Swim til the end
~Step by Step: Freestyle Arm Stroke~
  1. Kicking
  2. Head Position
  3. Body Position
  4. Arm Strokes:Freestyle
  5. Arm Strokes: Backstroke
  6. Side Breathing

Differences and Similarities

The arm strokes for freestyle and backstroke are similar,
but there are a few key differences. The armstrokes for
freestyle and backstroke both follow a continus, circular
pattern, much like a windmill. On the entry of the freestyle
arm stroke, the thumb enters the water first, while on backstroke,
the pinky leads the entry.

Photo by Laura Kubitz

Freestyle Arm Stroke

  • The arm stroke begins with one arm fully extended in front and
    the other arm fully extended in the back.

  • Tip: Your arm strokes should be as close to your body as
    possible. To ensure this, when you are doing the entry to the
    armstroke, make sure top part of your arm is touching your ear.
    the upper part of your arm is touching your ear.

  • To begin the arm stroke, using the hand that is extended in front,
    pull down with your arm, much like a boogey boarder pulls his arms
    down when paddling.

  • Photo by Laura Kubitz
  • Tip: Make sure your hands are cupped and
    your fingers are not spread apart.

  • While you are pulling down, make a question mark figure
    with your hand underneath the water.

  • Push all the way back until your arm is fully
    extended to the back.

  • Once you have finished the pull underneath the water,
    you will beginthe recovery phase of the arm stroke, which
    is where your arm comesout of the water so that it can
    begin another pull.

  • Once your arm is fully extended in the back, raise your arm out of the
    water by bending your arm at the elbow making a 90 degree angle.

  • Bring your arm all the way around, straightening out your arm again
    so you can begin another pull.

  • Alternate this pattern with your arms at a rapid pace. Freestyle is
    meant to be fast.

  • As mentioned before, the arms strokes are continues and circular,
    like a windmill. Make sure your arms strokes mirror each other.