Front Crawl Swimming Technique

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Front crawl swimming has many great benefits. First, it provides a fantastic workout for your entire body, burning unwanted calories and toning your muscles at the same time. It’s also enjoyable and can help to relax and clear your mind of stress.

If you want to reap all these amazing benefits, it’s important to know the correct front crawl technique. 

Swimming with improper technique can lead to you becoming easily fatigued and frustrated and even result in injury. So let’s discuss the best front crawl technique and some tips on how you can improve.


What is the Best Front Crawl Technique?

The best front crawl technique requires you to be aware of the position of your body in the water. You should lie face down in the water with your body kept flat. Your body should be kept parallel to the water’s surface. 

For your arms, two actions make up the best front crawl technique. The first is the pull. Your palms should be facing down with your elbow bent. Next, you should aim to pull your arm from in front of you through the water to the side of your thigh.

The second element of the arm technique for the front crawl is recovery. Once your hand is to the side of your thigh, you should bend your elbow and lift one arm out of the water. You should then reach forward and allow your fingers to enter the water. 

For the best front crawl technique, choose a side to breathe. Then, as your hand is in the recovery phase, turn your head to the side to breathe. Aim to synchronize this head movement with your arm movement. 

Your ankles should be relaxed to swim in the front crawl stroke properly. Your toes should point behind you and, using your thighs, kick up and down. 


What is the Most Important Aspect of a Front Crawl Technique to Work on?

There is not one singular most important aspect of the front crawl. Instead, the front crawl stroke has four elements, all of which are equally important. Therefore, working on all four of these elements is vital to swim the front crawl technique successfully. 

The four most important aspects of the front crawl technique to work on are :


  • Body position
  • Breathing
  • Arm movement
  • Kicking


How Can You Improve Your Overall Front Crawl Swimming Technique?

To improve your overall front crawl technique, it’s important to break down the stroke into its four key components. Here are some tips for each of the separate elements of the stroke:


1. Body position


  • When improving your overall front crawl swimming technique, keeping your position as flat as possible is beneficial. Aim to be streamlined with a slight tilt of the hips so your leg kick remains underwater.


  • You should aim to keep your stomach flat to provide support for your lower back.


  • Keep your head in line with your body.


  • Relax your head and spine. Keep them still while rotating your hips and shoulders to move through the water. You should only move your head when you need to breathe.


  • Your hips should move less than your shoulders.


2. Breathing


  • When breathing, keep your head turned as smoothly as possible.


  • Keep one side of your face in the water. Stretching your mouth to one side can help with this. 


  • Attempt not to raise your head out of the water. This stops your feet and legs from sinking in the water.


  • Exhale once your head is in the water and returns to its neutral position.


  • Inhale when you feel it’s necessary. Although it’s not fixed, it can be helpful to breathe every three strokes.


3. Arm movement


  • When entering the water, your elbow should be slightly bent whilst your hand reaches forward.


  • The palm of your hand will need to face down so your thumb hits the water first.


  • Aim to keep your entry between the center of your head and shoulder.


  • Once your arm is in the water, allow for time to reach forward under the water before bringing your hand back to the body. 


  • Your arm should carry out a three-sweep motion.


4. Kicking


  • Keep your legs close together as you kick.


  • Don’t over-exaggerate the movements – small motions are effective.


  • Move your entire legs whilst keeping the most pressure on your feet.


  • Aim to keep your legs straight to keep the kick powerful and efficient.


  • Remember kicking more per cycle means you will use more energy.


What Flaw in Your Front Crawl Technique Makes You Tired So Fast?

When swimming in the front crawl, several issues with your technique can cause you to become tired quickly. Breathing incorrectly is the most common flaw in beginner swimmers when using the front crawl technique. 

Proper breathing technique is very important. For example, make sure that you don’t hold your breath when swimming. 

This can cause carbon dioxide to build up and cause your muscles to become deprived of oxygen. This is because carbon dioxide is a waste product of exerting your muscles. 

Avoiding oxygen deprivation is key because it is the main fuel for generating energy in aerobic exercise. If the carbon dioxide builds up, you and your muscles will start to feel tired, even if you’ve only swam a short distance. 


Final Thoughts on Front Crawl Swimming Technique

If you’re ready to master the front crawl swimming technique, remember to break down the stroke into its four core elements. 

Focusing individually on your body’s position, arm movements, breathing technique, and leg movements will allow you to truly conquer this stroke and achieve great results from your swimming workouts.