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Lengthening your Front Crawl Stroke

Front Crawl
Tumble Turns
Training Aids

To improve your front crawl, in the pool this translates to :

1. Reaching as far forwards as you can before each new arm pull.

One way to do this is to imagine each stroke is your last one and that you are reaching out as you would do to touch the wall at the end of the pool*.

If your are reaching forwards with your left arm this will mean that the left hip falls and the right hip rises so that you are almost swimming on your left side and this is correct in the front crawl when looking for maximum propulsion.

In the speed section later on you will see that some speed is generated from the rocking of the hips.

2. Finding as much water as you can during the pull.

The more water you can find to pull against, the more propulsion you will generate.

You may find you naturally do a slight sculling action during the stroke. That is, your wrist stays fairly still while your hand gyrates round to find more water.

There has been much debate as to whether the extra water pulled against during a scull is worth the time it takes. In our opinion, if you do it naturally great, (if itís good enough for Popov itís good enough for us), but if you donít and it feels odd, donít put it at the top of the list to concentrate on.

Just make sure that your fingers are almost, but not quite together and your wrists are rigid (have you ever seen a rowing boat with floppy paddles?).

There are far more important things like maintaining momentum.

3. Always finishing the pull off completely.

Never take your hand out when thereís still more water to push against. Try to accelerate towards the end so that you make the most of it; this also tends to help the arm recover quickly for the next stroke.

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