Front Crawl Arms for Beginners

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Are your front crawl arms letting you down?  Not sure if your arm technique 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 for beginners


Front Crawl Arm Technique Demonstration



Essential Parts Of Front Crawl Arm Action

Front crawl arm technique can be broken down into three main parts:

1.  Catch

2.  Pull

3.  Recovery 

Catch Phase

The hand entry should occur 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.  The hand then reaches forward under the water without over stretching until the arm fully extends just under the water surface.

front crawl arm technique catch phase

Propulsive Phase

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 the propulsive phase.

The hand pulls through towards the thigh and upwards to the water surface.

The propulsive phase of front crawl arm movement

Recovery Phase

The elbow bends and exits the water first.  The hand and fingers follow,  fully exiting the water and follow a straight line along the body line over the water surface.

The elbow is bent and high and the arm is fully relaxed during the recovery phase.

front crawl pull technique

Time to Fine-Tune Your Arm Action

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The 2 Most Common Mistakes

  1. Pulling too deep under the water.
  2. Recovery too high over the water surface.  

Both of these mistakes will disturb the body position by causing an excessive roll.  This in turn will create an inefficient overall swimming stroke.   

A Great Exercise To Try...

A simple exercise to try out in the pool is to practice using 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. 

Isolating one arm at time ensures focus on correct technique.  You can use the arm as slow as you like, focusing and concentrating on each phase of the arm technique.  


For more front crawl drills, click here


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