Swim Front Crawl Technique - The Basics

by Pool Builders on 06-13-2010 in Articles

Training for triathlons I have now been swimming front crawl for 8 years, averaging an hours training twice a week and I can now swim 1500 metres in approximately 24 minutes. I am certainly not the best swimmer out there but I have learnt over time that it is only once you learn the fundamentals of the stroke, practicing the correct training drills until they become second nature to you, that your times will improve, you can swim for longer with less effort and you can develop a smooth, fast and powerful stroke. I would say for the first 6 years I was practicing hard, but practicing the wrong things and feeling frustrated with my performance. It was only once I had realised the correct swim front crawl technique that I started to enjoy my swimming and really see performance gains.

Some of the things I keep in mind for each training session are:.

Body Position: I believe that this is the most important basic to learn. Until you can float correctly in the water, with your face/head in the water and your chest pushed down allowing you legs to be higher in the water that the rest of your front crawl stroke will be maximised. I often see people swimming with their head out of the water and the rest of their stroke suffering as a result.

Breathing: To achieve the correct head and body position it is imperative to learn how to breathe correctly. There are several different techniques to breathe every two, three or four strokes and I have found that it is good to develop two of these; one for 'normal' and one where you are pushing yourself so that you still feel comfortable. A good breathing technique allows for a smooth stroke as you are no longer feeling breathless or struggling for air.

Correct Arm Entry: It is important to concentrate on the whole stroke, not just the arm entry, but two faults that I certainly had and still see a lot of is overstretching the arm before entering the water and crossing the hands across an imaginary line extending from the centre of the head. I now keep it in my mind to enter the left/right hands at roughly 11 and 1 o'clock respectively and to think of pushing my arms into the sleeve of a shirt when they enter the water.

Body Rotation: Correct body rotation of the hips and upper body enables you to execute the complete stroke successfully, giving the best aero dynamic position to enable the final part of the stroke to push you forwards through the water. Also, a correct rotation ensures that the legs follow in line and do not end up 'snaking' up the pool whilst also enabling you to breathe more efficiently.

Kick: Finally the kick. You should be kicking from the upper part of the leg with the ankles loose so that your feet do not drag behind you. I generally practice kicking by doing a few lengths each session with a float held out in front of me or by trying to 'stand' in the water keeping afloat with leg kicks and not the arms.

By keeping the above areas in mind has enabled me to develop a correct swim front crawl technique, but one that I am still striving to improve. The key is learning and practicing the correct drills in the correct order. The fundamentals of front crawl swimming then become second nature and you can then apply these consistently during your training routines.

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