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Eney Jones finger technique
Eney Jones

Swim Technique: Spreading the fingers

Eney Jones, Pool and Open Water Champion

"You have the world at your fingertips. Now what are you going to do with it?”
Innovator’s Mindset

One secret to swimming faster is right at your fingertips - spread your fingers!

When students ask me how their hands should be when they swim, I have them throw a pull buoy against a wall ( hopefully it is not an EneyBuoy) After they throw the buoy, I have them look at their hands. To throw you must be active and relaxed at the same time. When you cup your hand, you lose surface area and it uses energy and it is hard to throw If your hand is too relaxed you have no control.

Here is the link to read about the exact finger placement measurements and results for swimmers to maximize speed: Want to swim fast? Spread your fingers

According to the study presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics, “The researchers calculated that a finger spread of 10° could boost a swimmer’s speed by 2.5% compared with swimming with fingers held together. That speed difference translates into several tenths of a second over a 50-meter freestyle race, an enormous margin considering that the 2016 Summer Olympics 50-meter women’s freestyle race was won by 0.02 seconds.”

Use the empty space to create more space, movement of water, and relax to use less energy.

Think of Katie Ledecky when Bruce Gemmell told her to relax on 08/04/2015 and she broke the World Record in the 1500 almost by accident.

Read that article here and look at Katie Ledecky’s fingers in this photo: Katie Ledecky Breaks World Record, Almost by Accident

Being active and relaxed at the same time will not only help you physically but mentally as well. Spread your fingers and enjoy your new speed.

Eney Jones has achieved remarkably diverse success as a leading pool, open water and Ironman triathlon swimmer, and is also a yoga instructor.

  • Masters National Champion 100-200-400-500-1500-1650 5k freestyle 2009
  • Open Water 5k Champion Perth Australia, May 2008.
  • National Masters Champion 200-400-1500 freestyle Champion, Portland Oregon, August, 2008.
  • Overall Champion Aumakua 2.4k Maui Hawaii, September 2008
  • Waikiki Rough Water Swim 3rd place 2006, second place Overall 2009, 3rd place 2012
  • European Record Holder and Masters Swimming Champion, 2005. Records included 200, 400, 800, 1500 m freestyle
  • Over twenty time finalist in U.S. Swimming Nationals, including Olympic Trials 1980
  • Gold medal NCAA 800 yd freestyle relay 1979, silver Medalist 200 yd freestyle 1979. United States National Team 1979-1980.
  • Professional Triathlete 1983-1991. First woman out of the water in every Hawaiian Ironman participated (6).

More about Eney Jones.

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