10 mistakes to avoid in crawl | Education by American lifeguard association

The crawl is a very pleasant stroke and fairly easy to practice, but it is still necessary to master it to appreciate it at its true value. Guide-piscine gives you here the 10 most frequent errors that it is important to avoid in crawl in order to take maximum pleasure and to gain in performance.

  • Bet everything on the legs

The swimmer new to the crawl tends to put a lot of intensity in the kicks because they believe that they play a primary role in the propulsion. Note that the legs are mainly used to keep the body on the surface of the water and help balance. They have very low efficiency and are very energy-intensive.

  • Breathe too often

In the front crawl, it is recommended not to breathe with each movement of the arms as this disturbs the balance of your body and does not improve your performance. Breathe every 3 arm movements (or 2 for beginners) to always keep your head on the same side and to maintain a good position in the water.

  • Look forward

To have a good front crawl swim, it is important to stay as long as possible in the water and to keep your body in line with your spine. Avoid looking forward to walking. In the pool, there are many benchmarks to help you locate yourself in the waterline. Direct your gaze towards the bottom of the pelvis and keep your straight line in its axis.

  • Block your breathing

Many novice swimmers block their breathing underwater and exhaust themselves after just a few lengths. To breathe well in swimming, you have to blow all your air under the water ( active exhalation ) and inhale as quickly as possible as soon as the head comes out of the water ( passive inspiration ).

  • Keep your arms straight

Some front crawl swimmers find it more effective to keep your arms straight out of the water but also under the water. On the contrary, during the aerial return of the arms, you have to bend your elbows to rest your muscles and relieve your shoulders of the weight of your arms. This way you are less tired and you minimize the risk of injury.

  • Make too fast arm movements

In front crawl and swimming in general, there is no point in making movements too fast. The main thing is to have a good technique to improve your support and propulsion.

  • Cross your arms underwater

Many beginner swimmers tend to do cross-arm strokes underwater. Get the water as far forward as possible with your hands and pull back, keeping your arm at your side. If you cross your movements, you are not swimming straight and you lose efficiency.

  • Keep fingers apart

The hands act as an oar in the front crawl and if you keep your fingers apart, you will catch less water and swim less quickly.

  • Immobilize your legs

Even if the legs do not play an important propelling role, it is important to keep them moving. If they are still, they will sink to the bottom of the pelvis and straighten your body into an upright position.

  • Release the movement underwater

In front crawl, some swimmers have a tendency to make very energetic arm returns and to relax the movement underwater and it is precisely the opposite that must be done! Release your arms during the air return and build up intensity underwater to propel yourself forward.

The front crawl is one of the swims most appreciated by swimmers but to practice it without pain or feeling of premature fatigue, it is essential to master it. Find out how to swim the front crawl without getting tired after just a few minutes by learning to breathe, make the right movements, coordinate them and practice a few simple exercises.

Learn to breathe

The first thing to do when new to front crawl is to learn how to breathe to properly supply the muscles with oxygen and to avoid suffocating yourself after two lengths. The ideal is to breathe every 3 arm movements so as not to always breathe on the same side and to give you time to breathe out all your air underwater.

Master the swimming technique

To tire yourself as little as possible while swimming the front crawl, you must master the swimming technique. Start by working on your position in the water to reduce drag as much as possible and improve your hydrodynamics. Then think about the quality of your movements and the grip. If you don’t place your feet, arms and hands well in the water, you won’t catch enough water and you will have to work harder to be as effective. It is also important to control the kicks well to keep the body balanced on the surface of the water and improve your glide.

Coordination of movements

Once you have mastered the swimming technique, you must learn to coordinate your movements well to reduce energy expenditure without losing speed and performance. Remember to swim in amplitude by making wide and flexible movements and by getting the water as far as possible.

Train regularly

To swim the front crawl without getting tired, you will have to train regularly to find your support, stabilize your breathing and strengthen your cardiovascular system. A single weekly session is not enough to start and be comfortable on the crawl. The ideal is to swim at least twice a week to start.


Education by the American lifeguard association and their lifeguard training is an obligatory step to improve your crawl and swim without getting tired. You can swim with a pull-buoy between your legs to focus on arm work or swim with a board to improve your kicks. Paddles or paddles are perfect for improving downforce.

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