and down rather than going forward. Going too deep means you’ll only have farther to climb back up to air. Don’t forget: Your goal is to get to the other end. Don’t make the pool longer by directing your energy down.

When you first start to practice this, a simple thing to remember is to extend your hands as close to the surface of the water as possible. Stay as shallow as you can.

Another advantage of landing forward and staying shallow, is you’ll be ready to take the next stroke without having to climb back up to the surface.

As Dave picks up the pace just a bit, notice how he actually uses his hands to direct all his energy in a straight line forward down the pool. As he extends forward, his body settles below his hands, then begins to rebound back up because he’s extended his hands above his chest.

While keeping your eyes down, see if you can see your hands extend out in front of you, rather than dive back down into the water.

The faster Dave goes, the more shallow he becomes. He’s focused on moving forward and maintaining rhythm, not on moving up and down and pulling harder.

As we watch Dave swim at race pace, you’ll see how close his hands stay to the surface on his extension forward.

As he swims away, we can also see how he uses his back and shoulders to throw his energy forward as he extends.

Watching someone who is as fast as Dave is, we start to understand that there isn’t any time to go up and down.

If you want to go under 53 seconds for the 100-yard breaststroke, you can’t waste time and energy going up and down. Send it forward.