- Be sure to lead the with your thumb as you begin the motion lifting your arm from the water. The arm should be lifted out of the water by the movement of the shoulders!
- When completing the motion of the arm coming back into the water, your little finger should be the first to enter the water. Each motion should finish with your arm should passing by your ear before entering the water between the shoulder line and the centre line of the head.
- Many swimmers try and immediately pull with their hand after it enters the water – this will actually cause resistance in the water.
- Instead, try turning your palm so it is facing the bottom of the pool and scull your hand outwards and downwards until it reaches a position in a line between your upper chest and shoulders with your elbow bent.
- At this point, rotate your hand again so that your palm is facing towards your feet, then push through the water until your arm is fully flexed by the thigh and ready to be lifted out of the water again by the rotating motion of the shoulders.
- Be sure to keep your legs relatively close together and kick from the hips – Not the knees!
- Keep ankles relaxed and your knee slightly bent on the downbeat.
- Kick as hard and as fast as you feel comfortable. Sprinters may kick up to six beats per arm cycle whereas longer distance swimmers will typically use less.
When you’re in the water:
- Aim to position your body as flat as you can to be streamlined with the water with a slight slope down to the hips to keep the leg action underwater.
- Be sure not to let hips drop too low as this will slow you down – try and keep your body relatively close to the surface of the water!
- Your head should really be still and with your neck relaxed. Holding your head up too high will cause strain to the neck and slow you down in the water.
- The level of the water will cover your ears and your eyes should look up and back.
- Similarly, to the front crawl, generate momentum by rotating your shoulders and your hips… Not your knees! As one arm lifts out of the water, the other starts the propulsive phase underneath the surface.
How to maintain this form when turning:
- When approaching the wall, rotate your body on to the front and stop the arm motion at the thigh.
- Perform a forward somersault underwater and then plant your feet on the wall with your knees open.
- Staying on your back, kick off the wall by straightening your legs powerfully and squeeze your arms to your ears with your hands-on top of the other.
- Try to stay parallel to the water surface.
- Start an alternating leg kick under water as you feel your momentum slowing down and start your first arm motion while the body is still slightly submerged, helping to bring your head to the surface.
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