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I took swimming lessons and was taught to swim crawl using the typical S shape through the water.
Today the swim coach told me to just use straight arms. Just reach down like you are trying to touch the bottom of the pool. I have to admit that it was very different, I could feel the force of pulling through the water.
He said that this is the way that many current top swimmers are swimming front crawl. He did say that they were built like brick outhouses but suggested that this style would not be a problem for me to adopt and may be advantagous in that it will encourage or force me to straighten my arms as much as poss. (I have damaged both my elbows in bike accidents so they don't straighten tool well.)
Does anyone else use this style? How effective do you find it? Is it better for open water where the forces are very different?