Front Crawl For Beginners

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Learning to swim for the first time can be a scary step to take, but the benefits that you can receive are great. 

The front crawl is both an excellent starting place for beginners and those more experienced in swimming as it provides all the benefits of weight loss, improved heart health, and lung capacity. 

It is also easy to do. However, it isn’t always easy to start. Below are some of the best tricks, tips, and things to avoid when getting started with the front crawl. 


What Should Beginners Focus on with Front Crawl?

Because the vast majority of your power comes from arm movements during the front crawl, beginners should first focus on slowly practicing these motions correctly until they can do them properly and reliably.

Once you have grasped the nature of how the arms should move when doing the front crawl, the next logical step is to learn how the legs work with the arms to provide stability and a small amount of power. 

Using a kickboard during leg drills is usually recommended to make sure that your legs control your body position without the help of the arms.


7 Tips for Beginners Learning Front Crawl

  • Make sure you are physically fit. Though it might not seem like it, the front crawl is very demanding on the body. Keeping your muscles well-trained and ready to go is key to continuing to better your front crawl without being exhausted at the end. Try to eat nutritious foods as well.


  • Have someone watch you to make sure you are staying flat. For the first few times, it might be ideal to have someone watch to ensure you stay flat in the water. They can help you identify when you are dipping your head too high or low or when you start to lose your form (such as when breathing).


  • Keep one ear in the water as you turn your head. One nice trick to keep in mind is keeping one ear in the water at all times when turning your head to breathe. This helps you to remember to stay balanced even while breathing.                                                                     


  • Focus on longer strokes. To avoid getting tired as quickly, it is best to do longer strokes. These can also reduce the chances of messing up your body’s streamlined position, as it forces you to stay stretched out.


  • Practice often. You must practice it often, Like any sport, trick, or skill. This will help you gain muscle memory of the movement and feel comfortable in the water. Soon, you might not even have to think about where to keep your head or arms and when to kick.


  • Repeat even the simple movements. Some movements, like the flutter kick, seem easy, and they are. However, they are also very important to getting your pacing and your movements right. Even professional swimmers continue to practice the flutter kick well into their careers. Even if the movement seems simple or easy, practice it often and make sure you have it right.


  • Keep your head position in mind. The head position can change your swimming efficiency quickly. If your head is in the right place, your strokes will be streamlined, faster, and more efficient. The rest of your body will also fall into place, so focus on your head’s positioning first.


What Should Beginners Avoid with Front Crawl?

There are many common areas that even seasoned swimmers can mess up when doing front crawl because they practice them incorrectly from the time they first learned how to swim. Some of the key things to avoid are:


  • Lifting your head high out of the water. Beginners often want to know that they can breathe whenever they need to while they swim. 


By keeping the head high out of the water, your feet and legs sink, producing an inefficient angle for swimming and floating.


  • Trying to swim without first practicing individual parts. 


After watching some tutorials and reading about front crawling online, it may seem easy enough, but practicing a good foundation before trying to combine everything will ensure you have more fun while being a safe swimmer.


  • Focusing on kicking rather than pulling with the arms. 


Kicking in the front crawl is key for balance, but most beginners want to prove to themselves that they can go somewhere in the water, and this is achieved by using their arms during the front crawl.


Can Beginners Teach Themselves Front Crawls?

Yes, beginners can teach themselves how to do the front crawl stroke and any other swimming stroke they wish. However, to do so requires a great deal of self-motivation and willingness to make and learn from mistakes – it takes time to master any new skill.

The beauty of teaching yourself how to swim is that you can go at your own pace and start where you feel comfortable. 

Even so, while beginners can learn how to teach themselves how to swim in general and how to front crawl, having a mentor or teacher with you is generally recommended to provide support as you learn.

If you are teaching yourself how to do a front crawl, some drills increase in difficulty to help you learn crucial skills involved in staying afloat and swimming during the front crawl. 

A non-exhaustive list of drills that a beginner can use to learn individual parts of the front crawl can include:


  • Flutter kicks
  • Vertical flutter kicks
  • Prone balance
  • Zipper arm switching


Final Thoughts on Front Crawl For Beginners

Front crawl is a go-to swimming stroke for many people and is relatively easy to learn, even for beginners who may be teaching themselves how to swim. 

Having a friend or mentor can help new learners as they start their swimming journey through drills and simulations of movements.

The most important thing to remember when learning to swim for the first time is to practice often so that your body becomes familiar with the motions of the stroke and so you can overcome any fear of water.