Learn to Swim | Intermediate LESSON 1 - FRONT CRAWL

Front crawl – also known as freestyle – is the most well known of the four competitive strokes. Fun fact, it is also the favorite stroke amongst our 150+ swimmers on the MIS Swim Team. It is also the fastest of the four competitive strokes, as all world records for fastest swimming times are from front crawl events.

In the MISWay, basic front crawl is introduced the moment swimmers demonstrate that they can swim and breathe on their own (sometimes even sooner). When teaching basic front crawl, it is important to teach the body positioning, leg, and arm movements separately, and combine them progressively to develop the full stroke.

Body positioning should at this point already have been taught in the MIS Beginner Swimmer program (see front swim), but a review is always encouraged so remember to keep head down and the body horizontal. The legs and arms are introduced using basic 3-step progressions for each. For example a basic progression for legs: kicking on the side, then with a flutter board, and then streamline. Then combine arms and legs and start getting those reps in!

When complete, the swimmer should be able to swim at least 2 lengths without stopping with simultaneous and basic front crawl arm & leg movements, while keeping their body horizontal and breathing as needed (note side breathing, while encouraged, is not a requirement at this level).

By focusing on basic movements (core techniques) swimmers get in the much-needed repetitions to establish familiarity and good swimming habits at younger ages. The basic movements will later be perfected and tuned for speed, power and competitive swimming in our Advanced Swimmer Program.

The same core techniques should be consistently reinforced throughout, like mostly-straight legs and a small fast kick. Alternate your teaching methods (visual, verbal, mirroring, kinesthetic) and look to see where your swimmer responds best. Remember to focus on basic technical corrections, and above all encouragement and motivation!

*Remember there is no substitute for having a professional swim instructor teach you, and to exercise water safety at all times when following these videos. Swim safely, everyone!


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