Four Strokes in Swimming That You Should learn to be a better swimmer

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Four Strokes in Swimming. Swimming is a sport that requires the use of your entire body to move through water, and that is why it gives you many health benefit; burns calories, builds muscular strengths and endurance, improve your cardiovascular fitness, and you can do safely into old age.

There are 4 strokes in swimming, you can learn it easily, and you also can teach it to others. The strokes are Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Front Crawl/Freestyle.

Butterfly Stroke

How to swim butterfly stroke is you swim on the chest with both arms moving symmetrically accompanied by the dolphin kick.

This stroke is considered the most difficult swimming technique. The main difficulty for new learners is synchronous over-water recovery, especially when combining the breathing, since both arms, the head, shoulders, and part of the chest have to be lifted out of the water. The details of the movement are here.

The Kicking Movement

  • Bend the knees slightly, and keep them together
  • Make a downward thrust by straightening the knees and whipping the feet downward
  • There should be two kicks for every arm stroke

The Arm Movement

  • Move the arms together, and pull through the water with the hands cupped
  • Face the palms outward, and press down and outward
  • Swing the arms forward above the water in a sweeping motion to complete the stroke

The Breathing

  • Breathe at the end of the arm stroke

Back Stroke

Backstroke is the only swimming style that swims on the back. The advantage of backstroke is the ease of breathing, but the disadvantage is the swimmer is not able to see where they are going.

The technique of backstroke style is the opposite of freestyle stroke. The details of the movement are here.

The Kicking Movement

  • Is a flutter kick where the legs kick in an alternating order
  • Bend the knees slightly
  • Relax the feet and ankles (they should be almost floppy)
  • Emphasize the up-kick for propulsion

The Arm Movement

  • Move the arms in an alternating, windmill pattern as they rotate and pass your face
  • Cup the hands, and the thumb leaves the water first
  • Move the hands in an “S” pattern when they are pushing the water

The Breathing

  • Keep your head back and eyes toward the ceiling
  • You can find your own breathing pattern with the backstroke because the breathing is less coordinated with the arms and kick than other strokes since your head should always be out of the water

Breast Stroke

This stroke is the slowest stroke of any competitive stroke, and also popular as a recreational style due to the head of the swimmer being out of the water for a large portion of the time.

Mostly for beginner swimmers, they have to master this stroke or freestyle first, before they move to another stroke.

The basics to swim breaststroke are your arm pulls, you breathe, you kick and, then you glide. The details are here.

The Kicking Movement

  • First, bring the knee to the chest
  • Second, thrust the leg backward and straight
  • Then, snap the leg together to push the water and to propel you forward

The Arm Movement

  • Start with the arms overhead
  • Pull on the water, and bring arms toward the chest
  • Keep the hands cupped
  • Return arms to starting position

The Breathing Movement

  • Breathe every time you stroke with your arms

Front Crawl or Freestyle Strokes

Freestyle refers to any style of swimming beside the breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. Front crawl is the fastest swimming stroke.

Front crawl swimming implies the use of legs and arms. The swimmers circle their arms forward alternating and kicking the feet up and down (flutter kick). The details of front crawl movement are here.

The Kicking Movement

  • It’s a flutter kick where the legs kick in an alternating order
  • Bend the knees slightly
  • Relax the feet and ankles (the should be almost floppy)
  • Emphasize the down-kick for propulsion

The Arm Movement

  • Move the arms in an alternating, windmill pattern as they rotate and pass your face
  • Cup the hands, and the thumb leaves the water first
  • Move the hands in an “S” pattern when they are pushing the water

The Breathing

  • Keep your head back and eyes toward the ceiling
  • You can find your own breathing pattern with the backstroke because the breathing is less
  • Coordinated with the arms and kick than other strokes since your head should always be out of the water