Front Crawl Breathing


Shoulders and Head Position


Follow these steps to learn the correct head positioning for swimming and for breathing in the water.

The result is a smoother swimming technique, creating less resistance in the water and you will save energy and move faster.

For the best results watch the videos and read the following points.


1. Break the Surface

Break the surface of the water with your head. This allows you to have more control of your body and your shoulders.

head freestyle swimming

(Look how the top of the head is above the water! )


2. Eyes

Where you look dictates the position of your head.

Looking down creates drag and prevents you moving smoothly. It also has the additional drawback of not being able to see anything in front of you!

eyes swimming freestyle wrong

Looking too far up causes your body to sink and creates more resistance. You lose energy and therefore need to generate more effort to move forward.

eyes swimming freestyle wrong

The correct position is to have your head in a mid-position. This allows your head to ‘cut’ the water, keeping your body closer to the surface, therefore you will create less drag and move faster.

eyes swimming freestyle correct

3. Shoulders Rotation

When one arm enters the water and is stretched forward and slightly down the shoulder should be taken with it. The rotation of the shoulder has the added benefit of extending your reach.  As a consequence of this action the opposite shoulder rotates up in the water.

Rotating your shoulders helps you pull more water and reduces the risk of injury.

Shoulder rotation should occur naturally in conjunction with the arms.

4. Keep a Steady Head

When you’re not breathing your head should be still. Your shoulders will be moving but not your head.

Keep your eyes looking at the one point and it will be easier to keep your head straight.

5. Breathing

Breathing is ideally short and quick.

When your arm starts recovering its time for you head to twist and breath.

when to breath freestyle

Then as your recovering arm reaches forward towards the surface of the water your head should rotate back to its steady straight position.

when to breath freestyle

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


Remember only one goggle should be out of the water as you breathe.

Try to make your mouth look like this this funny man.


(White lines are out of the water, blue lines in the water)

Do you have any questions!?

Ask them here on the comments section ↓

We will try to answer them!

You might be interested on our complete freestyle tutorial. here

Learn how to kick while swimming freestyle.

By the way, don’t forget to share this knowledge to others..

Thank you!


More Tutorials on Freestyle 


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Tanya M Christian
Tanya M Christian
1 year ago

Inhaling is not my issue; for some reason, I hesitate to exhale under water. This happens on occasion and not after taking the first breath– but after taking subsequent breaths. I just have to be cognizant of it, I guess.

Have you ever heard of this at all?

tony o seanainn
tony o seanainn
2 years ago

excellent photos

tony o seanainn
tony o seanainn
2 years ago

brilliant demonstration especially the shot showing actual movement…thanks a million!

Ana Isela
Ana Isela
3 years ago

Es muy bueno él tutorial. Me gusta y lo estoy aplicando.

Raul Uranga
3 years ago

Hope you like the tutorial!