Fix My Front Crawl Technique

I need some tips on how to fix my front crawl technique. My hips sway back and forth while I swim front crawl. How can I fix this?


There are two possible mistakes with front crawl technique that could cause your hips to sway.

Firstly your arm pulls could be too wide.

As your arm and hand pulls through the water, it must move down your side, slightly under your body and towards your hip. It should then recover over the surface and enter the water I roughly in line with your shoulder.

If the arm pull is wide of your line of movement then it will disturb your body position by causing your hips to sway.

Imagine rowing a boat with one ore at a time. The wide sweep of the ore will cause the boat to change direction and then the opposite ore will cause the opposite change of direction. The result is the boat moves in a zigzag path through the water.

The same happens to your body if you pull too wide with your arms.

The second possible reason for swaying hips is excessive movement of the head.

Your body needs to move through the water in the most horizontal straight line as possible. This gives front crawl its efficiency and is what makes it the fastest swimming stroke.

Obviously you need to move your head to take a breath but this should be a clean roll to the side while the arm is back and then back down to its central position again.

Only when you need to breathe does your head move. The rest of the time it should remain central and still with eyes looking down and slightly forward.

If your head rolls excessively or moves from side to side in rhythm with your arms it will cause your body to snake through the water instead of swim in an efficient straight line.

Our best-selling book 'How To Swim Front Crawl' contains over 20 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of front crawl, including body position and arm technique. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click the link below for more information.

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front crawl technique
Clearly presented simple theory and fully illustrated to show exactly what each part of your body should be doing. Front Crawl made easy.
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Aug 22, 2011
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Try some fins
by: Mark

If you think it may be your leg kick causing your problem, maybe try using some fins. They will force you to kick a little slower and with a straighter leg.

Try using them with a kickboard to start with, just kicking gently to get a feel for how they behave and the power they can give you. Then add your arms but maintain your straight body position.

Hope this helps.

Aug 22, 2011
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Thank you for your response.
by:

I don't think it is wide arms because I have practice swimming as close to the edge or lane line as possible to force myself straight and haven't noticed anything related to the arms. I will review my video and see if there is something I can do with my head. I am worried that it may be something to do with my kick being mistimed with my arm stroke.

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