One of the most common requests I get is from people who can swim but can’t swim front crawl, or think they can’t. In fact front crawl is an easy, relaxing and calming stroke if done proplerly. I often see people, I am afraid to say, especially men, swimming a wild thrashing kind of front crawl. They are using a lot of energy, making a lot of splash, but not travelling very fast. Or they may be able to travel fast for a short while and then collapse exhausted at the end of a length. This is inefficient and unnecessary.
As with all swimming strokes the key is to let the water do most of the work. First of all you must find a good balance in the water. A gentle leg kick is all you need. In fact it is perfectly possible to swim a reasonable front crawl without kicking your legs at all. You should kick from the hips, not the knees and the kick should be gentle, a flutter rather than a big scissor kick.
Look straight down at floor of the pool, keep your neck long.
As you reach forward with each stroke let your body rotate keeping the head still.
Feel the glide on each stroke, listen to the water.
Roll out to breathe, letting your head turn to the side. Don’t lift the head. Imagine you are breathing from your core. Get the feeling of turning your lungs to the air, not your head.
Try to make sure your left arm stays on the left side of your body, and the right arm stays on the right side. Don’t let your arms cross over in front of you.
Breathe out gently under the water so that you are ready to breathe in as you turn.
Keep the stroke slow, steady and relaxed. As your stroke becomes more efficient you will get faster.
Feel the rhythm of the stroke. Sing to yourself if it helps.