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Learn to Swim Front Crawl: Prone Balance Drill with Arms Extended Forward

This front crawl drill lets you practice balance in a prone position while having both arms extended forward.

It shows you how extending your arms forward affects your balance. It also lets you notice how using your arms to assume a streamlined shape decreases drag.

Note: This drill belongs to an older series of drills to learn the front crawl stroke. Please have a look at the Learn to Swim Front Crawl article to learn about our current series of swimming drills for this stroke.

Video Demonstration

The video below demonstrates this swimming drill:


Please follow the instructions below to practice this swimming drill:

  • Try to assume a horizontal position in the water, with your head and body turned downward.
  • Your head is in line with your spine.
  • Extend your arms forward, having one hand resting on top of the other one.
  • Look straight down toward the bottom of the pool.
  • Kick with a relaxed flutter kick.
  • When you need to breathe, extend your chin forward so that your mouth clears the water, and take a quick breath. You should notice that your hips and legs tend to drop.
  • Bring back your head in line with your spine as soon as you have taken your breath, and apply downward pressure on your head and sternum. Keep your body horizontal though. You should notice that your hips and legs tend to rise through a lever effect.


The practice of this swimming drill has the following benefits:

1. You should notice that you move forward faster and with more ease than in the balancing on your front drill because your arms are now extended forward.

This is because extending your arms forward in the water makes the shape of your body more tapered and decreases drag.

2. This drill reinforces the habit of applying downward pressure on your upper body and head to force your hips and legs to rise up to the water surface.

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