Freestyle from Andrea Morgan on Vimeo

This video shows a 50-yard freestyle swim. For isolation of a block start or freestyle turn, go to the starts page or the turns page.

The Freestyle

In competitive swimming, "freestyle" technically means an event where you swim the stroke of your choice. Usually, swimmers choose the front crawl, with its reputation as the simplest and fastest stroke. For this reason, most coaches and swimmers use the word "freestyle" to refer to the front crawl stroke.


Start with both arms extended and your hands pressed together at the palms. Leave one arm in this position while you cup the other hand, turning your palm out and pulling the corresponding arm down by your side. Turn your extended arm so that your palm faces out. Loosely cup the hand of your extended arm. Push your hand down into the water and pull it down alongside your body. Meanwhile, raise the arm by your side into the extended position. Repeat the motion for the length of the pool while kicking. Breathe by turning your head away from your extended arm as needed.


While flat on your stomach in the water, extend your legs behind you and point your toes. Relax your knees so that they bend slightly. Kick down from the hip with one leg, then the other, alternating upward and downward motion.