How to Learn Freestyle Swimming?

It has 18 days since been I joined a swimming course on August 6, 2009. It has been a great experience till date. Based on my learning experience so far, I have come up with an algorithm that can be followed to learn swimming. The view and the method presented below is purely based on my personal opinion and experience. It does not comply to any standards. Please read the disclaimer section at the end of this post for further clarification.

Step 1: Practice holding your breath and learn to float in Water.

  • Anything that has air trapped inside can float. A cork floats in water since it has air trapped in it. Similarly, humans can float if they hold their breath.
  • The trainer should illustrate a simple demonstration of the face-down float and float by wrapping the arms around the knees and holding the breath for five seconds.
  • Demonstration of the “dead man’s float” with the arms out like an airplane and the face down in the water can be an added advantage.
  • The learner is expected to imitate the trainer after the demonstrations.

Example of the dead mans float method

Example of the dead man's float method (Image source: P.Gordon's photostream on Flickr)

Another image illustrating the dead mans float (Image source:

Another image illustrating the dead man's float (Image source:

Please note, the learner should never be left unattended at the swimming pool.

The video listed below by Peter Elizondo provides an elaborated view of step 1.

Step 2: Learn to Flutter kick.

The below listed points were borrowed from How to Flutter Kick post on WikiHow.

  1. Hold onto a wall or a kickboard. You may also just kick in streamline position without holding onto anything.
  2. Point your toes.
  3. Hold your breath and put your head in the water.
  4. Move your legs up and down about 3 or 4 inches. Do this quickly for as long as you can without bending your knees.
  5. Lift your head up to breathe and resume kicking. But, if you are kicking in streamline position, do not pick your head up. Rotate your body so your head faces up, breathe, and then rotate so you are facing the bottom of the pool.

Please note:

  • Don’t kick too high or most of the kick will be wasted in the air, not propelling you forward.
  • Holding your breath too long may result in shallow water blackout.
  • By lifting your head to breathe you might cause your body to drift down.

Staged by principal author of Shallow Water Bl...

Example of 'Shallow Water Blackout' (Image via Wikipedia)

The videos listed below created by Peter Elizondo illustrates step 2 in depth.

Step 3: Learn to Flutter kick with the head immersed in water.

Step 4: Learn how to use your hands in freestyle swimming.

Step 5: Learn how to pull your body in freestyle swimming.

Step 6: Learn the breathing technique for freestyle swimming.


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The information presented here is collected from several sources. None of the video links posted on this blog are stored on the server that hosts this blog. They are linked to their respective links.

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