The Bolster Paddle is designed to help swimmers put their wrist and elbow in the correct swimming position. The unique paddle design locks the wrist in place, encouraging an “early vertical forearm” or high-elbow catch in the front part of the stroke. Unlike the Forearm Fulcurm, the Bolster is a paddle that provides resistance so that swimmers will get more propulsion and strength training when using it.
Although the Bolster Paddle works for most swimmers to help correct their stroke, there will still be a few “stragglers” that resist. For example, one 13-year-old girl still drops her elbow when she swims, despite using the Bolster Paddle for the past year! She seems comfortable in her own ways of clutching and grabbing at the water. So the coach discovered a new way to utilize the Bolster Paddle to teach proper form…
The coach took off the Velcro wrist straps and had the girl swim with the Bolster paddles. The paddles were only attached to the hand via the finger-strap at the top of the paddle. If the swimmer started to drop her elbow, the long part of the paddle would catch water and either fall off or provide a powerful negative resistance. The girl immediately changed her tone.
Excited, the coach also worked with a 14-year old boy who had a very sloppy stroke. When he swam without the Velco straps, the Bolster paddle forced him to change his hand entry into the water and clean up his catch.
So if you have swimmers that still haven’t mastered the high-elbow catch, even while using the Bolster Paddles normally, try taking the Velcro wrist straps off. I bet they will learn something about their stroke pretty quickly.