Freestyle Stroke in Swimming

By | January 4, 2017

The term freestyle swimming is a little confusing, to begin with. Technically speaking, it used to refer to a free motion of arms and legs as per the choice of the swimmer. In swimming events, freestyle swimming was when the swimmers raced with each other using the swimming style they were most comfortable with. But as time passed, freestyle swimming began to be described as a ‘front crawl’.

It is a very simple style of swimming that is perfect for the beginners to learn. Freestyle swimming stroke is probably the first thing that is taught to beginners everywhere. It is easy to learn and with consistent practice, even beginners can master this swimming technique.

How to Do It?

Freestyle stroke in swimming is all about the proper movement of the legs and the arms. It is very easy to learn and is one of the most natural movements in the water. The following are some steps involved in learning the freestyle stroke. Keeping them in mind and spending enough time in the pool can ensure the mastery of this swimming style very easily.

  1. The best way to start learning the freestyle stroke is by practicing the posture of the arms in the water. The hands and their motion play an important role making the right movements according to the freestyle stroke. Make sure that you let the arms loose and not stiffen them in the water as that can give you unnecessary resistance in the water which only slows one down.
  2. The proper positioning of the entire body is essential to have a good swimming routine. This is especially true in the case of freestyle stroke because if one is not able to maintain the posture of the body, then this style does not work at all.
  3. Similarly, the position of the head is also very important. Placing the head above the water at the right time of the breathing cycle ensures that the individual can maintain their speed and posture under water. So in the freestyle stroke, where the position of the body determines the speed, keeping the head in its right space is also very necessary.
  4. The alternate swinging of the arms is another area that needs attention in freestyle stroke. When one arm has made the semi-circular motion, it stops at the surface of the water and at that moment itself, the second arm starts its motion. Both the hands need to complement each other, and the action should be practiced for as long as possible before attempting this style.
  5. The body tends to rotate a bit in freestyle swimming stroke. This is because of the alternating movement of the arms. This is the gap where one gets to breathe also because the head also moves from one side to the other. So keeping the body in line with the legs and the arms is an important step in learning freestyle swimming.

Tips to Master Freestyle Stroke

  1. Completing the motion entirely is something a lot of beginners miss. They make the movement but fail to finish the stroke and go to the next set of actions leaving the stroke incomplete. This is not an efficient way to master freestyle stroke. So ensuring the completion of every cycle is an important tip.
  2. The flutter kicking of the legs even in freestyle stroke is helpful in maintaining the posture of the body. It helps to stabilize the body because it balances the movement on both sides that is the front and the back in the form of arm and leg movements.
  3. There are two ways to breathe in freestyle stroke. The first is the quick breathing technique which is breathing when you alternate the action of the hands. This is useful for beginners, but seasoned swimmers manage to hold their breath for a full cycle and then breathe in during the next one. They are both efficient ways to breathe and can be used as per one’s choice.

Pros and Cons of Freestyle Stroke in Swimming.

There are pros and cons to every style of swimming, but one needs to make the rich choice and go for it by investing enough time to learn the style. The following are some of the pros and cons involved with freestyle stroke swimming.

Pros

  1. The biggest advantage of freestyle stroke in swimming is its simplicity and ease to learn. This is the best form of style for beginners and can be easily modified to suit each person’s strengths and weaknesses in the pool.
  2. Breathing is not much of an issue in this style of swimming as there is enough head movement to accommodate ample breathing.
  3. Both the legs and the arms have an alternating motion, so it does not become too much at any point for a person to sustain this style. So swimmers usually don’t get too tired of performing this swimming style which is a great benefit for those who are just starting out in the pool.

Cons

  1. There are only a few drawbacks of freestyle stroke in swimming, and one of them is that it does not give the swimmer the boost required to race ahead in the water. It is still used in competitive swimming events, but the speed outcome is still pretty less when compared to the other types of swimming styles.
  2. It can take some time to master the movement of arms and legs in freestyle stroke. It is somewhat of a complication because the proper alignment of the body in the water is not a natural strength of any beginner.

Conclusion

Freestyle stroke in swimming is one of the simplest forms of swimming styles, and it should be adopted by any beginner who is vying for expertise in the area of swimming. This is a style in which the movement of the body comes naturally to the swimmer. There are no complicated motions of arms and legs required, and one can easily graduate from this style to more complicated ones once this has been thoroughly mastered.

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