EVF is one of the most commonly referenced concepts in the technical swimming and coaching world, yet most are unsure what exactly Early Vertical Forearm (EVF) is. To learn more, check out this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday!

What is EVF (Early Vertical Forearm)?

To grip the maximum amount of water, it’s important to work on the pull phase of the stroke. By working on your pull, you can improve your overall stroke and efficiency in the water, swim faster, and reduce the chance of overuse injury. The goal is to position your forearm as close to vertical as early as possible in the catch phase of the stroke to grab the most water as early as possible. Rather than pulling straight down, it’s important to initiate the catch with the fingertips. By doing this, you will increase the surface area of your pull. Your forearm/arm has much more surface area than just your hand.

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)

Training Tips

  • Practice this skill on land first
  • Drill: Catch-up
  • Drill: Swim with fist
  • Equipment: Fingertip paddles, small paddles, snorkel & pull buoy

Drill Progression

  • 2 x 25s Fist Drill
  • 2 x 25s Fist + Pointer Finger
  • 2 x 25s Fist + Pointer Finger + Middle Finger
  • 2 x 25s Fist + Pointer Finger + Middle Finger + Thumb
  • 2 x 25s Freestyle ‘Big Hands
  • 4 x 50s Freestyle ‘Swim with Paddles

I hope this video was helpful in understanding what EVF is and how you can improve your catch for all your strokes. Until next time, happy swimming!

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