Front Crawl


Body Position

  • Face in the water. Eyes looking downward and slightly forward.
  • Body horizontal, stretched and streamlined on the front.
  • Shoulders and upper body rotating whilst maintaining a steady and central head position except for when breathing occurs.

 Legs and Feet

  • Legs moving in a steady alternating leg kick that predominantly originates from the hip with knees slightly bent.
  • Feet close to the surface, toes pointed. There should be a small splash of the feet as they pass close to each other as a result of the feet pushing against the water.
  • The kick may be slow and steady, or fast and powerful, dependent on the individual’s preference.

Arms and Hands

  • Hand slides into the water, finger tips first. The entry is usually between the shoulder and head.
  • The propulsive phase follows the hand entry; the hand moves slightly forward and down to catch position with the shoulder and the elbow higher than the hand position; presses against the water, then pushes backwards and outwards towards the hand exit.
  • The elbow leaving the water first followed by wrist and hand initiates recovery. The arm moves over the water but remains close to the body and head into a controlled hand entry.
  • Aim for the individual is to gain maximum distance per stroke effectively.


  • Breathing is initiated with a controlled turn of the head to the side to quickly inhale air, followed by the head returning to the centre, face in the water and air exhaled.
  • A regular pattern of breathing is recommended and the swimmer must be at ease in breathing to either side.


  • The kicking, pulling and breathing must be co-ordinated and controlled.
  • All actions must be smooth and continuous whilst a relationship of stroke length and stroke rate must be developed and vary the requirements of the swim.