The aim of this study was to review the literature on front crawl swimming biomechanics, focusing on propulsive and resistive forces at different swimming velocities. Recent studies show that the resistive force increases in proportion to the cube of the velocity, which implies that a proficient technique to miminise the resistive (and maximise the propulsive) force is particularly important in sprinters. To increase the velocity in races, swimmers increase their stroke frequency. However, experimental and simulation studies have revealed that there is a maximum frequency beyond which swimmers cannot further increase swimming velocity due to a change in the angle of attack of the hand that reduces its propulsive force. While the results of experimental and simulation studies are consistent regarding the effect of the arm actions on propulsion, the findings of investigations into the effect of the kicking motion are conflicting. Some studies have indicated a positive effect of kicking on propulsion at high swimming velocities while the others have yielded the opposite result. Therefore, this review contributes to knowledge of how the upper-limb propulsion can be optimised and indicates a need for further investigation to understand how the kicking action can be optimised in front crawl swimming.Abbreviations: C: Energy cost [kJ/m]; Ė: Metabolic power [W, kJ/s]; Fhand: Fluid resultant force exerted by the hand [N]; Ftotal: Total resultant force [N] (See Appendix A); Fnormal: The sum of the fluid forces acting on body segments toward directions perpendicular to the segmental long axis, which is proportional to the square of the segmental velocity. [N] (See Appendix A); Ftangent: The sum of the fluid forces acting on body segments along the direction parallel to the segmental long axis, which is proportional to the square of the segmental velocity. [N] (See Appendix A); Faddmass: The sum of the inertial force acting on the body segments due to the acceleration of a mass of water [N] (See Appendix A); Fbuoyant: The sum of the buoyant forces acting on the body segments [N] (See Appendix A); D: Fluid resistive force acting on a swimmer's body (active drag) [N]; T: Thrust (propulsive) force acting in the swimming direction in reaction to the swimmer's actions [N]; Thand: Thrust force produced in reaction to the actions of the hand [N]; Tupper_limb: Thrust force produced in reaction to the actions of the upper limbs [N]; Tlower_limb: Thrust force produced in reaction to the actions of the lower limbs [N]; Mbody: Whole-body mass of the swimmer [kg]; SF: Stroke frequency (stroke number per second) [Hz]; SL: Stroke length (distance travelled per stroke) [m]; v: Instantaneous centre of mass velocity of the swimmer [m/s]; V-: Mean of the instantaneous centre of mass velocities in the swimming direction over the period of the stroke cycle [m/s]; a: Centre of mass acceleration of the swimmer [m/s2]; V-hand: Mean of the instantaneous magnitudes of hand velocity over a period of time [m/s]; Ẇtot: Total mechanical power [W]; Ẇext: External mechanical power [W]; Ẇd: Drag power (mechanical power needed to overcome drag) [W, Nm/s]; α: Angle of attack of the palm plane with respect to the velocity vector of the hand [deg]; ηo: Overall efficiency [%]; ηp: Propelling efficiency [%]; MAD-system: Measuring Active Drag system; MRT method: Measuring Residual Thrust method.