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Do you find you're constantly in oxygen debt or running out of air whilst swimming front crawl?

How to breathe easier for front crawl swimming:

Do you find you're constantly in oxygen debt or running out of air whilst swimming front crawl? Or not relaxed and comfortable swimming? It doesn't have to be this way!

This is the area most improvers either struggle with after 1-200 metres of front crawl from not exhaling enough, breathing in too late, not rotating enough and / or from the hips, arms timing out of synch, lead arm not staying in front and potentially kicking too much.

If you're not breathing in enough, or consequently not exhaling enough underwater, then there will be a build up of carbon dioxide in your lungs, creating oxygen debt and lactic acid for your muscles.

In this video you can see the swimmer wasn't exhaling out underwater much at all, then towards the end how this has improved with sink downs to regulate her inhale and exhale.

If you're breathing in late, or taking a small breath in before you duck back underwater then all the above will be happening! Does this ring true for you?

Front Crawl Breathing Faults

1. Lead arm dropping

2. Legs not kicking straight from the hips

3. A short exhale and late breathe out

4. Rotating from head and shoulders not the hips

5. Timing out of synch for arms

6. Legs and hips too low

7. Lifting head up to breathe

Drills to correct:

1. Swim with ear placed on shoulder

2. Kicking with legs straight

3. Fully exhaling 80% out through mouth and nose using your diaphragm

4. Bodyroll 45 degrees long axis rotation each side core driven from hips

5. Glide 1000 and 3/4 catch up

6. Press T - i.e. press your sternum into the water

7. 1 Goggle eye breathing - aim to have 1 goggle eye in the water and one out, breathing in the bow wave your head creates, looking at 90 degrees to your head position.

Learn how to correct your stroke and swim faster than ever with less energy!

Breathing timing and exhaling drills. The first part of this video show the swimmer not exhaling enough, then correcting and working on the breathing timing elements.

We can help you improve your technique using video camera analysis, stroke correction and swim drills in the endless pool. Based in Chertsey Surrey. Sign up to an endless pool 121 video analysis session and find out what’s been holding you back with your swim stroke. If you have a swim technique problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Speedy Swimming Team!

Get in touch by giving us a call on 07958635142 or email us at

Front crawl video analysis in an endless pool at Tribal in Chertsey:

1-2-1 Front crawl technique pool based lessons at Guildford Lido


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