Freestyle Swimming Technique

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Get the balance right and swim smooth...

Do you wish your freestyle swimming technique was smooth and effortless? Have you had enough of becoming exhausted after swimming a short distance? 

It is often the most straightforward swimming technique tips that make the most significant difference to your overall stroke.

Discover each stroke part in more detail

So, here it is. Broken down into its FIVE component parts with a recommended basic drill to help improve each part.  

Watch the video demo and then scroll down to the illustrated technique breakdown.

Freestyle Swimming Video Demo

5 Part Technique Breakdown

1.  Freestyle Body Position

Body position during freestyle swimming technique

Long, flat and streamlined is the order of the day here. A balanced and streamlined shape in the water is the most efficient, a shape that must remain throughout all movements.

Common mistake: Hands apart and head position too high.

Best drill: Push and glide from the poolside.

Click here for some Pro Tips on performing a push and glide and fine-tune your body position.

2.  Freestyle Swimming Leg Kick

Basic freestyle swimming 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 drill: Kicking whilst holding a kickboard

Click here for some Pro Tips to improve freestyle leg kick by kicking whilst holding a kickboard.

3.  Freestyle Swimming Arm Action

Basic freestyle swimming arm technique

The arms provide the power and propulsion for the stroke, with a continuous movement that the swimmer should not rush. The arm pull should be complete, from extended in front pulling through to the hip, recovering over the water surface.

Common mistake: Arm pull not long enough

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

Click here for some Pro Tips on how to perform a single-arm pull drill to improve your freestyle arm technique.

4.  Freestyle Swimming Breathing Technique

Basic freestyle swimming 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 drill: Holding a kickboard with a diagonal grip, kicking and breathing

Click here for more top tips and more in-depth details about freestyle breathing.

5.  Freestyle Swimming Technique Timing & Coordination

Freestyle swimming technique 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 drill: Catch up, with or without a kickboard

Click here for more about the different types of freestyle timing and which one works best for you.

Now Download all the Freestyle Drills You Will Need...

The complete set of basic drills covering the whole stroke is available to download in my very popular eBook 'How To Swim Front Crawl'.  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.  Click the cover below to PREVIEW. 

Swim front crawl stroke with enhanced and effective technique.


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Got Some Freestyle Tips or Problems To Share With Us?

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Common Freestyle Swimming Questions and Answers

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

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