Learn freestyle swimming using known practices with illustrated photographs starting with body position and legs

Learn freestyle swimming/ introduction

Learn freestyle swimming / front crawl take some practice and dedication, it takes some upper body strength and stamina it is one of the most commonly used and taught stroke. I would say it is harder to learn if you are an adult and you can't swim at all. I would strongly recommend that if you are a complete non-swimmer that this is not the stroke to learn as your first swimming stroke. You would be much better to start with breastroke. I have three pages about breastroke the first page starts with the legs and push and glides the second page teaches you the arms and the third teaches breathing and timing, . You always learn a new stroke starting with the legs.

Learn freestyle swimming /Click onto this link to go to page one about breastroke legs

When you learning freestyle swimming you need to remember that that the power from the stroke comes from the arms and the legs contribute only about 4-5 percent. This does not mean that the legs are not important they help to keep the body in a streamlined position in the water it also prevents the legs moving side to side as you use your arms (lateral deviation).

When you learn freestyle swimming you will find it is better to swim the stroke with your head in the water, it keeps your body in a streamlined position. I will go through the details with you in later practices but I just letting you know what you will need to do later on. But you will begin with your head out of the water

Learn freestyle swimming/ push and glides

If you have read any of my other pages you will probably find that most of them talk about push and glides. Push and glides are very useful especially when you are learning to swim, they help you to achieve a good body position in the water as well as help to build your confidence. So let’s get started, first you will need two hand floats and a woggle.

Learn freestyle swimming/ click on this link if you are not familiar with hand floats and woggles to view my page about swimming equipment which includes hand floats and woggles

Click on this link if you are familiar with this equipment and wish to purchase floats or other pieces of swimming equipment from the fun swim shop Hold one float in each hand and place the woggle under your arms like it is demonstrated in the photograph, as you can see in the photograph you are completely supported by the floats you are also balanced because you have a float in each arm. You now need to put one foot against the pool wall, then begin to push off the wall, as you push off put the other foot against the wall and continue to push until your legs are straight.

Keeping your legs straight glide across the pool until you run out of momentum this could be 1-5 meters depending on your confidence, how hard you push, and how strong and long your legs are. To put your legs down simply push down on your hand floats under the water then bend your knees at the same time this will cause your legs to come underneath you then put your feet on the floor.

Don't worry if you have problems with this sometimes it takes a few tries until you feel confident with it, if you are new to swimming it does feel a bit unnatural but keep practicing until you feel happy and confident with this. You could ask a friend to stand in front of you about 2-3 meters away to catch you and then gradually increase the distance until you can do it on your own.

Once you feel comfortable with this try doing the push and glides again using less floats as you go, to break it down by firstly without the woggle using only two floats, then one float then try no floats with your head in the water blowing bubbles. This is illustrated in the photographs below starting with all floats going down to none.

Learn freestyle swimming/ legs


Freestyle legs should be straight, together, constant, in toeing (toes touching) and the power initiates from the hip and thigh not the knee. The legs move up and down continuous, fast and not splashing the water. The legs are not kicking down too far under the water, this can be practiced by holding the side of the pool and kicking to get used of the leg action.

Once you have mastered this it is time to go on to leg kicking with floats, this can be done holding one float in each arm with knuckles touching to achieve balance, this is illustrated in the photograph below.

Then the next stage is to kick legs with one float only, you can hold the float at the end like in the demonstration

Now try pushing off the side of the pool with your head in as well as your arms out in front of you, then kick your legs. This will create good body position and prepare you for later and more advanced practices.

You should be looking for a streamlined position legs to the surface of the water but not breaking it, propulsion from this leg kick will not be as great as breastroke. Legs, as I have said before only contribute about 4-5 percent of the over propulsion the arms do most of the work and your legs keep you balanced and in a straight line but still very important. Keep practicing this leg technique, if you want to look at leg kicking in more technical detail click onto this link to see my page about freestyle swimming Thanks for reading Dale Dudley

Click onto this link to go to part two of learn freestyle.

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How are you getting on learning freestryle swimming? Do you have any questions or advice you would like to give to others?

How are you getting on learning freestyle swimming? Have my pages helped you in any way? Is there something missing on my page, maybe there is something you would like me to include but I have not written about it, Do you have any questions? Or maybe you would like to share your experiences with other people so that they can learn from you. Whatever the reason this forum is for you to share your enjoyment of the sport and exchange experiences and learn from each other.

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What Other Visitors have said about freestyle swimming

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Query on freestyle 
Hi Dale, I am 38 and have started my swimming lessons. I can swim freestyle with a board..I am scared to start my hand movements. Do you have any tips …

Front crawl entry swimming techniques Not rated yet
In front crawl when does the hand enter the water - before the arm being fully extended or should it be fully extended. In other words I see swimmers go …

Freestyle swimming technique help Not rated yet
Hi Dale. My 9 year old has just joined a new swim school and was placed in a squad. Part of the session includes swimming freestyle each lap using …

freestyle swimming breathing Not rated yet
Hi Dale my name is James and I was wondering when is the correct time to breathe in front crawl, and do I lift my head to breathe and how often? Thanks …

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