Continuing with our 'Learn to Swim' series of videos, this week we want to help you work on your front crawl stroke. Whether you are a beginner or consider yourself more advanced then this video can still help you to improve on your technique. There is also a transcript of the video below if you prefer to work through it step by step in a written format.
If you consider yourself an intermediate to advanced swimmer, there are still things that you can look at to help improve your performance. The first thing we are going to look at are the 4 critical points of front crawl.
When coaching swimming I always ensure that I coach the swimmer rather than the stroke. As every swimmer swims individually and is shaped differently so what works for one may not work for the other. But I do always work with these four principals when trying to develop a front crawl stroke.
Critical Point 1 – The entry and just before the catch phase of your stroke. Here you want to ensure that your arm is locked out straight in front of you, your hand is below your shoulder line, but in line with the shoulder.
Critical Point 2 – The mid point of your stroke. You want to ensure that your hand is below your body, elbow pointed out to the side, hand facing the opposite direction to where you want to be moving. Your arm is going to be at around a 90 degree angle, ensuring that the palm is facing the opposite direction to the movement, and you are engaging the forearm as much as the arm during the catch phase.
Critical Point 3 – The last phase of the catch. Ensure that your arm is locked out at the side of your body as a reference point, the thumb is in contact with the middle side of your thigh, your arm is kept straight, and as relaxed as you possibly can.
Critical Point 4 – Part way through your recovery. From critical point number one, you are going to control the movement with your elbow. Bring your elbow up into a high position, elbow pointing up to the sky, fingertips pointing at the surface of the water, and the back of the hand facing forward.
Some people may struggle with this, due to a lack of flexibility in the shoulder. But don’t worry, as stated earlier, these are references points and everyone may have a slight spin on what is actually happening during this movement.