What is front crawl in swimming, one of the most versatile and popular techniques? If done correctly, the front crawl is an entire body exercise that can help build and tone muscles.
What is front crawl in swimming?
The front crawl, or freestyle, is a common swim stroke. The front crawl is one of the four swimming strokes in international competitions, including the butterfly, chest, and back. Crawl swimming is good for full-body fitness, and at the highest level, athletes compete for Olympic medals with this technique.
The front crawl is usually the fastest of all competing swims, and it is of moderate difficulty to learn. When you swim the front crawl, your body turns into the water. You perform a fluttering kick continuously, and your arms extend alternately in front of your head and then retreat underwater.
How to swim the front crawl
As with other swimming strokes, it can be helpful to divide the stroke into its various components:
Body position: The frontal crawl begins in a streamlined place with the arms outstretched in front of you, face down, and legs behind you. As the stroke progresses, your upper body will rotate back and forth due to the alternating arm strokes. Practice, and you can achieve the right amount of rotation.
Arm movement: The arm stroke of the front crawl can be divided into four movements. Bring one hand down, with the palm at an angle so that the thumb leads to the swipe down. Keep your elbow high. As your forearm sinks deeper into the water, pull back. Now use propulsion and move your body through the water. When the hand is approximately at the abdomen level, change the movement from pulling to pushing. This is the sweep and should bring the arm up again. Recovery occurs when you take your arm out in front of you again. Relax your forearm and wrist, and run the movement with your elbow—swap both arms. While one works through the power parts of the cycle, the other is in recovery and slides forward to start the cycle from the other side of the body.
Leg movement: The front crawler leg movement is a standard flag-kick. With your knees slightly bent, point your feet backward and alternate your leg kicks continuously.
Front crawl swimming tips
Front crawl swimming can be challenging to master, but the basics can be taken one at a time, making it easier to approach. Focusing on minor, specific adjustments can help increase your overall efficiency and swimming speed. Consider the following tips:
Focus on your breath. Since you are swimming most of the time with your face down, it is essential to find the right moment to breathe. Most swimmers choose it since they feel most comfortable using it. Then, during the recovery phase of the arm on that side, they will turn their head and lift to clear the water surface and inhale. Exhalation through the mouth and nose occurs underwater. Some swimmers will use both sides, only breathing in every third stroke, known as bilateral breathing.
Maintain a stable head and chest position. The hips and upper body will rotate during the anterior review but keep the chest and abdomen level. It will reduce air resistance and relieve excess strain on the lower back.
Pay attention to your head position. Ideally, the water level will be halfway between the eyebrows and the hairline. Turn your head to breathe – just enough to take a good to inhale – and return it quickly to the primary position.
Practice with a kickboard. A kickboard can be an excellent tool for learning the technique. Hold it in front of you while practicing the flag-kick. Then, this has the double benefit of working the leg strokes while keeping the body in the approximate position the stroke requires.
Try the “catch up” stroke. The “catch up” stroke, a variant of the front crawl is a good training exercise. In this variant, instead of the arms moving simultaneously, only one person works at a time. While one arm performs a complete stroke cycle, the other remains extended until the cycle is complete and both arms are out again. Then use the other arm.