This article gives you an overview of our swimming drills to learn how to swim the freestyle stroke. The swimming drills are very progressive, teaching you one skill at a time. This allows you to learn the freestyle stroke by yourself at your own pace.
The drills teach you concepts such as keeping your balance in the water, making your body as tall as possible, swimming on your sides, etc. which are important if you want to master an effective swimming technique.
If you learn and practice the drills in the suggested order, you should be able to learn how to swim the freestyle stroke easily and enjoy the experience.
Flutter Kick Drills
Learn How To Do The Flutter Kick: Learning the flutter kick in a prone position is a important prerequisite to master if you want to learn how to swim the freestyle stroke. This article covers a few exercises to learn this important swimming technique in a simple way.
Head-Lead Supine Balance: This freestyle swimming drill introduces you to balance. Being balanced means that your body is perfectly horizontal in the water, which reduces drag and saves energy. In this drill you learn being balanced at first on your back to avoid breathing issues.
Head-Lead Prone Balance: This freestyle swimming drill is designed to teach you balance in the water in a prone position (lying flat on your stomach). This is a very good drill to learn how to keep your hips and legs close to the water surface with ease and without needing to kick hard.
Head-Lead Side Balance: In the front crawl stroke, spending more time swimming on the side makes you faster. This is because when you roll more on the side, you can use the larger back muscles in addition to the shoulder muscles for propulsion. However, because floating on the side in the water needs some getting used to, we use this drill to get comfortable in that position.
Head-Lead Nose Up / Nose Down: This swimming drill will teach you how to keep your balance in the water while rolling between different positions, face up and face down in this case. This is an important freestyle skill to master so that you can maintain balance when you roll on the side to breathe.
Head-Lead Looking Down: In this drill, you will try to maintain horizontal balance while rolling from side to side. This lets you practice balance at a high degree. Once you have mastered this drill you’ll have more balance than you’ll ever need in the front crawl stroke.
Hand-Lead Side Balance: In the Head-Lead Side Balance drill, you learned that swimming front crawl more on your sides improved propulsion. In this drill you will assume the same position but you will extend one of your arms overhead. This teaches you to make your body as long as possible in the water which reduces drag.
Hand-Lead Nose Up / Nose Down: This swimming drill lets you practice balance floating on the side with one arm extended forward. This is useful because you roll from side to side into this particular side position when you swim front crawl.
This drill also lets you practice dynamic balance, where you alternatively switch between a face up and a face down position. Being able to maintain balance while rolling on the side is useful because you roll in a similar way to breathe in.
The final set of swimming drills lets you transition into swimming front crawl. They teach you correct arm movements and coordination. They are called switch drills because you switch sides while completing a drill cycle.
Under Switch: In this drill the arm recovery is done underwater. This allows you to focus on and become aware of the synergy that exists between the arm movements and body roll while swimming front crawl.
Zipper Switch: This drill lets you focus on achieving a compact and efficient arm recovery. This allows you to decrease drag and save energy.
Over Switch: This is the last one of our freestyle stroke drills. It lets you practice an early hand entry during the arm recovery. This is to avoid the common tendency of overreaching during the recovery which for several reasons increases drag and can also lead to swimmer’s shoulder. Once you have mastered this drill you will be ready to transition into swimming the full front crawl stroke.
Improve the Flutter Kick with Vertical Kicking
It could be that you struggle with our freestyle stroke drills because your flutter kick isn’t propulsive enough. Vertical kicking is a swimming …
If you need more detailed instructions and videos to learn the freestyle stroke, I recommend the following Total Immersion products. The Extraordinary Swimming For Everybody book and it's Perpetual Motion Freestyle companion DVD will allow you to learn the freestyle stroke at your own pace in a relaxed manner, using the same philosophy and similar exercises as here on Enjoy-Swimming.com. Highly recommended!
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