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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