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?  

Quite often it is the simplest swimming technique tips that make the biggest difference to your overall stroke.

freestyle swimming technique for beginners


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 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 drill: Push and glide from the poolside.

Click here for more on freestyle 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 more about freestyle leg kick.

3.  Freestyle Swimming Arm Action

Basic freestyle swimming 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 drill: Single arm pull holding a kickboard in one hand

Click here for more about freestyle arm action.

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 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 freestyle timing.

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'

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.

Basics of how to swim freestyle

$4.99

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

Alternatively, click and buy from Amazon.



Discover each stroke part in more detail

Got Some Freestyle Tips or Problems To Share With Us?

Tell us your story, ask us a question or give us your Freestyle Technique tips...

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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My legs sink when breathing for freestyle. I have been learning to swim for about 2 weeks now. I am in the pool around 2 times a week. I believe my kick …

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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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