Learning Freestyle Swimming

Learning Freestyle Swimming
The freestyle stroke is the most popular and efficient swimming stroke used by man. Also known as the American crawl, it utilizes upper body strength and an aerodynamic form to propel a swimmer through the water. The freestyle is one of the first swim strokes you learn in swimming lessons and is an important survival stroke if you are caught out in open waters. Knowing proper form is critical to the freestyle's effectiveness.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Push off from a pool wall or structure and extend your arms in front of you. Your body should be horizontal with the water.
Step 2
Begin kicking with your legs, pointing them straight behind you and kicking away from you to push you straight.
Step 3
Keep one arm out in front as the lead hand at all times. The other arm will be pulling you through the water or resting. Alternate the use of hands.
Step 4
Cup one hand and face the cupped side in the direction you will be moving your hand to take a stroke. Bring the arm down in the water, keeping your arm slightly bent. Keep the hand cupped to help pull you through the water.
Step 5
Bring your arm up so that it is parallel to your body.
Step 6
Pull the arm out of the water, creating a half-circle motion with your hand. This will pull your torso up on that side and give you a chance to get a breath of water. Turn your head to the side your arm is pulling up on and take in a breath. Your face should return into the water by the time the arm returns to the front.

Tips & Warnings

 
Keep the head down and pointed straight. The water line should not be any lower than your ears. Take breathes every one to two strokes. Always use the same side.
 
Keep the head down and pointed straight. The water line should not be any lower than your ears.
 
Take breathes every one to two strokes. Always use the same side.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.