Category Archives: Freestyle

5 Freestyle drills to help you swim smooth

5 Freestyle drills to help you swim smooth.


It does not matter if you are a beginner or an elite swimmer, you can always benefit from doing drills, that is because your stroke will never be perfect.


Having said that, there are some common mistakes that most of us do during our freestyle technique. So we will go over some drills to fix them.




Finger-tip drag.

This drill will help you keep a high elbow when you recover the arm. This will also help you feel the water and give you immediate feedback as to where your hand is entering the water. You should also keep a relaxed wrist and fingers to save up energy.

This high elbow recovery is the most effective way to carry your arm back in front.


3 strokes and glide.

Gliding is an important part of the stroke, specially in distances over a 100. Doing 3 strokes and gliding for about 6 kicks will help you improve your gliding position.

Notice the position of your hands and head and adjust if they are causing frontal drag.



Some of us don’t rotate enough. This goes hand in hand with the gliding. You need a good rotation in order to glide and to grab more water with each stroke.

So practice gliding and rotating your shoulders, then come back and rotate again before taking your next stroke.






Underwater recovery.

This will help you feel the frontal drag. It will help your body understand the importance of the pull.

Try to optimize your pull by grabbing all the water you can while reducing the frontal drag of your other arm by positioning your hand to be always pointing to the front.


Sculling High elbow.

To pull water backwards from the beginning of your stroke, you must have a high elbow on the first part of the stroke.

So, try sculling three times and not moving your elbow.

Just use your forearm and hands. Then do a normal stroke to change arms.

Swim fast!

By Emiliano Mora

Last updated Jan. 4, 2023


Edited by:

Emiliano Mora and Bruno Moreno Gutiérrez

Different freestyle techniques.

Different freestyle techniques.


How to swim a freestyle race

Freestyle technique can change according to the distance you are swimming.

We will talk about some general differences of the stroke at different speeds.



In a 50 freestyle your arms should spin as fast as they can, but also grabbing as much water as possible.

The legs play a very important part of sprinting freestyle technique, you should be kicking at full speed, you should be splashing water all over, the faster you kick the easier it will be to move your arms, you should not be taking a lot of breaths.


Middle – Distance

If you’re swimming the 100 or the 200 freestyle, however, you should get into a smoother technique. You should be in a very fast pace but a more rhythmic one, a fast pace that you can hold on for the whole race.

You should breathe every 2 or 3 strokes, whatever is more comfortable to you, your legs are still kicking strongly but not as much as in the 50 freestyle. The difference between a 100 and a 200, is that the 200 has a little bit of strategy; you need to plan when to use your full speed and when to pace yourself.

The 100 is more of a steady pace around 95% of your strength and then close with what is left at the last 10 meters.



The 400, 800 and 1500 are swam in a very different stroke technique. Swimmers use the legs very little, the reason behind this, is that the legs use up a lot of oxygen in your blood, if you have them close to the surface by doing small timely kicks you can swim longer distances in a constant speed.

However, this only works if you have a high horizontal position in the water, if your legs sink even a few inches then you probably have to kick a little bit more.

The arms will do most of the work here, so you must get into a rhythm gliding the right amount for your stroke rhythm.

While you are practicing in the pool you should try all these different techniques at different paces, you will start to see how you adapt to each one by repetition.

By Raul, Mauricio Uranga & Emiliano Mora Last updated Nov. 24, 2022

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Freestyle kick and body streamline position.

Freestyle kick and body streamline position.

The kick during freestyle should be something natural that you do without thinking about it.

To improve your freestyle kick to the point where you no longer have to think about it, you need to perfect it by doing drills every day, and the best way is to separate the kick and the stroke, to do that, you will need a kickboard.

If you don’t have a kickboard, you can do flutter kick on your back.

The first you need to focus, and this is something you have probably heard before is the ankle flexibility.

Here it is shown the difference between kicking on dorsiflexion and planta flexion.

As you can see, he doesn’t go forward at all when his ankles are flexed like this:

As soon as he changes them, he starts moving forward:

This means that the ankles can act as a parachute or as fins, depending on your flexibility.

Here is a good ankle stretch to prepare your ankles for a better kick:

One problem with the kick board is that it puts your head out of line, and therefore the legs can sink a little. This is not a natural position of your head when you swim

So, try kicking with kickboard like this:

You can put up your head to breathe like in breaststroke or butterfly, you will be doing your neck and your freestyle position a favor.

You can also simply kick on your back with a streamline.

Finally, you will notice that the kick is not wide, the wider the kick the more effort you will need to move forward, so, focus on doing small kicks, trying to bend your knees very little.

The hips will move a little because this is where the legs will initiate the movement.

Swim fast!

By Mauricio Uranga & Emiliano Mora

Last updated May. 04, 2022

Edited by:

Emiliano Mora

Smooth freestyle.

Smooth Freestyle.


Knowing how to swim smooth freestyle is essential for lap swimmers, triathletes, open water swimmers, water polo players, CrossFit athletes and basically anyone wanting to swim as a workout.

Position of the body.

The first thing to note is the position of the body.

The more horizontal your body is the easier it will be to swim without a lot of resistance.

The main issue people have is that their legs sink. To compensate they start kicking faster, then they get tired and their legs sink.

The reason the legs sink, and the upper body floats is the lungs.

The lungs of a beginner are always full.

This causes the upper body to float more and the legs to sink. It is better to have just enough air in the lungs to do a few strokes and exhale underwater before taking a small breath. This will sink your head and upper body a little making it easier to lift your hips. To master this technique, it is essential to know how to breathe properly.

Reduce drag.

The next thing to master is to reduce excess drag.

Advanced swimmers use very little energy to go forward while swimming smooth freestyle. This is because they have reduced the drag of their bodies as much as possible.

One big part of it is the legs.

Try to avoid bending your knees too much.

For smooth freestyle doing a few narrow kicks, maybe one or two per stroke, should be enough to keep your legs afloat.

Finally point your ankles in plantar flexion, this will reduce your drag a substantial amount, and will help you swim smoothly. This exercise will help you swim a smoother freestyle.

By having your arm above the water for a longer stretch of time, you will struggle to find a way to stay afloat and use the muscles necessary to counter act that. You will also create a correct pathway with your hand in the recovery stage.

If you want to take your smooth freestyle to the next level work on your core. It will give you stabilization for a better horizontal position. Work also on your flexibility, this will give you a better range of motion and reduce drag.

Swim smooth!

Emiliano Mora



Edited by:

Emiliano Mora and Bruno Moreno Gutiérrez 

Freestyle Rotation Drills.


Drills that will help you rotate properly.

1. No arms

Is very similar to freestyle but without using your arms.

Since you don’t have to worry about your arms you can focus on the rotation better.

Try this exercise by kicking strongly.

You will find that without the arms it is more difficult to stay afloat.

If you find it to distracting to stay on the surface and you want to just focus on the rotation, try using fins

To do this exercise correctly you need to keep your head still, moving it only to breathe

You will notice that the most challenging part is to keep kicking normally since your legs will also be rotating with your whole body.

This is the part that you actually need to master with this drill.

Once you get a hold of kicking while rotating you can move on the next exercise.


2. One arm

It is basically the same exercise but this time you add the motion of one arm.

With this exercise you will practice breathing to one side and using the opposite arm and you will also practice using your other arm and breathing to the other side.

Yes! You know that one side that you don’t usually use?

You will practice it like this.

It is good to breathe to both sides because the rotation will be more symmetrical.

3. Freestyle pause.

Finally, the third exercise is freestyle with a pause.

This exercise will make it obvious how much you are rotating.

If you don’t rotate enough you will slow down fast

If you do rotate you will glide through the water better.

Remember to keep your head still looking at a 45-degree angle, moving your head quickly just to take a breath.

It is recommended doing these drills some time during warm up or right after warming up so you can swim better in the main set.

When you swim at full speed try to remember the feeling of these rotation exercises and apply it to your normal swim.


Swim fast!

If you want to learn more about our tutorials, you can go here

Last updated Feb. 20, 2022

Edited by:

Emiliano Mora and Bruno Moreno Gutiérrez 

Front Crawl Breathing Common Mistake

Front Crawl Breathing Common Mistake


Today’s tip is called chest breathing

Many people, usually beginners tend to turn their heads too far and it causes all sorts of problems like body rotation and head position, that causes a very poor technique of proper upper-body movements.

Advanced swimmers don’t use their neck muscles to take a breath and that is the secret. They just rotate their imaginary “shoulder line” Instead as it is shown below:

If you do use your neck to breath, this tip is going to help you.

Picture a mouth on your chest that needs to take a breath.

Remember that Exaggeration will help you feel the difference between the wrong and the right way of doing any type of technique exercises.

So, exaggerate the rotation and without moving your neck rotate until your chest is out of the water and take a breath there.

You can pause your arms while you do this.

Then go back to normal freestyle and try rotating your chest to breathe instead of your neck.

Swim fast!

If you want to learn more about our tutorials, you can go here

Last updated Feb. 19, 2022

Edited by:

Emiliano Mora and Bruno Moreno Gutiérrez 

2 Tips on Breathing for Beginners


To help you swim freestyle faster

If you are just getting started on swimming, you should look out these two important tips in order to improve your speed on freestyle.

Tip #1: Start by doing breathing drills

Start your swimming session by doing breathing movements

An effective drill is holding to the wall on hand and doing 10 breaths on each side twice and trying to keep your head touching the water (Focus on turn your head instead of lifting it up).

This drill helps you to does not get water up your nose and stay less time on the surface while taking a breath.

Tip #2: Breathe every 4 strokes.

Most of us have a favorite side to breathe.

While more advanced swimmers can benefit from breathing to both sides

if you are just starting out it is better to focus on one side.


If you breathe every two strokes, you can start forming bad habits that will be difficult to correct later. So, in order to control your stroke technique and breathing you should breathe every 4 strokes, preferably on one side (just if you are a beginner).

The more you practice the more positive changes you will see on your freestyle while taking a breath. 

-Improve your technique.

-Your breath will not be as agitated as before.

-Swim the whole length of the pool without needing to stop

If you want to learn more about our tutorials, you can go here

Last updated Feb. 16, 2022

Edited by:

Emiliano Mora and Bruno Moreno Gutiérrez 

2 tips on breathing

2 Tips on breathing


To help you swim freestyle faster


1) Start doing breathing drills:

Start your swimming session by doing breathing movements It will improve your breathing.

  • First Step

Hold to the wall with one hand


Do 10 breaths on each side while you are holding your hands on the wall.

*Dangers of this practice*

  • Shallow water black outs is an underwater “faint” due to a lack of oxygen to the brain brought on by holding your breathe for long periods of time.
  • Without immediate rescue, the swimmer quickly drowns.
  • Shallow Water Blackout occurs WITHOUT ANY WARNING of its onset. In fact, because of the hypoxia and detached mental state one can feel euphoric and empowered to continue breath-holding. If you want to learn more, check out this link here


1. Follow these preventive measures


  • Never Hyperventilate.
  • Never ignore the urge to breath.
  • Never swim alone or without lifeguard supervision.
  • Never play breath-holding games.

*Be safe at all times*

2. Start practicing your hypoxic


Start with easy to medium exercises to improve your breath-holding ability. Again, this a dangerous practice and it should be taken seriously.

Try out the following set:

4 X 50s:

50 – 4 Breaths

50 – 3 Breaths

50 – 2 Breaths

50 – 1 Breaths

The first one we did with 4 breathes total in the 50. The next one 3, then 2 and the last one with 1. Depending on your ability, you can do this 4,3,2,1 or with more breathes like say 7,6,5,4. The key here is to time your breaths strategically.

Slowly challenge yourself

If it is hard, start with 25s of the same manner.

3. Strategy 


3 Breathes

On this 50 Raul does 3 breathes. Since he just took a breath before leaving he goes almost to the flags at the other end to take his first breath. Before the turn you will naturally feel the urge to breathe. So it is good to have fresh air before doing it. Now, he has two breathes left for the last 25.

He takes them relatively early knowing that he will breathe right after he touches the wall.

breathing Control swim

hypoxic swim

hypoxic swim


2 Breathes:

For the 50 with only 2 breaths it’s a little bit more challenging. Notice the long streamline. It is easy speed without wasting oxygen in the blood for moving your muscles.

Again the first breath before the turn. Now there is only one breath for the next 25.

Mauricio took it in the middle because he felt the urge to breathe and knew that as soon as he finish would breathe again.


1 Breath:

Raul does the last 50 with only 1 breath. Again he has a lot of oxygen stored at first because he was breathing normally right before, so he goes the whole 25 without breathing.

After the turn he could take the breath whenever he wants. He chooses to go up to the middle because he was probably feeling good. 


4. Variations


Try out the following set:

4 X 25s:

25 – 2 Breaths, 4 breaths rest.

25 – 2 Breaths, 3 breaths rest.

25 – 2 Breaths, 2 breaths rest.

25 – 2 Breaths, 1 breaths rest.

The interesting part though is to control your breathing during the rest. Mauricio rested for only 3 breaths. After the third breath he went on to do the next 25 with only two breathes.

If you are not there yet. You can try a variation of this with more breaths.

Something like 4 breaths for each 25 and 5 or 6 breaths while resting. 

It is also good to take only one breath in the 50 free during competition to not waste time breathing at full speed.

These exercises will train you to feel more comfortable with the urge to breathe.

While this is good for training it can also be dangerous for your health. Shallow water blackout is most common among physically fit swimmers, spear fishermen and free divers.

Let me know in the comments bellow if there are anything else you would like us to explain or make a tutorial about.

See you next time!

Be careful and swim fast!

By Mauricio and Raul Uranga Last updated Jun. 11, 2020

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4 breathing exercises

Breathing Exercises & Drills 
 Freestyle Swimming 


On this tutorial we will show you 4 breathing exercises you can do to maintain a better, more horizontal position while swimming smooth easy freestyle.

The level of these exercises is easy (beginner) to medium.


1.  Holding the wall exercise

The first exercise is to Grab the wall with one hand.

  • Take a deep breath.
  • You can exhale very little air through the nose.
  • Put your face in the water.
  • Kick just enough to put your body in a horizontal position.

*If it is too hard you can put your feet on the floor and practice the breathing movement, once you feel more comfortable bring the legs up again*

At this moment you are not exhaling.

Hold your breath for about 2 seconds and on the way up to take another breath let about 50% of the air in your lungs out through your nose plus 20% with your mouth.

Take a quick breath through your mouth of that 70% of air you let out.


You will notice that in swimming you breathe the exact opposite as if you were running.

  • When you swim, you exhale through your nose and inhale through your mouth.
  • You shouldn’t constantly exhale the whole time your head is in the water. This is key to maintaining your upper body floating.

Practice this exercise on both sides, breathing to the left and breathing to the right, until you feel comfortable with the movement and the breathing technique.

I also don’t fill my lungs to their full capacity.

That would cause the problem we talked about in the smooth freestyle video.


2.  Full stroke kick board drill

The second progression is very similar but you will have a kick board instead of the wall and you will also be doing full strokes.

The drill is to kick with your head in the water and take one stroke along with one breath each time.

You can do 6 kicks per breath or whatever feels comfortable. 

Notice that there is no exhaling while the head is in place looking at the floor.

Elite swimmers just exhale while the head is moving up to the surface before breaking it and a little bit while on the surface. This all happens in a matter of hundredths of a second while swimming fast.

That is why you have to practice it slowly at first and perfect it through repetition.


3.  Full stroke kick, no board

The third exercise is the same as the second but without a kick board. Usually swimmers have a preferred breathing side but it is of good practice to learn how to breathe well from both sides.

  • Trying keeping both arms up, like floating next to you.
  • Only use your arm when you are taking the stroke, take the opportunity to breath

Notice that the second goggle barely comes out of the surface, this is to make the breath fast and keep a good alignment of the body.


4.  Full stroke kick, no board

The fourth drill is simpler.

  • Just kick with your arms down.
  • Move your head to the side to take a breath.
  • There is no arms’ movement
  • Focus on maintaining the hips high on the surface of the water
  • Take quick breaths the same way you practice on the other three exercises.


Now you are ready to do the whole thing!

Swim one length of the pool on the smoothest freestyle you can do, while taking short quick breaths.

Try breathing every 2 stroke, every 3 stroke and every 4 strokes.

Notice the difference. Stop at the other end, control your breathing and do it again.

By Mauricio and Raul Uranga & Miguel Chavez, Last updated Jul. 24, 2020

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Thank you!



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