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Basic Swimming Strokes

Fatima Rangwala Apr 17, 2019
Swimming is not only a fun activity, but also a way in which one can stay fit. For those who want to learn swimming, knowledge of the basic strokes is a must. Here's more.
The water is your friend. You don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.
Aleksandr Popov
There are four basic strokes in swimming: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke.
Out of these, the freestyle stroke is the most energy-saving technique, provided you do it the right way. Moreover, the relaxation and comfort one gets is just amazing. It is also the fastest of all swimming styles.

Different Types of Swimming Strokes


Herein, the body is posed in a manner where the head and the torso are pointed in the downward direction of the swimming pool, and the legs kick constantly up and down to move ahead.
Another aspect of freestyle is the coordination of the hands. When one hand is raised and brought back into the water, the other hand should coordinate underneath the water to help move ahead.
With all these hand gestures, the head movement is important too. The head must tilt the same side that the body tilts. This is necessary for the swimmer to inhale proper amount of air while swimming.


When you enter the pool, stand still, catch a little momentum to propel your body in the forward direction, and start flinging both arms and legs in the outward direction smoothly.
The whole body should form a shape of a 'T'. The arms should bend at the elbows, and the front of the arms must lapse below the water level along with the chin at the surface. By being positioned in this manner, you then have to stretch your arms out in the forward direction, and legs in the backward.
This breaststroke technique helps raise the head and torso above the water level, and inhale air at regular intervals.

Butterfly Stroke

As striking and difficult this swimming stroke happens to be, it is far more graceful to watch too.
The movement of the arms and legs is supposed to be in an upward and downward motion. The arms are brought forward, and then pulled back and brought up once again.
Whilst these actions are performed, the legs too are kicked in a powerful motion, something like the dolphin style.


This swimming style is kind of difficult to perform. It is best left for the professional swimmers, or rather those who have perfected the freestyle very well.
As the name suggests, the swimmer is supposed to lie on his back, and move his arms and legs in a similar style like the freestyle.
Although it's an extremely relaxing stroke, almost giving you the effect of being on a beach feeling nice and relaxed, with the backstroke, the navigation of swimming around in the pool gets a bit complex.
But yes, there's something to balance it out―the factor of breathing doesn't become a hassle. So all you have to do is lie on your back, try to float your body without sinking in the water, and pedal as if you are riding a bicycle.
On a parting note, remember that practice is the key to success.