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Front Crawl is the fastest stroke, but can be difficult to learn, mainly because it
is hard to find a good breathing point. Front crawl is also used interchangeably
with the term ‘freestyle.’ Although freestyle officially means that any stroke can
be swum in competition, swimmers will always choose front crawl as it is
officially the fastest stroke.
In front crawl, the body should be as close to the water surface as possible with
the hips and legs behind the shoulders at all times. The leg movement requires
a long and fast kicking motion, ensuring the whole of the leg is moving up and
down. The knees are to be bent slightly and the feet should make a small
splash. As with backstroke, the arm movement in front crawl consists of a push
and pull stroke and a recovery stage.
The arms provide the power for the stroke with one arm following the other,
through and over the top of the water. One hand should start in front of the
head, stretching as far as possible with the hand pointing down thumb first, into
the water. The elbow should be bent and the hand pushed towards the feet,
keeping it going until it reaches the top of the leg.
The arm should then be lifted out of the water and back to the original starting
point in as controlled a fashion as possible. Front crawl is difficult because the
face is in the water so, to breathe, the swimmer should turn their head to one
side, leaving the side of the head
resting in the water.
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