Are you in Canada? Click here to proceed to the HK Canada website.

For all other locations, click here to continue to the HK US website.

Human Kinetics Logo

Purchase Courses or Access Digital Products

If you are looking to purchase online videos, online courses or to access previously purchased digital products please press continue.

Mare Nostrum Logo

Purchase Print Products or eBooks

Human Kinetics print books and eBooks are now distributed by Mare Nostrum, throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Middle East, delivered to you from their warehouse. Please visit our new UK website to purchase Human Kinetics printed or eBooks.

Feedback Icon Feedback Get $15 Off

Human Kinetics is moving to summer hours. Starting May 31 – August 2, our hours will be Mon – Thurs, 7am – 5pm CDT. Orders placed on Friday with digital products/online courses will be processed immediately. Orders with physical products will be processed on the next business day.

Learn more about the freestyle stroke

This is an excerpt from Swimming Drill Book 2nd Edition, The by Ruben Guzman.

Freestyle is the fastest of the competitive strokes. In competition, however, swimmers often try to speed up by moving their arms faster through the air. They try so hard that their strokes deteriorate, slowing them down. To move faster, swimmers must balance good technique with strong pulling and kicking.


Efficiency is vital to swimming freestyle fast. In the past few years, much has been learned about the way that the best swimmers in the world swim freestyle. Sprinters tend to have straighter arms for a faster turnover and higher stroke rate rather than a long stroke that focuses on distance per stroke. Distance swimmers tend to have more of a front-quadrant stroke that resembles the catch-up freestyle in some ways. New research supports a shallower pull stemming from the elbow to improve the efficiency of the stroke. The drag applied to the hand and forearm is much less than that for the upper arm, so swimmers are trying to pull with a bent elbow under the water while keeping the upper arm as close to the surface as possible.


The best freestylers

  • maintain excellent head and body position with their bodies high out of the water;
  • have a smooth, relaxed stroke recovery with the elbows high;
  • have excellent head control;
  • breathe comfortably;
  • have good hip rotation, torso rolling, and shoulder lift;
  • have flawless kicking;
  • pull through the water efficiently and with great power;
  • catch the water with the elbow high during the catch phase; and
  • pull all the way past the hip until the hand releases to the recovery.


The drills in this chapter will help you apply the characteristics of the best freestylers to your stroke.

Learn more about The Swimming Drill Book, Second Edition.

More Excerpts From Swimming Drill Book 2nd Edition