Swimming-Free Style


The stroke used almost universally in freestyle races is the front crawl, as this style is generally the fastest. This swim style is also the most common and has longer distances.


  1. To start off a wall, or push off, hold the wall with one hand and point one arm out to where you're going to swim. When you go, push off the wall with your legs and go into a stream-line (arms straight out over your head, hands overlapping, legs together with toes pointed, knees and body straight). Start kicking. When you reach the surface, go into normal free-style. Try not to breath until the 2nd or 3rd stroke.
  2. To start off a block, grab the end of the block with both of your hands. Put one leg back and one of the edge with your arms. Put your butt up. When you're told to go, use your arms and legs to launch yourself from the block. Go into a stream-lined position and tuck your chin into your neck. When you reach the surface, go into normal free-style. Try not to breath until the 2nd or 3rd stroke.
  3. Pull with your arms, alternating left and right. As you pull one arm through the water, bring the other arm forward again above the water
  4. When you pull, start with your arm straight out ahead of you just under the water. First pull your arm down, bending your elbow to keep your hands past your waist, start straightening your elbow to keep pushing your hand down past your hips. Keep your fingers together and slightly bent to make a "cup" with your hand.
  5. When you finish the stroke with one arm, bring it forward with your elbow out and up, and your hand just above the water as you pull with the other arm.
  6. Roll your shoulders. When you pull, use your shoulders to reach farther. For example, when you pull with your right arm, roll your right shoulder forward and down as you put your arm into the water. Bend the right elbow roughly ninety degrees, cupping the palm of the hand slightly while pulling toward and past your chest. Bending the elbow ninety degrees uses the surface of the forearm to increase the strength of the pull. Initiate the next stroke, a left pull, by reaching forward with the left arm, rolling the left shoulder forward to increase your reach, and continue as above with bent elbow and cupped palm.
  7. "Flutter" kick quickly up and down from your hips, alternating left and right. Keep your knees straight and toes pointed. Just don't do scissor kick
  8. Kick just below the surface of the water.
  9. Keep kicking while you breathe.
  10. To breathe, turn your head to the side you are pulling with as you finish the stroke. Breathe when your mouth is out of the water. For example, while pulling with your right arm, turn your head to the right while pulling your right arm past your chest. As you continue to pull with the right arm, reach forward with the left arm for a left armed pull, rolling your shoulders to the left while you reach forward. Take a quick breath on the right side as you roll onto your left side, then roll onto your right side again for a right armed pull. While underwater, breathe out all of your air through your nose so that you are not having to exhale that last bit of air when you should be inhaling on your next breathing stroke. Breathe every two to three strokes.
  11. Keep your head centered until you have to breathe. Turn your arms and shoulders when you take a stroke, and don't move your head with it. Only move your head if you have to breathe.
  12. To do a flip-turn, you have to flip when you get to a wall. Practice this slowly until your have a good feel for the timing and distance to the wall. To do the turn, pull your arms to your sides after the last strokes before the wall, keeping your head tucked down. Bend quickly at your waist, starting the flip, while breathing out through your nose. Tuck your legs up so your knees are by your chin and your heels are toward your butt to let the flip follow through. You'll be on your back when you finish, so untuck and push off on your back in a stream line, then turn over while gliding off the wall.
  13. While gliding away from the wall, you can choose to use a dolphin kick to maintain speed underwater, breaking into a flutter kick when reaching the surface and restarting the freestyle stroke.


  1. When you do a flip-turn, blow air through your nose so water doesn't get in it.
  2. Practice, practice, practice.
  3. Keeping a straight body will also enhance your speed.
  4. Usually breathe every three strokes.
  5. Take short, quick breaths. You'll go faster.
  6. When you start off the block, tuck your chin into your neck so you don't lose your goggles.
  7. Keeping your head tilted slightly up will enhance your speed.


  1. Don't drown (seriously, even if you know what you're doing, don't swim alone and watch your head on those flip turns)
  2. Don't forget to breathe when you have to.
  3. Don't forget to kick, it's harder than you think.


Target Muscles


Additional Muscles