A good front crawl body position should be streamlined and as flat as possible at the water surface, with the head in-line with the body.
The body position is the most important starting point. Get this wrong and your stroke will be hard work from the start.
For an in-depth look at front crawl including practical exercises to practice and help perfect your technique, download How To Swim Front Crawl.
Good swimming is all about efficiency through the water, and an effective, streamlined body position in the water helps to get the maximum efficiency possible. This means you swim using the minimum amount of energy.
The head position for front crawl in crucial. The waterline is around the natural hairline with eyes looking forward and down.
If the position of the head is raised it will cause the position of the hips and legs to lower which in turn will increase frontal resistance. If the head position is too low it will cause the legs to raise and the kick to lose its efficiency.
The head must remain still (apart from when breathing) in order to maintain a balanced and rhythmical movement. Excessive movement of the head will cause the rest of the body to become unbalanced and its overall movement will be inefficient.
Shoulders remain at the surface and roll with the arm action.
Hips also roll with the stroke technique, close to the water surface and the legs remain in line with the body.
The common body position mistakes made are with head position and hand and feet position during the stroke.
If the head is too high over the water surface, it will cause the legs and feet to be lower under the water surface and cause the overall body position to be sloped and therefore very inefficient.
Hands and feet must be together throughout the swimming stroke as this gives the body its efficiency, allowing it to move smoothly though the water.
If the hands or feet move apart it causes the overall shape of the body in the water to become wider and therefore inefficient.
The best exercise to practice perfecting the correct body position and shape is a push and glide from the poolside. The swimmer pushes off from the pool wall or floor and glides across the water surface, keeping the head central and hands together and feet touching together.
Download these documents to your computer, tablet or mobile device and fine-tune your body position. Use the technique tips in these exercises to focus on the shape of your body as you swim.
All of these documents are PDF format and are compatible with all tablet and mobile devices. Some computers may need PDF reading software such as Adobe Acrobat.