Different Swimming Strokes
Swimming is a very athletic sport that requires stamina and great breathing techniques, and over the years many different swimming strokes have developed. Because it is a sport that is not hard on the joints, it's possible for people from all walks of life to enjoy it. Here are some of the most common swim strokes known.
- Breaststroke: Because the breaststroke is one of the more difficult of the different swim strokes available it is not often recommended for beginners. It requires a swimmer to pull with their arms, breathe and kick at the same time to propel them through the water. Keeping hands cupped, they are brought from overhead, down through the water and then pulled toward the chest. The legs are used to push through the water by snapping them together in traditional swimming fashion.
- Butterfly: This different swim stroke is also more advanced and shouldn't be something a beginner swimmer starts with. It is comprised of a dolphin-like kick where the legs are kept together, pushing the water down and the swimmer through the water. Again the hands are cupped, but the palms face outward as the arms move together and pull through the water in a sweeping motion. The torso undulates similar to the dolphin throughout, and remember to breathe at the end of each arm movement. This different swim stroke moves a person through the water in a very up and down fashion.
- Backstroke: The backstroke is one of the more simple but different swim strokes. Here the person is on their back and paddling with the scissor kick, their legs snapping together. The arms are moved with equal strength in a windmill type pattern. Hands are always cupped and the thumbs should leave the water first. The swimmer's head will always be out of the water and their eyes should be on the ceiling. When the arms are making their pass through the water they should form an 's' shape to further propulsion through the water. Keep in mind, each arm should be used with the same force or strength to push through the water. This different swim stroke is not only the easiest to learn, but relaxing to do.
- Crawl or Freestyle: This is another of the simple and different swim strokes. It is the most common and easily taught to beginners, as the hardest part is breathing because the head is underwater for most of the time. The legs kick in a flutter pattern and emphasize the down kicking to push through the water. The arms are used in a windmill fashion and make an 's' shape under water. The head is turned under one arm to breathe for each stroke. Again, it's important to use the same amount of strength for each arm to get a swimmer through the water.
- Doggie Paddle: This works in a pinch and can keep a swimmer's head above water. The legs are used with the same flutter kick found in the freestyle. The hands and arms move in a stroke underwater with the hands always cupped to keep forward movement through the water.