Do you want to learn how to swim the front crawl (Or more commonly known as the freestyle stroke)? Well then, you’ve come to the right place. I am going to tell you exactly how to start learning freestyle.
1. Before swimming, shower. Then you must warm up. Believe me, it is more important than the stroke itself. Without proper warming up, you can easily get a cramp and seriously injure yourself. You may even have to quit swimming for a while if you’re injured. A few basic stretches will do nicely.
-Start from the neck, all the way to the toes. The toes can easily get cramped when you are swimming, so don’t leave that out.
-Once in the water, start your second warm up by holding on to the edge of the pool and doing some basic kicks, such as the scissor kick, which you use for freestyle. You watch the scissor kick www.youtube.com/watch. At the end of the video, the scissor kick is demonstrated very well.
-Once that is done, dunk your head into the water and breath out strongly through your mouth about 5- 10 times.
2. For the first day, just practice the scissor kick underwater and keep your hands close together stretched out in front of you. This will help you develop a very good kick that is essential in this stroke.
3. Once you’ve mastered the kick, move on the the hands. You will have both hands moving at the same time. With both your hands outstretched, slowly move one hand downwards while bending you elbow to the side. Cup your hand while doing this. This means all your fingers should be together and curved a little. Bring that hand all the way to the back then raise our elbow to an angle and extend your arm out of the water and bring it above you and back down again. Just practice with one hand at a time first. This motion is demonstrated in the video link above.
4.When moving the right hand (or left), down, the other hand stays in the same position until your first arm that you moved has reached about forty five degrees or less below you. Then the other hand follows the motion. That is only for the start. After that, your hands should never meet again at the starting point.
Keep your arms moving alternately. Your arms should never pause at the starting point. When swimming remember to constantly breath out gently through your mouth in the water. Don’t hold your breath in the water.
5. Breathing is the hardest part to master at first. However, once you have learned the technique, it’s actually quite easy. Choose only one side to breath from. Never alternate sides. If you chose the right side to breath from, your right arm arm will propel you forward while your left is just starting its cycle. When your right arm is pushing the water back, angle your head side-ways and breath through your mouth. Then turn your head back in and continue swimming.
Never raise your head completely. You are merely turning your head to the right just enough for your mouth to take in air. While turning your head, you body has to turn slightly, very slightly on it side. In fact, throughout the swim your body will be turning side to side following the arm that is propelling you forward.
That’s actually all there is to it. You now know how to swim the freestyle stroke. However, there are a few key points you should not overlook.
1. Do not kick to hard. Keep it strong enough, but nothing extra, as you are not propelling yourself from the legs. You will use your hands for that. Remember to cup your hands at all times.
2. The key to swimming freestyle fast is to develop good upper body strength. It will help you tremendously.
3. If water gets into your nose, don’t panic. Stop swimming and get to the side of the pool. It is very common and isn’t dangerous. It is nothing to be scared of. Just stop swimming until you fell better.
4. Always swim with a lifeguard present. If you’re not a good swimmer, you may drown.
5. If you’re a teen, have an adult keep an eye on you.
6. After swimming, take a shower to remove the chlorine from your hair and and skin.
7. Swim only as much as you can. Build up slowly. Don’t try to swim 400 meters on your first try. Freestyle is very strenuous and you may feel too tired.
8. Use goggles when swimming to see clearly and protect your eyes. Never forsake your goggles. Select a good pair of swimming goggles. A bad pair fogs up very frequently and disturbs your swimming.
9. Practice regularly. Only with practice will you become adept at swimming this style.
Good luck with your swimming. And remember, determination and practice is the key. For advanced swimmers, I shall post another article soon.