Training > Swim

15 key front crawl swim drills: leg mechanics

The front crawl drills here are designed to improve the four key elements of a good swim technique; body position, leg mechanics, arm mechanics and your breathing and timing.

Front crawl leg drills

The kick provides propulsion but is easy to get wrong, which can have a big impact on your stroke. The key things to bear in mind are:


Your kick assists your body position.

It should be a whip-like extension with the movement starting from your hips and travelling to your feet.

Your knee bend should be slight on the down kick.

Your kick should end just below your bodyline.

Your legs lift upwards with ankles and feet stretched.

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Drill 4: Kick on front (with kickboard)

This improves your leg kick and helps you to begin the action from your hip.

Hold a kickboard out in front of you with both hands.

Kick from your hips, not from your knees.

Keep your toes pointing backwards not downwards, with the soles of the feet facing upwards. Also, think about keeping your legs long.

Bend your knees slightly as you kick downwards.

Keep your legs straighter as you bring your feet back up towards the surface.

Wear fins to increase your ankle mobility and to assist kicking technique.

Drill 5: Kick on front (without kickboard)

You’re, once again, working on your kick with this drill. However, this time start with your hands ahead of you and, once you’re comfortable with that, progress to swimming this drill with your hands by your sides.

Carry out the drill in the same way as the previous drill but without
a kickboard.

Once you’re at ease, do it while keeping your arms by your side.

Fins can be worn. So can a snorkel, which will let you breathe without rolling so you can concentrate solely on your kicking.

Drill 6: Streamline kicking

This drill also helps you improve your kick but gets you to work on your body position, too. It allows you to learn to remain in control when you lift your head out of the water to sight. (Fins can be worn.)

Begin swimming but hold your arms out ahead of you.

Perform the front-crawl kicking action.

Lift your head slowly to breathe but keep your hips high in the water.

Drill 7: Vertical kicking

This is another drill that will teach you to initiate the kicking action from your hip. (Fins can be worn.)

Tread water while floating vertically in the deep end of the pool.

Either cross your arms across your chest or keep them down by your sides.

Point your toes towards the floor and kick from your hips.

Try to kick so your head and shoulders stay out of the water.

Continue reading our guide to key swim drills (body position 3/4)


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