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Why should you learn to swim swim front crawl?

If you can swim breast stroke for miles but struggle with a few lengths of front crawl you might be wondering why you should learn to swim front crawl. Breast stroke can feel like a nice sociable stroke. You can swim with your head up and chat to your friends. If you swim outdoors swimming breast stroke with your head up means you see more of your surroundings and can appreciate the outdoor more. Breast stroke can feel nice and relaxed and low effort. So what would be the benefit of learning to swim front crawl?

1. Swim Faster

Front crawl is a faster stroke than breast stroke. It might feel slow and exhausting when you first start but as you practice and learn to swim the front crawl stroke more efficiently it will definitely be faster.

2. Efficient

Front crawl is more efficient than breast stroke. This is because it uses a more horizontal position which makes it more streamlined and a more efficient use of energy. This means that eventually when you’ve learned to swim front crawl you will be able to swim further and faster with less energy.

3. Less drag

With front crawl there’s less of you in the water because one arm is always in the air. This means there’s less drag than breast stroke so is another reason that makes it more efficient so you can swim further and faster for less effort.

4. Rotation

The front crawl stroke is driven by rotation. Your body rotates around your spine with your core, hips and torso rotating to each side. When your body is lying in it’s rotated position it means there’s less of your body in contact with the water compared to breast stroke where the whole body is flat. This means there’s less friction in front crawl again making it more efficient.

5. Become slippery like a kayak

With the side of your body in contact with the water it makes your body shaped a bit more like a boat or a kayak. Terry Laughlin the founder of Total Immersion was very influenced by Bill Boomer, Head Coach at the University of Rochester and coach for the 2000 US Olympic Team. Boomer said

‘The shape of the vessel matters more than the size of the engine’ “your body is shaped like a vessel”.

By ‘engine,’ he meant muscular and aerobic power. All this means that when you can use a front crawl stroke it’s a lot faster than breast stroke and you eventually swim further for less effort.  You can learn more about the principles of streamlining and shaping your vessel here

6. Swimming Events

Some events have minimum time and pace requirements or are limited by factors such as the tide. If you can swim faster because you can swim front crawl you’ll have more choice of events to take part in.

7. Save your knees

If you knee problems then front crawl is kinder to your body than breast stroke due to less twisting around the knees.

8. Save your back and neck

If you have back and neck problems then front crawl is kinder to your body. This is because in front crawl there is no lifting of your head out of the water as in breast stroke. This lifting motion in breaststroke can be uncomfortable for the neck and lower back. Plus head up chatty breast stroke puts even more pressure on the neck and lower back. The front crawl body position is horizontal with a neutral head, neck and spine.

9. Be kind to your body

Front crawl uses different muscles than breast stroke. Being able to do both strokes and move your body through different range of movements will help your fitness and mobility. Just doing the same movement over and over can often lead to repetitive strain injuries. If your learn to swim front crawl it will give your more more variety which is definitely a good thing.

10. Using different muscles

If you get tired on a long swim you can do a different stroke that uses different muscles and gives you a break.

11. Gain skills and confidence

Having a wider variety of skills makes you more confident in the water. If you have some different strokes and can swim at different speeds it will give you more confidence in the water.

12. Have more options

Being able to swim front crawl as well as breast stroke gives you a wider range of options and means you’ll be able to cope with a wider range of conditions. If the tide or river current is a bit faster than normal, if you can swim front crawl you might still be able to swim.

13. Safety

It can help to keep you safe. If someone get’s in to trouble you’ll have a wider range of skills to reach them quickly to help.

14. Good for your brain

Learning a new skill is good for your brain and your body. It grows new brain cells, helps your memory and concentration.

15. Body Awareness

Moving in different ways improves awareness of your body.

16. Variety is the spice of life

It can give your swimming more variety which makes it more fun and interesting. If you’ve got a bit bored or a bit stale with your breast stroke then learning to swim front crawl can give you a renewed sense of enjoyment.

17. Sense of Purpose

Learning a new skill can give a sense of purpose to your swimming. Instead of just ticking off your daily mile,  thinking about some drills, movements and trying to figure out how to improve your stroke can give a totally different dynamic to your swimming.

18. It’s Fun

More than anything swimming front crawl is fun! I love being able to do different strokes and movements in the water. I love moving my body in different ways and I love learning something new.

Swimming Lessons with Me

I’m hoping some of this has inspired you to have a go at learning front crawl. If you want to know more about about my one to one swimming lessons then why not book a FREE 15 minute call here or book a taster session here.

More Tips on Learning to swim front crawl

I’m Penny and I’m a triathlete and wild swimmer with a passion for outdoor adventures. I’m a triathlon coach and Total Immersion Swimming Teacher and I help people feel more comfortable in the water so they can swim further, discover the joy of swimming or finish a triathlon without feeling exhausted.