How To Swim Front Crawl With Ease and Confidence

Are you a beginner wanting to learn how to swim front crawl?  Maybe you can swim front crawl but you've had enough of getting tired so quickly?  Good news!  I have taken front crawl and broken it down into its separate parts, meaning you can discover where you are going wrong and fine-tune your technique.  

Front crawl is the fastest, most efficient swimming stroke. It is also one of the most exhausting if your technique isn't correct. 

By breaking the stroke down, I have simplified it to use the parts you need to fine-tune your swimming technique, making learning how to swim front crawl easier. 

The video clip below shows the continuous alternating arm pull and leg kick actions that keep the whole swimming stroke balanced. The breathing action happens seamlessly by rotating the head to the side as the arm pulls though.  

How To Swim Front Crawl explained in 2 minutes...

12 Steps To Maximise Your Front Crawl Technique

1.  The body must be kept horizontal, stretched and streamlined, with the face in the water and the eyes looking downwards and slightly forward.

Front crawl body position showing a streamlined shape through the water

2.  The head leads the movement and only turns when a breath is taken.

3.  The leg kick is a continuous movement originating at the hips and should be constant and alternating. 

Front crawl leg kick with relaxed ankles and knees

4.  Toes must be pointed, ankles relaxed, and the knees bend slightly.

5. The feet make a small splash as they kick near the water surface.

6. The fingertips lead the hand entry, entering the water at a point in front of the head, between the shoulder and centre line. 

Front crawl arm action showing pull, elbow bend and recovery.
free front crawl technique ebook

FREE EBOOK:  all of the technique tips here can be found in my 'Front Crawl Technique' book, along with a couple of bonus drills to help you perfect some essential parts of your swimming stroke.

Don't miss out!  Click here to grab a FREE copy of my book. 

7. The hand catches the water, palm down, and then accelerates through the hip's creating an S shape pathway.

8. The arm is taken back over the water in a pathway close to the body, with the head and near the water surface.

9. There should be a breath out into the water as the arm pulls through and the head rolls to the side ready to take a breath in.

Front crawl breathing technique, rolling the head to the side.

10. Breathe inwards quickly as the arm recovers over the water surface, and the face rolls back into the water as the hand enters.

11. Each part of the stroke should complement each other whilst maintaining a balanced and streamlined body position. 

Front crawl stroke technique broken down and made easy to understand

12.  All actions must be smooth and continuous.

Beginners: need to know and need to avoid

Here are some crucial points for beginners learning how to swim front crawl.

Need To Know:

  • Swim slowly and feel your way through the water. Smooth and gradual movements consume less energy.
  • Practice your front crawl regularly, but don't overdo it.  
  • Becoming breathless is normal. Front crawl can be hard work, but regular practice will help build your stamina.
  • Don't be put off if your progress is slow. Be patient and determined, and you will get there. 

Try To Avoid:

  • Kicking too hard or too fast. Keep your leg kicks relaxed and flowing.
  • Moving your head excessively while you swim disrupts other parts of your stroke. Keep your head still unless you're taking a breath.
  • Do not hold your breath - it will cause you to tire quickly. Keep blowing out slowly into the water as you swim.

How To Swim Front Crawl - All the Drills You Need

If you're ready to swim the distance, dive in and grab a copy of my book that goes above and beyond...

'How To Swim Front Crawl' offers 22 fully illustrated drills with proven instructions on how to perform each one.

Click the button below and download a copy of my book today!

Basic drills for learning how to swim front crawl
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Fine-tune your technique and iron out those common mistakes by trying out some basic front crawl drills.  Click here to check them out. 

Learn What Each Part of Your Body Should Be Doing

Not Moving When Kicking With A Kick Board.  'I have never been able to move when kicking with a kick board. It’s got to be my leg kick. What can I do to correct this?'

Problem Swimming And Not Moving When Kicking Your Legs? 'I've been having swimming lessons for the last 8 weeks now, my problem is that I am swimming and not moving.'

Swimming For Longer Distances Without Getting Out Of Breath. 'How do I learn to sustain front crawl for more than 2 lengths and swim for longer?'

Swimming With Arms And Legs Together. 'I have a problem swimming with arms and legs together. I have been trying to swim but with little progress.'

Increasing Front Crawl Endurance And Front Crawl Speed. 'I am working on increasing front crawl endurance but still getting somewhat out of breath while breathing every 3rd stroke on opposite sides.'

Basic Front Crawl Swimming Tips. 'I am just starting to swim, and I'm having trouble with my front crawl. I feel like I'm wasting a massive amount of energy for not a lot of benefit.'

Front Crawl Coordination Of Arms, Legs And Breathing. 'While doing front crawl, I am unable to coordinate hand and leg movements properly.'

Why Do I Get Tired Swimming Front Crawl? 'I have a question about breathing while doing front crawl. In the lane swim tonight, I found out that several of us are having a similar problem...'

Sinking When Swimming Front Crawl. 'I find myself sinking when swimming front crawl. I'm able to float and also, with push glide and leg action alone, manage some decent distance.'

Front Crawl Hand Entry. 'I would like some advice for front crawl hand entry and front crawl breathing.'

Front Crawl Coordination. 'I need help with my front crawl coordination. The coordination between arms and feet is my problem.'

Correct Front Crawl Kicking Technique? 'I just started with the swimming lessons; in the second class, I had to practice kicking with the board, but I couldn’t go forward regardless of the fast and hard I kicked.'

Faster Kicks For Front Crawl. 'I am wondering if I should be doing faster kicks for front crawl? I'm now 53 yrs old and have been swimming since I was 7 years old.'

Incorrect Front Crawl Body Position. 'I have a problem incorrect front crawl body position. Apparently my legs drop down in the water behind me and try as I might I cannot keep a level profile.'

Front Crawl Technique Gets Me Out of Breath. 'I would like some swimming advice as my front crawl technique gets me out of breath. I've been active all my life. I've run and cycled for many years. I am 56 yrs old.'

Front Crawl Breathing Difficult. 'I am finding front crawl breathing difficult. I am a beginner, and I have recently tried to do the front crawl, but am having a hard time with it.'

My daughter's front crawl breathing technique needs some help. 'There are two types of breathing techniques for front crawl; either is correct. However, one technique is usually easiest and is, therefore, the most preferred.'

I have a problem with front crawl breathing and arm techniques. 'I am wondering why you are holding your breath at all. The breathing technique for the front crawl is much easier if you breathe out into the water.'

I’m trying to restore my front crawl balance after shoulder surgery. 'Your problem is a lack of strength in your rotator cuff and surrounding muscles, and some post-surgery rehab is needed.'

I had a question about my lost sense of smell after swimming for a long time. 'First and foremost, you are not burning away your sense of smell. The human sense of smell is controlled by synapsis in the brain, and although it is possible to lose one's sense of smell, once it is lost, it usually does not return.'

I lose my front crawl technique and kick when tired. 'Losing your technique because of tiredness is very common, and as front crawl is a high energy-consuming swimming stroke, it doesn’t take long before it all falls apart. Ten lengths is not bad going.'

When I swim 50 metres, I am very slow; when I get to the end, I am breathless and exhausted. 'Becoming exhausted during a front crawl is very common and not something that should cause embarrassment or put you off your swimming.'

When I use my arms in the front crawl, my feet stop kicking. 'The timing of front crawl arms and legs varies from person to person, depending on the distance to swim.'

Common Front Crawl Questions and Answers.

Got a problem with front crawl? Is there something about your technique you want to share? This is the place to do it!