Originally Posted by CoachToddE
there is no proof that a straight arm recovery is faster than the relaxed arm elbow lead recovery. What is IMHO?
I am not real sure that the issue is as simple as "straight arm is better" or "elbow lead is better" for swimming
I believe that each swimmer and their coach should take the time to figure out what style of recovery truly works best. For some swimmers, it will be the elbow lead recovery. Some swimmers will be able to relax with a more straight arm recovery.
The answer isn't as simple as saying "style X is the best, there can be no debate" There are a number of factors to consider. Gender,age, experience, height, length of arms, events that one is going to be swimming, range of motion in the shoulders and back.
Older swimmers may find that an arm recovery that is more straight(but not locked out) might actually be easier on them than an elbow lead recovery.
There are too many factors to consider to say "everyone should swim with X style"