The Front Crawl
The front crawl, also know as freestyle, is commonly thought of as the fastest swimming style. It is used by most professional swimmers in freestyle competitions. It is made up of arm strokes and a flutter kick. The initial position for the front crawl is on the breast, with both arms outstretched in front and the legs extended in the back.
The arm moves can be separated into three parts: the pull, the push, and the recovery. Starting in the initial position, the pull is when the arm sinks lower and the palm of the hand turns 45 degrees with the thumb side of the palm towards the bottom, which is preparation for the pull. Next, the arm is moved in a semicircle, with the elbow higher than the hand, and the hand pointing downward. This motion ends in front of the chest at the beginning of the ribcage. The push is when the palm is pushed backward through the water underneath the body at the beginning and at the side of the body at the end of the push. The recovery moves the elbow in a semicircle in the swimming direction. The lower arm and the hand are completely relaxed and hang down from the elbow. The recovering hand is moved forward, above the surface of the water and the shoulder is moved into the air by twisting the torso. The push/pull arm and recovery arm alternate. While one arm is pushing and pulling the other arm recovers.
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The leg movement is called the flutter kick. The flutter kick is executed by moving the legs alternately, with one leg kicking downward while the other leg moves upward. The leg kick doesn’t help to propel the body forward much. Its main job is to stabilize the body position. The legs should bend very slightly at the knees and should not kick too much out of the water.
The last part of the front crawl is breathing. The face is kept down in the water for the most part. Breathing is done through the mouth by turning the head to the side of a recovering arm at the beginning of the recovery. The forward movement caused by doing this stroke causes the water by the swimmer’s face to be low enough that there is no need for them to lift there head up out of the water to breathe. A dip in the water should be created so the swimmer only needs to turn their head at the right time to get an adequate breathe.
Well, that’s pretty much the front crawl.