Different Types of Swimming Strokes: From Breaststroke to Front Crawl and Beyond
Breaststroke, front crawls, butterfly swim, frog style swimming, …Are you perplexed by the various swimming terms you've encountered? Understanding the different swimming styles can sometimes be challenging. Very often,the many terms you hear can lead to more questions than answers.
Here, we'll dive into the popular swimming strokes, shedding light on each one's unique attributes. Plus, we'll share some swimming tips on how they can benefit your health and what to look out for.
What are the 4 Strokes of Swimming and How Should You Approach Them?
Swimming encompasses a range of styles, but there are four primary types of swimming strokes you should be aware of:
- Front Crawl (or simply, crawl),
- Breaststroke (sometimes known as frog style swimming),
- Butterfly Swim (also known as dolphin swim)
- Backstroke (linked to the old English backstroke)
Front Crawl Swimming Technique
Front crawl, often considered the easiest swimming style to learn, resembles the way young children paddle in water, sometimes referred to as “dog paddling”. It involves alternating arm strokes and a continuous leg motion.
What's more, the front crawl is the fastest swimming stroke, burning up to 900 calories an hour. If weight loss is your goal, mastering the front crawl technique can be a game-changer!
The breaststroke is the oldest known of all swimming types, it's the most demanding but also the slowest. A typical feature of breaststroke is the straddle leg stroke. In addition, the arms, which are together, are brought forward under water at the same time and then guided by a push against the swimming motion. Properly executed, it demands significant effort. However, many swimmers, unfortunately, don't use the recommended breaststroke techniques, which can lead to strain, particularly in the neck area. What many people understand by breaststroke therefore has little to do with the official technique recommendations.
The third official swim type is called butterfly or dolphin swimming. How to swim butterfly? Butterfly swimming, stands out with its simultaneous arm strokes and wavelike leg motion. Both arms are simultaneously brought back under water and then brought forward again over the head. The legs move in a full-body wave motion. When done right, the butterfly stroke in swimming is the second fastest, though it demands a good deal of energy.
Backstroke: Swimming with Style on Your Back
Finally, the backstroke is the fourth basic technique. Here, the arms (similar to the crawl) are alternately brought backwards in the supine position, while the legs are alternately moved up and down from the hips. This back crawl is a derivative of the original old German swim, where both arms are brought backwards at the same time and the straddle leg stroke is performed.
It's beneficial for those with back issues, as it exercises supporting muscles while relieving the spine. But, as with all swimming styles, technique is key.
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Exploring Variations of Swimming Styles
Beyond these four foundational strokes in swimming, there are numerous variations. Aqua fitness, under guidance, is gaining traction. This modality is not only ideal for those with health concerns but also for beginners wanting to grasp the fundamentals of swim forms. You will gain a lot of swimming tips and can then practise this sport more effectively on your own.
Our tip: Check out if any aqua fitness and swimming courses are offered in your neighbourhood! Many of them are even subsidised by health insurers.
No matter what swimming stroke you prefer, remember to think of a proper nutrition to optimise your swimming performance. Read our article on what to eat before workout.
Deciding the Best Stroke for You
Determining the best swimming technique is individual. After all, it is most important that we move our body and actively use our swimming muscles when we swim. To find out which swimming style suits you best, experiment with different types of swimming strokes and settle on what feels right and is the most fun.
Our swimwear section offers everything to kickstart your journey in the pool. Just go for it! Looking for the perfect bikini? Then read our guide on different bikini styles!