Chapter Nine-A~Front Crawl; Instructor
The Home Pool


Floats and Breathing Review

If you are unable to perform the floats described in Chapter Nine Controlling Panic and Floats you need more steps to the progressions.Those described below should be helpful.

Supine floats are important at this point because they lead more easily into the Elementary Backstroke; the Back Crawl; and the Inverted Breastroke. You may prefer to practice them with a partner.

Each illustration should refresh your memory, however, you may also refer to the larger illustrations in Chapter Nine by clicking on the link and scrolling down the page: Chapter Nine



1--Standing in waist deep water, lift arms out straight in front as if to dive. Take a deep breath and bend forward at waist until head and arms are under water. Pretend you're trying to touch your toes and then totally relax. Feet will lift off bottom.

2--Dangle head and upper body downward, letting the water buoy you. Relax in this position at least ten seconds. Lift head up and straighten at waist to reach a standing position.



1--In waist deep water, raise arms straight up above head.

2--Arch back and drop head back. Push up abdomen having your body lie gently atop the water. It's extremely important to keep neck arched BACK. If you raise your head even a little you will not float because you to bend forward.

3--Legs will rise to surface. Stretch out arms and legs keeping body taut to remain afloat.

4--To recover, bring arms down to sides, lift head, bend forward at waist and pull hands toward back. Feet will touch bottom. Instead, you may turn over to a prone position and perform the Prone Float Recovery (Birdy Hop.)



This float is the most relaxing of all. Once maintained it takes little effort to keep afloat--it's even possible to doze off if the water is calm.

1--In waist deep water begin the same way as the Backbend Float. Lift arms above head, arch or drop head back and arch your back, push abdomen up gently lying body atop water. It's extremely important to be relaxed and not to lift up your head.

2--After maintaining a good backbend float, without bending your elbows, gently bring arms down to shoulders height holding them out from your body, stretched and taut.

3--Spread legs apart to form a "starfish." Point toes and keep legs out and taut.

4--After a good "starfish" is formed, relax muscles. Let legs dangle from knees down and arms from elbows down. Close eyes and feel the water buoy you. Relax in this position a few minutes or as long as you wish.

5--To recover from supine position, raise head and bend forward at waist. Bring arms down to sides and pull back with hands. Legs will touch bottom and you'll be able to stand. Or, if you prefer, move arms above head and turn over to front float position. Perform a regular Recovery From Prone Float.



Before putting the skills you've learned together for the Front Crawl, you need to review the breathing tasks. The following progressions are meant more as a reminder of important points than for re-learning them.

A review of Breathing, One Perfect Breath and second half of the Red Cross Breathing Drill is recommended as it will help you to readily recall the moves when you begin to swim the Front Crawl. If you feel you haven't performed one or more steps well enough, you may return to the drills in Chapter Eight-A for One Perfect Breath-Individual and Chapter Eight-C for The Red Cross Breathing Drill.

To refresh your memory please refer to illustrations below.

As previously explained, the most important point to remember in the breathing drill is to close your mouth each time after exhaling and to keep mouth closed until it's completely out of the water before taking another breath.


If you begin the Front Crawl by pushing off in the side position (One Perfect Breath) it's important to keep your downside ear in the water, in other words, DO NOT LIFT HEAD as you push off. Lifting head will cause your lower body to drag and prevent forward momentum.

The Red Cross Breathing Drill Part 2

Begin with head down and the beginning of the Pull.

As arm pulls back, head begins pivot. Do NOT lift head.

With face turned out of water but head NOT lifted, take quick deep breath through mouth.

Elbow MUST be pointed upward at the Lift, as hand lifts out of water.

As arm goes into the Arch, head starts turning back and EXhaling begins through nose and slightly ajar mouth.

Arm returns for next stroke with face straight down in the water and continuing to exhale.

Repeat these exercises as long as you feel they are necessary. It would be good if you could have the local lifeguard or an experienced swimmer make sure you are doing the progressions correctly.

The next page, Chapter Nine-C, Individual, shows the progressions for "putting it all together."

Chapter Nine!C~Individual
The Home Pool
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