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How To Swim Front Crawl - Essential Parts

September 24, 2021

The off-season is the perfect time to work on your technique. Regardless of whether you are planning to take a short break after a long season or are already training hard in preparation for the next one, you will want to work on the following elements – here is a list of tips on the front crawl swimming technique.

The best trainers in the world will not be able to make a single exhaustive list of instructions on crawl swimming techniques that guarantee you unconditional success, but the 8 essential parts below include all the front crawl basics that you always need to keep in mind.

Take one technical element per week, and so you will get 8 perfect front crawl swimming lessons.

After studying one of them, move on to the next, but do not forget about the previously studied. Thus, in eight weeks, you will not only achieve a significant improvement in the correct front crawl technique but also bring it to automatism.


1. Head position 

The body position is an important aspect of effective swimming; the head position defines how your body lies in the water. Look straight, so that the edge of the swimming cap is just below the surface. The neck and upper back muscles should be relaxed, giving the body the most elongated position, parallel to the pool bottom; the head itself should be tilted forward at an angle of no more than 45 degrees. If you "press" your head too hard to your chest, you will create additional water resistance and it will become tougher to move. This mistake will also radically change the position of the entire body, drowning the hips. This will cause additional fatigue and discomfort and your crawl swimming lesson will leave unpleasant sensations.

2.  Reach forward

While swimming each crawl stroke, try to stretch your arm forward to the maximum length. Many front crawl swimming technique beginners start the capture by putting their hand in the water right in front of their head. You don't need to do this! Concentrate on the fact that your hand touches the water at a distance of about 30-40 cm from the head, and then stretches for about 10-15 cm more by straightening the shoulder.

3. Corpus Rotation 

The body rotation is closely interrelated with the mechanics of sequential forward movement; alternately rotating the body around the axis, you promote the shoulder forward at the end of each stroke. When your right arm is fully extended, stretching, the body should turn to the right. This means that the entire right side of your torso should be completely submerged in the water, while the entire left side should be completely facing the ceiling.

4. Bring the stroke to the end

When your hand finishes drawing an eight under the water, it should stretch along behind you; so that the thumb is opposite the buttock along the line of the swimming trunks. Closer to the end of the stroke, many swimmers also begin to bend the elbow and take the arm out of the water, without bringing the rowing movement to the end. You don't need to do this! Shortening the stroke, the swimmer not only begins to move slower but also wastes a large amount of helpful energy, making more strokes per pool.



5. Cross-leg work

Kicking in front crawl swimming differs from sprinting in that it is aimed not at developing a high speed of movement but at maintaining the chosen rhythm. In races of half a kilometer or more, it is best to use cross-leg kicks, in which you cross your ankles every stroke. Try both techniques and look at your feelings. Remember that cross kicks are less energy-consuming and valuable at long and ultra-long distances, but they almost do not contribute to a quick set of speed at all.

6. Head position when breathing

When turning your head to inhale, make sure that its inclination does not exceed 90 degrees. The mistake of many swimmers is that they turn their heads at an angle of more than 100 degrees, showing almost the entire face (both eyes) above the surface. You need to learn how to keep your head parallel to the water so that one eye is above the surface and the other is below it. There is no need for a deeper turn; in addition, it will require much more effort from you and will increase the water resistance, destabilizing the position. Do not raise your head forward, as some beginners do. The only case when it is worth doing - water polo crawl, partially used in open water swims for orientation in space.

7. Front crawl form of breathing

It is best to inhale on both sides (bilateral breathing). It does not interfere with doing a front crawl stroke and helps to maintain a balanced body position. Swimmers who inhale only on one side risk developing a bad habit by performing uneven strokes. During competitions, bilateral breathing helps to monitor competitors on both sides of you. In open water, it will allow you to swim straight; inhaling on one side, you will swim in an arc, mowing the trajectory of movement to the left or right. Force yourself to inhale on both sides. It will give you advantages in crawl swimming!

8. Start and finish

Most athletes neglect the importance of the start and finish. Even starting from the edge to perform the next repetition, try to keep the most streamlined position, connecting the outstretched arms above the head in the shape of the letter V. Complete each repetition with several powerful strokes, accelerating to the edge, and not stopping, drifting by inertia with your head above the surface. Be perfectionists in everything, pay attention to your every movement. So, learn front crawl step by step. Remember that we learn by repeating, and if you carelessly start and finish in training, all this will sooner or later be transferred to the competition. The more streamlined your body will be when pushing off from the side, the more you glide and the less you will have to swim!



Using these tips, you will get closer to the best front crawl swimming technique, even if you learn to swim the front crawl yourself or with a coach. Good luck!

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