6/15/05 FREESTYLE - Reach Full Extension
By Glenn Mills
Demonstrated by Erik Vendt
Photos by Glenn Mills

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In any sport, developing full range of motion is an important part of reaching your poten-tial. This is especially true in swimming, where the best swimmers have strokes that are smooth, efficient, and above all…long. The length helps them get as much speed and power as possible from each stroke.

Take a look at one of the most successful freestyles in history, Erik Vendt. You can see how long he makes his body, on EVERY stroke. He reaches forward as if he’s trying to grab something JUST out of range. He’s not just extending, he’s almost STRETCHING his entire body to get his hand as far out front as possible to begin his pull.
This extension and attention to detail allow Erik to get the absolute most out of every stroke. When we look at this great range of motion in the pull, in combination with Erik’s tremendous kick, we begin to understand why he can go under 15 minutes for the 1500 meters.
Next time you go to the pool, keep the image of Erik in your head, and try to reach for the same extension that he gets, on every stroke.

Glenn Mills is Swimming World Magazine’s technical advisor. Check out his website at

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