January 14, 2019

4 Tips to Improve Your Freestyle Swim Stroke

The Freestyle swim stroke, sometimes called the ‘front crawl,” is undeniably a fast way to get through the water. It is often the preferred stroke for triathletes and other competitive swimmers. And while it is fairly straightforward to execute compared to some (we are looking at you, butterfly stroke), there are some challenging aspects. Watch the video below (or skip ahead to the bulleted list of tips) to see four key tips that we think will help to perfectly tune your own freestyle swim stroke.


Tip 1 – Full Extension

Extending your body fully in the water will help your stroke in two ways. First, it will put you in a position to create the least amount of drag as you pass though the water. Bent elbows and legs will only slow you down. Second, full extension will increase the reach of each stroke. Every stroke repeat will create some drag, so the fewer you make on your way down the lane, the faster you will go.


Tip 2 – Rotation

You should be rotating completely onto your side through each stroke cycle. Remember also to keep your head in a neutral position, looking down towards the pool floor. This will help you move through the water faster, and protect yourself from strain or injury.


Tip 3 – Arm Switching

Many swimmers mistakenly move their arms in a ‘windmilling’ motion as they stroke. Be sure to wait until your hand is positioned just past your head before pulling your opposite arm down and through the water.


Tip 4 – Catch & Pull

Properly executing the catch & pull will play a key role in the success of your freestyle stroke. Remember to keep your arm bent at an almost 90 degree angle in the water, with your elbow and upper arm level with the surface of the water. Complete each stroke with your arm reaching completely back to your hip.


Looking for more help with your freestyle swim stroke? Check out our swimming instructional programs or sign up for a private or group swim lesson.