Swim glide is difficult to achieve for all swimmers. It requires several components, all equally important. These are: buoyancy, propulsion and coordination.

Nabaiji offers you training consisting of several exercises to improve the different elements of your crawl stroke. This will allow you to enjoy the best sensations when performing the full stroke.

Training for glide in crawl

1 HR – 1 HR 15 SESSION:

1.    Warm up (15 minutes)
Warm up for 15 minutes to wake up all your joints and muscles.
Concentrate on the amplitude of your movements:

- 50 meters crawl
- 25 meters backstroke
- 25 meters breastroke

Repeat this sequence several times according to your comfort level.

2.    Exercises (4 x 10 minutes)
The proposed exercises isolate the key elements of the stroke (amplitude, breathing, buoyancy, propulsion, coordination), to work on them individually. Eventually, you will need to put all this together in the full stroke to achieve effective swim glide.

For each exercise, multiply the number of lengths given according to your comfort level.

- Exercise 1: catch-up crawl
Amplitude is the capacity to stretch out the arms, to pull in water from far enough away to achieve effective traction and increased forwards movement of the body. The aim is to cover a larger distance with each movement.

- Swim front crawl whilst keeping one arm extended ahead of you
- The opposite arm moves normally, then comes into the same position as the other
- Like a relay, when one arm returns in front of the body, the other can start its rotation
- And repeat...

- 5 x 50 meters swimming catch-up crawl

- Exercise 2: catch-up crawl with kickboard
Breathing is a constraint when swimming. It creates many obstacles to hydrodynamics. The aim is therefore to reduce the hindrances it presents for swimming. It thus needs to be effective and very brief, to avoid losing body alignment and to glide better in the water.

- Use a kickboard
- Hold it out in front of you with both hands and kick your feet with your face in the water to move you forwards
- The crawl movement is always performed with the same arm
- Breathe on the side, and ensure it is very brief
- Change arm after 25 meters

- 5 x 50 meters of catch-up crawl with a kickboard

- Exercise 3: kicking over/underwater
There are several key objectives of leg kicking. It provides 10% of swim propulsion, keeps the hips stable and raises the pelvis and legs to give a perfectly horizontal position.

- Use a kickboard
- With one arm on the board, kick to move yourself forwards
- Alternate leg kicking under the surface of the water and on the surface, every 25 meters

- 5 x 50 meters crawl kicking

- Exercise 4: underwater pulls
Effective propulsion is not necessarily synonymous with big arms or big muscles. You need to do the motion repeatedly, trying to pull as much water as possible, in order to eventually achieve an almost perfect movement.

- Place both arms in front of you with your head underwater, and kick gently to move yourself forwards
- Do a few sculling motions with your arms, to feel the mass of the water
- Pull with both arms, accelerating your movement as much as possible
- Then breathe on the side
- Finally, bring both arms forwards again underwater and repeat the cycle...

- 5 x 50 meters of underwater tractions

3.    Rest (5 minutes)
After exercise, the long-awaited moment of calm! It is important to relax your muscles and focus on your amplitude, buoyancy and coordination. Bring together all the elements you have worked on during the session. Do your best to feel the swim glide and enjoy it as much as possible.

- 200 meters swimming full crawl

Well done, you've finished!
Don't forget to stretch to prevent muscle aches the next day and take a cold shower to increase circulation and encourage recovery.

Training for glide in crawl


National Swimmer & Dialogue Leader