Improving your catch is one of the most impactful ways to swim faster and improve your feel of the water. In swimming lingo, when your hand first enters the water to start pulling, we call this the Early Vertical Forearm (EVF).

This Workout of the Week is a 2,500 yard session I completed with the MySwimPro app on the Apple Watch. In the video below I’ll overview the workout strategy and walk you through a set-by-set analysis of all the data captured in this Early Vertical Forearm (EVF) MySwimPro workout!

If you want to strengthen your pull, focusing on your catch is the best way to do it. Here are the steps to achieve the “Early Vertical Forearm” (EVF) technique!

  1. Entry
  2. Extension
  3. Fingertip Press
  4. High Elbow
  5. Early Vertical Forearm (EVF)

See also: How To Swim Freestyle With Perfect Technique

Workout Statistics:

  • Distance: 2,500 Yards
  • Duration: 52 Minutes
  • Focus: Early Vertical Forearm

Workout Analysis

I believe every workout should incorporate a little bit of every stroke. Don’t believe me? Checkout this video.

The warmup started relatively easy with a few 100s @ 1:30. The following kick set of 6 x 50s focused on underwater consistency – taking 5-7 dolphin kicks underwater per push. The final part of the warmup was 4 x 50s IM Order: 50 Butterfly, 50 Backstroke, 50 Breaststroke, 50 Freestyle. Then… we moved onto the fun stuff – drills!

Fist Drill

Ball up both your hands into a fist and swim as you normally would. By reducing the surface area of your hand, you’re forced to pull the water more efficiently with your entire arm. This really engages your forearms. As you extend forward, imagine you’re reaching over a large log to pull yourself forward.

Once you go back to normal swimming, the nerves in your hands should feel alive and swimming should feel effortless.

The Main Set

The Main Set was relatively short: a 200 Freestyle followed by 4 x 50s Freestyle with paddles holding a best average.

I focused on swimming faster on round two for each part of the set (which I was successful) and descending the 4 x 50s on each round as well. I swam the first 200 in 2:23 and the second 200 in 2:20. To be honest I would have liked to be a bit faster on round two for both the 200 and the 50s, but hey, it happens 🙂

Keep in mind, these intervals are the ones I wrote for myself in the MySwimPro app.

You can personalize every part of this workout to be more specific to your speed, goals and duration of workout you desire. For example, instead of doing the warmup of 4 x 100s Freestyle @ 1:30 like I did, you might do them on the 2:30.

It doesn’t change the effect of the set at all, if anything – the opposite! The workout becomes more personalized and you get more out of the session!

If you thought this workout was helpful, check out the MySwimPro app for iPhone and Android. Get started with a personalized Training Plan and Guided Workouts designed to help you reach your goals! Save $35 on your first year of training with code SWIM35 >



  1. Bob McConnaughey on

    fist swimming is also VERY helpful when one is recovering from shoulder surgery! Even though it’s now almost 2 yrs on having 9 anchors placed in my left shoulder, starting out a swim with some laps of fist swimming takes a LOT of stress off the shoulder.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.