I would like some advice for front crawl hand entry and front crawl breathing. I've recently started going swimming again after not going in roughly 10 years.
I'm having trouble when it comes to breathing when I'm doing front crawl, and as a result, I'm quite puffed out after just one length.
I'm also unsure how of my hand should enter the water, I've been told that I should slice the water with my thumb, but I've also read that I shouldn't.
Any advice would be appreciated; thanks.
First and foremost, if you have not swum for 10 years, then your swimming stamina will be affected greatly and will contribute to you getting puffed out while you swim. It goes without saying that this will improve the more you swim, and the more you increase the distance and duration of your swimming.
Ensure that you are exhaling as you swim and not holding your breath. Breath-holding will make you tired quickly, whereas breathing out into the water helps to keep you relaxed and makes the job of breathing in again much easier.
Good swimming is all about efficiency through the water, and some adjustments to your technique will, of course, help. Regarding your hand entry into the water, the thumb slice entry, as you put it, is correct, but a finger-tip entry would also be correct.
As long as it is efficient and stretched out far in front in line with the shoulder and not a palm slap onto the water surface, you should have no problems. Only when you are training for the Olympics does the hand entry become an exact science!
My ebook How To Swim Front Crawl contains over 20 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of freestyle, including breathing. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click the link below for more information.