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Drills to Improve Your Freestyle Swimming

Drills to Improve Your Freestyle Swimming

Hey swimmers, welcome to the Rocket Swimming blog! After reading this blog you will learn how to improve your freestyle swimming. Freestyle, also known as front crawl is the most efficient stroke in swimming. That’s also the reason freestyle is the most common stroke. There are a series of drills you can do to make your freestyle better. It’s called the Hand-Lead series. There are 7 drills that make up the Hand-Lead series. 
  1. Head-Lead kicking
  2. Hand-Lead kicking
  3. Head-Lead to Hand-Lead kicking
  4. Hand-Lead to Hand-Lead kicking
  5. One arm to Hand-Lead Kicking
  6. Hand-Lead claw
  7. Catch Up Freestyle

Head-Lead Kicking

Head-Lead swimming gives the swimmer the opportunity to correct the head position which will also correct the body position in the water. Think of your head as the steering wheel of the car. Wherever your head turns, your body follows. If you turn your head to the left, you will go to the left and if you turn your head to the right, you will go to the right. If you push your head down, you will dive down and if you pick your head up, your body will come up to the surface of the water. 

Hand-Lead Kicking

Hand-Lead kicking is a great opportunity to improve your balance and bodyline in the water. A narrow bodyline helps a swimmer to be more hydrodynamic. A faster kick helps the swimmer to balance better in the water. Balance is like control, if you ever swam and fell out of control, balance with a strong kick will help you that control.
Hand-Lead swimming also improves your front quadrant swimming technique. Front quadrant swimming is where you try to keep your hands out in front of your head at all times. It may be one hand or both depending on the stroke. Front Quadrant swimming helps bring your legs to the surface so they don’t sink so often. It also keeps one hand out in the front which is more hydrodynamic than your head. 

One Arm to Hand-Lead Kicking

One Arm to Hand-Lead Kicking is a great way to practice your breathing. There are two ways you can swim this stroke. You can either take your breath before you take your stroke or take the breath right after the stroke. If you are trying to take your breath earlier, then it is recommended to take your breath right before the stroke. If you are working on keeping your head below the surface of the water for the duration of your breath, then I recommend taking the breath right after the stroke.

Hand-Lead Claw

Hand-Lead Claw is by far the most challenging drill in the Hand-Lead series. With one arm suspended in the air just above your head, it’s going to push your body down. So you will have to kick as fast as you can and keep your chin tucked in order to stay closer to the surface. Make sure your hand is more in front of your head like your armpit is above your ear. At this point, our swimmer’s going to go back to a full freestyle technique. We see a large improvement here.

Important Drills to Improve Your Freestyle Swimming – How To Swim


Tip: Wearing fins will help you learn the technique sooner, and faster while also allowing you to experience the speed which makes you more hydrodynamic as you feel pressure and resistance from the water. I always recommend fins when learning something new.

Swimming is beneficial in a lot of ways and learning how to swim is also very important. For this reason, it is important for you to register with a swimming program. can help you find a certified swimming instructor in your neighborhood at no extra charge. Our swimming instructor conducts swimming lessons at your preferred time and place. find out more at

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