Open Water & Pool Coaching Videos

Front Crawl ~ Propulsion


Propulsion is the movement through the water using your arm stroke and leg kick. Swimming is a very challenging sport. You are moving against the resistance of water continuously. 

When swimming in the sea you are naturally more buoyant and therefore your whole body is higher in the water.  As previously discussed with your head low down in the water, your legs will be in a good position and for the amount of effort it takes to kick, you are rewarded with  only 15% of your total propulsion. 

This means 85% is coming from somewhere else. This is where the combination of head and body position, the momentum you build up through rotation of hips and of course your arm stroke come into play. This combination propels you through the water. For further details on each element see links at the bottom of the page.

The arms are the single biggest element here. So what do we do with our arms to help us propel through the water? Well we use them to pull the water behind us and effectively glide over the top of them. The stronger the pull the more water we move and the further we move. Before you start this pull, you go through what is called The Catch. 

The catch is the entry of your hand into the water, then moving it downwards before you start the pull. This part of your stroke needs to be smooth. It doesn't need to be quick or rushed. It's better to get a good position in the water and then use your strength in the pull stage! 

Once you pull towards your hip, you need to make this strong and powerful as this is the main element to moving through the water. You will glide effortlessly over the top.

There are plenty of drills which can be done which takes all the elements of the arm stroke individually and can take you to that next level of an efficient stroke. 

At Solent Swim School, we can coach you in these drills and help you to swim the smooth, efficient stroke that you envy of others.  Let others envy your stroke! Just get in touch with us 

©Solent Swim School 2022