What are Swimming Strokes?
Swimming strokes are methods of moving the arms and legs in the water so as to propel the body forward. There are four basic swimming strokes used in training and competitive swimming:
1. Freestyle (Front Crawl) Stroke
4. Butterfly Stroke
The freestyle (front crawl) and backstroke are relatively easier to learn than the breaststroke and butterfly stroke. To be faster and more efficient in the swimming pool, you need to improve your freestyle stroke or front crawl, which is also known as “American Crawl” or “Australian Crawl”. This is the easiest stroke for beginners to learn.
Here are some important tips to improve your freestyle stroke technique for a faster swim.
The body should be flat from head to toe, and parallel with the water surface.
Try to keep the legs as straight as possible. If your legs or body are lower than the water surface, it will slow down the forward motion.
Try to keep your stomach flat and leveled to support your lower back.
With eyes looking forward and down, your head should be in line with the body and the water level should come between your eyebrows and hairline.
Try to keep your head and spine as still and relaxed as possible. Instead, rotate your hips and shoulders to generate momentum through the water.
Your head should only join the rotation when you want to breathe.
The Leg Kick:
The kick should start from the hips, not the knees. Think of the way a dolphin moves its tail in the water.
For a perfect front crawl leg kick, try to keep the feet and ankles as loose and relaxed as possible.
Make sure you do not kick from the knees, which is a common mistake with the beginners and this will only break the rhythm and slows you down.
Arms: Keep your elbow slightly bent as you reach your hand in front of your body to enter the water.
Ankles: The ankles should be floppy, not rigid during the leg kick. Experts feel that flexed and stiff feet can rather cause you to move backwards.
Turn your head sideways out of the water to inhale; always exhale into the water.
Try not to lift your head too much out of the water – the more your head is raised, the more your feet and legs will sink in the water.
After a sharp inhale, turn your face quickly and smoothly back into the water in time with the rotation of your shoulders.
Timing: Good timing is everything. It helps you to maintain a streamlined position, maximize the distance you can cover per stroke and creates the time to breathe without being rushed.
Come Watersafe Swim School and join Swimming Lessons to improve your swimming.