Is your front crawl arm technique letting you down? Not sure if your arm action is quite right?
Did you know that the arm action for front crawl can be broken down into three basic parts? Three parts, that when executed correctly, will give you the smooth, effortless swimming front crawl technique you've been looking for.
Front crawl arm technique can be broken down into three main parts:
The front crawl video below clearly shows all three main parts of the arm pull technique seamlessly flowing together in a continuous alternating action. As one arm pulls, the other recovers over the surface of the water, whilst the legs kick continuously and give rhythm and balance to the whole stroke.
The hand should enter the water approximately in-between the line of the shoulder and the centre of the head.
The hand enters and 'catches' the water thumb side down, with fingers closed before it stretches forward under the water without until the arm fully extends just under the water surface. It is important that arm does not overstretch, causing the shoulder to extend the overall body movement to ‘snake’.
The hand sweeps through the water as the arm pulls under the body, towards the hip.
The elbow bends and leads the movement backward and remains high throughout this propulsive phase of the arm pull.
The hand pulls through towards the thigh and upwards to the water surface, with the fingers remaining closed at all times.
The elbow bends through the propulsive phase and exits then water to begin the recovery phase. The hand and fingers follow, fully exiting the water and follow a straight path along the body line over the water surface.
The elbow is bent and high and the arm is fully relaxed yet controlled during the recovery phase.
Both of these mistakes will disturb the body position by causing an excessive body roll which, in turn will create an inefficient overall front crawl technique.
A simple exercise to try out in the pool is to use a kickboard to focus on one arm at a time. Hold a float or kickboard in one hand and kick whilst practicing the front crawl arm pull with the other.
It is important to hold the float or kickboard in front with an extended arm so that it promotes a streamlined and efficient body position.
Isolating one arm at time ensures focus on correct technique by allowing you to perform the arm action at slow speeds - slow motion if needed - focusing and concentrating on the details of each phase of the arm technique.
If it's practical drills and coaching tips you're after, then look no further.
'How To Swim Front Crawl' not only contains specific exercises to help iron out those arm technique bugs, but it will help to fine-tune your whole front crawl technique.
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