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Freestyle Swim Lesson #2: 
Body Position

This swimmer is demonstrating an ideal body position for freestyle. The body is long and nearly horizontal in the water. The head and spine are in what we call a “neutral” position, and the swimmer reaches full extension with the arms on every stroke.

When I teach freestyle body position to beginners, I start with a “Position 11” float.

I call it Position 11 because the swimmer’s arms are extended straight from the shoulders and are parallel, with hands separated. We also describe it as “railroad tracks” or “superman arms.”

The swimmer should look straight down at the bottom of the pool, without tucking the chin. The chin is off the chest. We call this a neutral head position.

I make sure her arms are extended and positioned at ear level or slightly higher.

Her fingers are pointed forward, with hands angled down with a slight bend at the wrist.

It’s important for the swimmer to have a slight flex in the wrist. This helps them set up an effective pull.

The belly should be in, with the hips tucked under to eliminate an arch in the back. The swimmer should lean into the water with their chest, as if they were pressing their lungs into the water.

The body should be firm and straight…without being tense or rigid.