Have you decided to go swimming and lifeguarding trainings are you looking to learn the crawl easily? You don’t have aquaphobia ? Then this learning method is for you. Before you start, there are a few prerequisites: you must be comfortable in the water and know how to hold your breath.
This text is a step by step guide to help you learn to swim with solid foundations. Work on each step until you are comfortable, moving on to the next step. A good way to improve your front crawl is to work on repetition to fully understand the movement.
Each time you pass a step, you have to start all the steps from the beginning, which you quickly review. Once you have completed all the exercises, you will have a solid enough foundation in front crawl to start doing lengths like a swimmer.
Ready to learn how to swim the front crawl?
A word of advice, before reading the article, watch this video. You will discover content with explanations of many exercises that we cover through this article.
1st crawl technique: body position
The first step is to take a good position in the water, in other words, learn to float on the surface . You might as well take a good position from the start, you’ll have to lie on your stomach with your lungs full. Your lungs are your lifeline.
You are going to look at the bottom of the pool with your arms outstretched, your biceps glued to your ears . You’ll look like a football referee signaling a goal, your arms will look like the number 11. Mouth open or mouth closed, it’s how you feel best.
This is the starting position for learning the front crawl. Now you will have to keep this position, and come and push against the wall or the floor with your feet to move on your stomach It’s hard to hold on for long, but you can easily move 2 to 3 meters without any effort .
As for the bottom of the pool, line up your arms straight above your head, hands flat on top of each other, pointing forward. Stop to take a breath and start the exercise again from the wall
2nd stage: kicking the legs in front crawl
We are now going to add the legs, in order to improve its crawl beats, essential for learning to swim the front crawl. The legs will allow you to keep a good balance in your swimming training with the help of a professional lifeguard.
> Start by hanging the wall with your hands. Attention, the beat must start from the hip, and the knee must only accompany the movement of the leg, it must not bend too much.
The ankles are tight, but keep some flexibility in the toes (unlike the gym where you have to have your toes straight). It’s a top-down motion, picture yourself running on your tiptoes in small steps.
> Then you can turn around and push against the wall as in the position of step 1, adding the beats. Remember that the arms are pointing forward, the eyes are looking at the bottom of the pool. Try to grow taller to be as upright as possible. After pushing against the wall with your feet, you have to move forward with your kick as long as possible , holding your breath. When you need to catch your air, stop to catch a breath and start again from the wall until you have mastered it.
It is necessary to control a minimum the flapping to maintain a lying position on the water. If you are not very fast, or even very slow, nothing to worry about , it takes practice to learn the basics.
3rd step: to learn to swim the crawl: the movement of the arms
Now we need to add the arms . In crawl, the movement will be done mainly with the arms, especially when you are a beginner.
You will learn the gesture while remaining as simple as possible .
You will bet on the efficiency of the gesture, rather than reproducing the perfect gesture in front crawl. Imagine that you have to draw a large circle with your fingertips. For the moment do not focus on the placement of your elbow.
It’s not exactly what top crawl swimmers do, but it’s a great way to start learning arm strokes .
The idea will be to make a big circle with your hand, you will push your hand into the water, keeping your arms straight and your hand flat.
The hand will pass under the shoulder, following the imaginary line that separates your body in two, to finish the thigh push . Your thumb should brush against your thigh and your palm is facing up . For the return of the arm, it must pass above the water , accompanying the gesture with your shoulder.
You will work one arm at a time. An arm that turns, when it arrives at its starting point, you do the same with the other arm. Attention, no haste , no need to put on the speed: two or three turns of the arm are enough. Do this as much as possible to fully understand the movements of the arms in front crawl.
4th step: improve your crawl with good breathing
If you want to learn to swim the crawl and hold on for long distances, you have to learn to breathe while swimming under the instruction of a certified lifeguard. There are several steps:
1 – Start by holding on to the wall as in step 2 with the beat. Put your face in the water and look at the bottom of the pool. Start by blowing small bubbles with your face in the water . To make small bubbles, you have to open your mouth slightly. When you need air, raise your head forward to catch a breath.
Once the respiratory cycle has been mastered , by exhaling into the water and inhaling out of the water, you will do the same thing by turning your head . You will change the position on the wall, keeping one main hand on the wall and the other along the body.
You will have to place a breath on the side of the hand along the body. In order this gives us:
Look at the bottom of the basin while blowing bubbles.
Turn the head to the side (watch out for the rolling of the shoulders)
Turn your head in the water and blow bubbles until it ‘s comfortable on both sides .
An advanced step is to place the exhale just before rotating the head out of the water for the inhale.
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5th step to learn the crawl: costal breathing
Now that you understand the mechanics of breathing , you have to do it while you are swimming the front crawl.
You must remember three things to correctly position your head rotation:
it takes place at the end of expiration
at the end of the push
the inspiration time must be short.
The rotation of the head for the inspiration occurs at the end of the push when your hand reaches under the belly, you will do the bra after the other taking your time to make the gesture well .
Push against the wall in a position with arms extended over the ears, eyes towards the bottom of the pool, kick your legs, blow small bubbles and work one arm after the other. The most important thing is to work on the rotation of the head at the end of each push. Remember to exhale hard before turning your head out of the water, always keeping one ear in contact with your arm when you inhale.
Don’t forget to repeat all the exercises to learn how to swim the front crawl effectively.
Conclusion: how to swim the crawl and progress?
Now you have all the basics for freestyle swimming there are lots of more advanced technical exercises you could learn and I hope you will, but it’s a good start, congratulations! Keep it up, and if you want to go further we have put together a step-by-step lifeguard course near me program to learn the crawl in the best way . Simple and progressive exercises with clear instructions and objectives per session.
Swimming requires repetition. With 2 or even 3 lessons per week, your swimming will evolve quickly. Perform each exercise that we have seen today, and you will become a good swimmer in the coming months.