Skip to Content

Learn to Swim Front Crawl / Freestyle: Head-Lead Looking Down Drill

Head-Lead Looking Down is the next one in our series of drills to learn swimming the front crawl / freestyle stroke.

Now you try to maintain horizontal balance while rolling from side to side under water.

A novice swimmer who practices the head-lead looking down drill for the front crawl stroke.

This is an advanced balance drill. Once you have mastered it, you’ll have all the balance you ever need for swimming front crawl (and even backstroke).

Video Demonstration

Below, you can see a demonstration of the head-lead looking down drill:

Drill Instructions

The starting position is the same one as in the previous Head-Lead Side Balance and Head-Lead Nose Up / Nose Down drills (Sweet Spot):

  • Your body is rolled on the side, at a 45° angle from a flat position.
  • Your face is turned upward.
  • Your arms are kept at the sides.
  • You use a supple flutter kick for propulsion.

When you are balanced, do the following:

  • Roll your body further until it is at a 90° angle with the water surface and your face is turned downward.
  • Continue to flutter kick.

Take a few moments to ensure that you are still balanced, then do the following:

  • Roll further in the same direction until you are back in the initial position but floating on the other side of your body.
  • Roll your body as a unit, don’t anticipate the rotation with your head.

Take a few moments to find your balance, and take a few breaths. Then roll back towards the first side using the same technique, and so on.

Additional Tips

Here are a few additional tips to practice this swimming drill:

  • Don’t use your arms or your hands to initiate the rotation but instead use your kick.
  • Don’t hold your breath while the head is submerged, exhale continuously through your nose and/or your mouth. A nose clip can help by keeping water out of the nose.
  • Try to directly dial into the initial position as you roll towards it from the nose down position.

Learning Path for the Front Crawl

Below is an overview of our series of articles on learning the front crawl. Each article in this series contains one or more drills that have to be mastered. The current article is highlighted:

Once you have gone through all the steps of this learning path, you should be able to swim front crawl without any problems.

Good luck!

Learn to Swim Front Crawl / Freestyle: Head-Lead Nose Up / Nose Down Drill
← Previous
Learn to Swim Front Crawl / Freestyle: Hand-Lead Side Balance Drill
Next →