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Freestyle Swimming Technique

Fine-tune your basic technique right here...

Quite often it is the simplest freestyle swimming technique tips that make the biggest difference to overall technique.  Swimming freestyle with efficient and smooth technique is a desire that many long for.  Whether its for competition, triathlon or just to feel and look good in your local pool, freestyle is the swimming stroke everyone wants to know how to swim well.

So, here it is. Broken down into its component parts with a recommended exercise to help improve each part.  The complete set of basic exercises covering the whole stroke is available to download in the very popular eBook How To Swim Front Crawl.

Freestyle is the fastest of all four basic swimming strokes, largely due to its flat and streamlined body position and continuous powerful arm action.

The overall pace of freestyle will depend on the distance and duration of the swim, as well as the ability and fitness of the swimmer.

Body Position

freestyle body position.

Long, flat and streamlined is the order of the day here.  A flat and streamlined shape in the water is the most efficient and this shape must be maintained throughout all movements.

Common mistake: Hands apart and head position too high.

Best exercise: Push and glide from the poolside.

Click here for more on freestyle body position.

Leg Kick

freestyle leg kick technique

The continuous alternating leg kick has to be relaxed, with the kick coming from the hip and the knee and ankle joints relaxed.  The legs overall provide some propulsion but mainly give balance to the arms.

Common mistake: Kicking from the knee

Best exercise: Kicking whilst holding a kickboard

Click here for more about freestyle leg kick.

Arm Action

freestyle arm technique

The arms provide the power and propulsion for the stroke and their continuous movement should not be rushed. The arm pull should be complete, from extended in front pulling through to the hip, with the recovery over the water surface.

Common mistake: Arm pull not long enough

Best exercise: Single arm pull holding a kickboard in one hand

Click here for more about freestyle arm action.

Breathing Technique

freestyle breathing technique

Trickle breathing is the most comfortable and efficient, breathing out into the water during the stroke and rolling the head to the side to inhale again. Explosive breathing is possible but can be exhausting.

Common mistake: Lifting the head to breathe disturbing the body position

Best exercise: Holding a kickboard with a diagonal grip, kicking and breathing

Click here for more about freestyle breathing.

Freestyle Swimming Technique Timing & Coordination

Four or six leg kicks per arm cycle are recommended for the best overall balance of freestyle technique.  Two kicks per arm cycle are also performed over longer distances to save energy.

Common mistake: Kicking too fast causing arms to speed up

Best exercise: Catch up, with or without a kickboard

Click here for more about freestyle timing.

How To Swim Freestyle With Ease And Confidence

Clearly presented simple theory and fully illustrated to show exactly what each part of your body should be doing.  Packed with the best freestyle swimming technique tips.

Instant download to your desktop, smart phone or tablet device.  

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Common Freestyle Swimming Questions and Answers

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Water Up My Nose Swimming Freestyle 
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I am in need of some freestyle breathing technique tips. I recently returned to swimming after many years, I'm in my fifties, reasonably fit, and my favoured …

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I am 35 years old and just learning how to swim. I am learning freestyle with breathing. The problem is that I can swim freestyle, but when I try to …

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I am 60 and recently started training seriously for triathalons. With regard to my swim training, I have trouble with freestyle breathing on the left …

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Why am I sinking when I start rotating my arms? I think I do not have the correct arm movement for freestyle swimming. There are a few reasons why …

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