What Benefits Different Swimming Styles Have?

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Guest post by Anabel Cooper

There are quite a few swimming strokes or different styles out there, however, the most used ones are the ones that are also used in international competition. If you were curious about which one is best and what is the advantage of each and every one of them, keep reading and you’ll be amazed.

Breaststroke

The breaststroke is the extremely popular with athletes but can also be performed by hobby swimmers as well. In this style, both of your arms do semi-circular movements while underwater, just in front of your head. The recovery also takes place underwater and the legs execute a sudden whip. The advantage of this stroke is that rookies can swim while keeping their head above water, thus avoiding orientation and breathing issues. Unfortunately, the breaststroke is one of the slowest in all swimming styles, so you have to decide what works best for you.

Butterfly Stroke

This is one truly spectacular stroke with an impressive technique. It is based on a symmetrical arm stroke and a recovery that happens above water and also a wavy movement of your body, similar to a dolphin kick. This is the second-best stroke when it comes to speed and it is considered to be one of the most exhausting. Once mastered, though, it can mean a lot of fun.

Freestyle

The freestyle stroke is, perhaps, the preferred style for swimmers that already gathered some kilometres in the pool. By alternating arm movements with the flutter kick of the legs and an above water recovery, this technique is quite efficient and fast. It just might be the fastest of all swimming strokes and that’s the main reason why it is used in freestyle competitions.

Backstroke

Just as the name indicates, the backstroke is swimming backwards. Well, not that literally but it does use circular arm movements above your head while sitting on your back. This form of swimming is usually indicated by physicians to treat various back problems or even for spinal accidents recovery.

Sidestroke

The sidestroke is, perhaps, one of the oldest forms of swimming and it uses a scissor kick as well as a couple of asymmetrical underwater movement of the arms. Although it is not being used in swimming competitions, it is easy to learn and it provides a very good alternative to the previous strokes detailed so far. Another thing that differentiates the sidestroke from all other strokes is that it’s the type of swimming used by lifeguards to take victims ashore.

Elementary Backstroke

Similar to the backstroke, this style of swimming has a spin to it. It is swum on the back as well, however, it is mostly based on a reverse breaststroke kick and just a very basic synced movement of the arms while underwater.

This elementary style can be easily taught to children in the process of learning how to swim. It can also be used for elderly persons that do not have enough strength to try the other styles but still want to enjoy some time in the water.

Featured photo by allendc33

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About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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