Complete Guide to Freestyle Swimming

Complete Guide to Freestyle Swimming

Freestyle is a classification of swimming competition, characterized by the principles of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in which contenders are not obliged to follow any constrained limitations on their swimming stroke. Freestyle races are the most well-known of every swimming competition, with separations starting with 50 meters (50 yards) and arriving at 1500 meters (1650 yards), otherwise called the mile. The term ‘freestyle stroke’ is utilized as an equivalent for ‘front crawl,’ as front stroke is the quickest swimming stroke. It is presently the most widely recognized stroke used in freestyle swimming competitions.

Rules and Regulations Of Freestyle Swimming

FreestyleOpens in a new tab. signifies “any style” for singular swims and any swimming technique other than breaststroke, butterfly, or backstroke for both the individual medley or relay competitions. The wall must be contacted every step of the way and upon the commencement of the race. Some part of the swimmer must be above water, aside from the first 15 meters after the beginning and each turn. The standard was presented to keep swimmers from utilizing the quicker submerged swimming techniques, for example, the fish kick, for their potential benefit, or in any event, swimming whole laps submerged. The specific FINA rules are:

  • Freestyle implies that on occasion, the swimmer may swim any style. However, in a singular medley or relay events, freestyle means that participants need to pick any other swimming stroke other than backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly.
  • It is necessary for a participant to break the water’s surface at least once during the competition. However, participants are allowed to keep their head submerged for up to 15 meters after the commencement of the competition and during each turn. 
  • Upon the completion of the distance, your head must break the water. 
  • To mark the finish of the race, any part of your body must touch the finish wall. It is usually a one-hand touch in most cases. 
  • During a freestyle swimming competition, participants cannot get disqualified for performing incorrect kicks or arm strokes. 
  • A participant will face disqualification if he/she walks the length of the pool or forcefully pull on the lane lines. 
  • If a competitive swimmer refrains from touching the wall during a turn, he/she will immediately be excluded from the race. 

Step by step instructions to do the Freestyle Swimming Technique

Rules and regulations of freestyle swimming

Push and Float

When you’re in the pool, start by leaving the mass of the pool. Stretch your arms straight like you are plunging, and skim the extent that you can go. Your legs ought to be straight and near one another. Push your upper body down into the water and level out your limbs. Your face ought to be looking straight down the pool, and your body posture upright.  

Do the Kicks

When you’re settled in, do your kick while keeping your body and legs straight (yet not bolted) and loose. Try not to twist the knee and kick tenderly from the hip. Your feet should just be moving, while at the same time keeping your legs stable. Your toes should brush each other as you kick your feet in an upward-descending movement. Keep your lower legs loose while doing this.

Move the Arms

When your arm enters the water, your body and head ought to pivot towards the side so you can relax. Rotating your body is the trickiest and most significant part here, since loosened up breathing and effective utilization of vitality all originate from great body revolution.

Practice Right Breathing

Get your breathing under control for freestyle swimming

It is generally the most troublesome part to ace. When you perform stage 3, breathe out gradually when you are submerged—around 70% from your mouth and 30% from your nose. Ensure that no air remains when you breathe out. Along these lines, you’re prepared to breathe in when your face emerges out of the water.

When you become familiar with these fundamental advances, at that point, it’s an ideal opportunity to assemble them across the board for a synchronized movement.

Start with your Arms

The freestyle swimming strategy begins when your hand slices directly through the water. With your elbow over your hand, expand your arm forward as your body moves aside. Your shoulder bones ought to be pushed back.

Do the Back Sweep Movement

Bring your lower arm and hand under your body while clearing in a descending movement. Your hand ought to seize the water in a back sweep movement, pushing it behind you so you can charge ahead. You are required to be moving back to the opposite side while doing this.


When your hand leaves the water close to your hip, roll your body aside. Turn your head and breathe in as you set up your arm to take its next stroke. Abstain from lifting your head while doing this. Simply do a slight turn and permit forward movement to make a little wave that provides you a room to breathe in. Ensure that your kick is in steady cadence and your lower legs loose. Your knees need to be straight yet not bolted. Remember, your gluteus muscles and feet are doing the vast majority of the work while doing kicks.

When you’re sure with each part, start to assemble all that you’ve learned. It’s ideal to request your mentors to correct your errors. They will assist you with refining your developments. Their direction will be a massive incentive over the long haul, since they will propel you to keep improving your abilities until you ace the Freestyle technique. 


Freestyle swimming competitions

There are nine competitions categorized in freestyle swimmingOpens in a new tab., either using either a long course (50 meter) or a short course (25 meter) pool. The United States likewise utilizes short course yards (25-yard pool). In the United States, it is normal for swimmers to contend in a 25-yard pool throughout the fall, winter, and spring and switch over to a 50-meter pool design throughout the summer.

  • 50 m freestyle swimming
  • 100 m freestyle swimming
  • 200 m freestyle swimming
  • 400 m freestyle swimming
  • 800 m freestyle swimming
  • 1500 m freestyle swimming
  • 4×50 m freestyle relay  
  • 4 × 100 m freestyle relay  
  • 4 × 200 m freestyle relay
  • Young swimmers (participants typically eight years of age and younger) have the choice to swim a 25 yard/meter freestyle events.

Freestyle is additionally part of the variety over the accompanying separations:

  • 100 m singular medley (short 25 m pool )
  • 200 m singular medley (200-yard singular event in short course yards)
  • 400 m singular variety (400 yards singular mix in short course yards)
  • 4 × 100 m variety relay (4 x 100-yard mix relay in short course yards)
  • 4 × 200 m variety relay (4 x 200-yard mix relay in short course yards)

Significant distance races of 800 meters (1,000 yards) and 1500 meters (1650 yards), are facilitated by FINA (counting the Olympics). 

Freestyle Breathing Tips

Breathing tips for freestyle swimming

Freestyle breathingOpens in a new tab. is a fundamental part of having a proficient stroke. For a stable breathing pattern, you can adhere to the following tips.

1. Have a breathing pattern

Significantly, a swimmer has a breathing pattern to guarantee that reliable breaths will occur during their race. Individuals must not break out of the surface for quick breaths. In that case, your cerebrum and body will flip out, and in general, your swim will not be the best.

2. You need to save air in your lungs to the extent that this would be possible

It doesn’t mean you hold your breath after you breathe in. It implies a remarkable inverse. Recall when we said Co2 is the body’s marker to relax. Well, a simple method to neutralize that is to slowly breathe out after you stick your face once again into the water after deriving a breath.

Freestyle Swimming Strokes

The term “freestyle” suggests that you can opt for any stroke in the book. In a more technical sense, participants can choose for backstroke, sidestroke, or any other stroke recognized by the authorities. However, this rule’s exception occurs during medley events where you are already swimming backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke. In such an event, you need to choose a fourth stroke that is different and unique. In a freestyle competition, participants opt for the front crawl stroke. It involves the swimmer to lie on their stomach with an overhand arm stroke and a flutter kick.

Swimming at the Summer Olympics

Being one of the most popular spectator sports, swimming at the summer Olympics is a widely acknowledged feat. However, both genders were granted a 200-meter freestyle race in 1968. Men’s freestyle medley races were initiated in 1960, while starting 2008, both genders can compete in 10 km open water swim events.


Instead of overburdening yourself with such a large number of things simultaneously (a typical issue at the end of the week-long swim centres), you will have to take a while to deliberately ace all the unique, fundamental freestyle techniques of swimming.

More Great Posts To Read

A Comprehensive Guide for Swimming on your Period
15 Expert Swimming Tips For Beginners


Anything that involves water I just have to get at it. Whether it's going for a dip, Going on a Jetski, Or getting pulled behind a boat on a ring. It's what I love.

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