This week at swimgym RECOVERY

Every week we provide you with new training goals, coach tips and a skill video to make you a better and faster swimmer. Watch the weekly video and read the SwimGym blog.

It has been 4 years since SwimGym opened its swimming pool in Amsterdam. Since then, SwimGym has grown rapidly as a swimming brand and community, both offline and online. We have asked Johan Kenkhuis, the founder of SwimGym and a former olympic swimmer, few of your burning quest...

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Skills & drills Shark Fin

With the shark fin drill you practice the high elbow position during your recovery phase. This position is the start of a clean and smooth hand entry, which reduces resistance. Swim freestyle but pause briefly halfway your recovery. It lets you feel how a high elbow recovery should feel like. 

How to do it 

  • Swim freestyle, use fins if needed

  • Pause right before your hand enters the water

  • Your elbow is pointed towards the ceiling, your hand is pointed down

  • Pause for about 2 seconds and then gently place the hand in the water, fingers first

  • Then breathe to the side and repeat this movement every stroke

Focus points 

  • Maintain a high body position in the water by maintaining a strong kick

  • Rotate your body when your hand exits the water, starting from the hip

  • Engage your core to hold your body line

Coach tip

Alternate this drill with the fingertip drag and regular freestyle. To be able to perform this drill properly, we advise you to use fins and even a snorkel.




While swimming at an easy pace, focus on your technique. This week for instance, focus on your freestyle recovery. Keep your elbow high during the recovery phase. Picking something to work on will help you stay focused while swimming easy. Try not to work on too many things at once, pick one focus point per session.

More coach tips?

coach tips
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Even though swimming is a low impact sport, swimmers who regularly swim are prone to shoulder pains, also known as "swimmer's shoulder". Luckily you can prevent shoulder injuries as a swimmer, to achieve this there are some key elements we need to talk about. Let's dive in and get to the bottom of it.

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