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Front Crawl Swim Technique Training Lessons What Do You Need To Focus On The Most?

Front crawl swim technique training lessons

What do you need to focus on the most with your front crawl technique and fitness? We are the Freestyle Technique Improvement Specialists If you've been struggling with one or more of the following common front crawl faults, then a swim video analysis session is an excellent method of visually seeing and correcting your technique. Do you feel like you're doing any of the following?

  • Legs too low or scissor kicking

  • Breathing and not getting enough air in

  • Over rotating and feeling unbalanced in the water

  • Missing the catch and feel for the water

  • Hips feel low and head too high

  • A short choppy stroke

  • Putting in lots of effort for not enough gain

  • When just kicking you may not go very far, or actually go backwards

These are just some of the aspects that might be holding you back. "Nick's swim analysis sessions are fantastic. He has a great way of explaining how to break down each part of the stroke without it being overwhelming. The support drills help you take what you have practised during the session back to your local pool. I would highly recommend speedy swimming for anyone who is looking to improve their stroke." Client testimonial "Nick was excellent in his assessment of my swim stroke and diagnosis of what I needed to improve to get faster. I would highly recommend Speedy Swimming." Simon Toller

How do you define the “Catch phase of Front Crawl”? Is it one or all of the following:

o Feel for the water?

o When it all feels right?

o Holding the water

o A purchase on the water

The catch phase is basically the point from which your arm is straight and gliding following entry into the water. From this point to the point where your hand and elbow are directly underneath your shoulder joint, this is the catch phase.

Why is it important I hear you ask...? Well, if you aren't performing the catch phase effectively, then you'll be either slipping through the water, from moving too fast, having too straight an arm, twisting or turning the palm of your hand or your forearm so you're then pushing water in a direction away from moving straight behind you. You want to be doing this with a really high elbow set position as you can see in the diagram above, a good head position whereby you're looking down not forwards

When you perform the catch phase correctly then you'll be effectively pulling more water past you, and have a higher distance per stroke, using your large back muscles called the latissimus dorsi, and holding a higher purchase on the water.

The catch phase of the front crawl is often something that can be a bit elusive in terms of feeling it and performing it correctly. It's worth saying this again. It's the point from where your arm is straight in the glide to where it's in line with your shoulder once you have started moving your arm backwards.

However, even slight variations in hand pitch or speed or extra drag can affect how this is completed. Video analysis and the experienced eye can be the only way to determine what is happening and how to correct with the right series of swim drills and stroke corrections. Some of the errors (known or unknown) that can affect how solid your catch is, are as follows:

• Slipping through the water

• Snatching in the catch with too much power

• Pointing your hands up on entry

• Hands veering in towards the midline or too wide

• Arms staying too straight in the catch

• Elbows not bending enough

• Forearms not at the correct 90 degree angle

• Elbows winging in towards the body

So how do you perform the catch correctly for maximum purchase on the water? Your goals for an excellent and effective catch phase are:

1. A high and early vertical forearm (EVF) position

2. Keep your lead arm up high in the water on entry

3. Reach over a barrel and push it behind you

4. Pivot at the elbow keeping upper arm up high

5. Perform the catch slower than the rest of the underwater stroke

6. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees

Find out exactly what you need to be focusing on with your front crawl technique with 4 video cameras analysing your swim stroke in the endless pool in Chertsey, KT16 9NH

Learn more here and how to book:

We have over 15 years experience of teaching open water swimming we can help you.

Our open water swimming lessons are extremely popular, whether you're looking to improve your sighting, navigation, turning around swim buoys, building and improving your drafting skills or mass start techniques.

Nick is an STA Nowca Open water swim coach, British Triathlon level 3 coach, and Training Peaks level 2 accredited coach. He has over 15 years experience of teaching open water swimming. he can help all levels of open water swimmers, from beginner to advanced levels.

In each open water session, he'll take you through a progressive range of skills, drills and techniques specific to you and your particular skill set.

What are you looking to focus on and improve the most with your open water swimming skills and drills and pacing? These could be sighting and navigation, acclimatisation and mass starts, turning around swim buoys effectively, drafting, swimming in close proximity, and entry and exit procedures..?

Did you know that you can add 20% or more to your overall open water swim race distance by not sighting effectively?

We often see GPS swim tracks where swimmers have gone further than they expected. Sighting every 6-8 strokes and checking on your navigation reference regularly is key to swimming and sighting effectively.

It’s best to sight on something higher like a darker tree, building, or spire, than a buoy in the water!

Have you swum further than your race distance, undoing all those months of swim training? We’d like to help you to swim straight and navigate effectively so you achieve your personal best!

Do you swim faster in the pool than you do in a wetsuit in open water?

You should be seeing on average speedy gains from 7-10 seconds per 100 metres in a wetsuit, with some clients seeing a lot more up to 30 seconds where it's helping change their body position for the better!

If you answered yes, something is a bit amiss, and we would love to help you fix it!

It could be wetsuit fitting, navigation, sighting too high or incorrectly, pacing, not acclimatising to the water temperature, drafting, or swim technique in open water, and potentially breathing as well if you usually breathe from your chest instead of your diaphragm


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