There are numerous reasons why people swim every day, and exercise is one of them. Swimming strokes is the way to propel your body forward in a motion using most of your body muscles and burning most calories.
It’s been a month since I learned how to swim. Exercise was never the reason to learn swimming, but recently I felt swimming is one of the best ways to exercise. And to get the most out of swimming, you must learn the swimming stroke properly.
There are many different types of swimming strokes, each with unique benefits. I will explain each type with proper technique and how to improve each stroke. Also, I will share the benefits that I got from the swimming stroke.
Types of Swimming Strokes for Exercise
Four major strokes are used in competitive swimming: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke. Besides these four types, sidestroke is one kind that is not competitive. However, each stroke has its own benefits that can help swimmers of all levels improve their performance in the water.
Freestyle (Front Crawl)
Freestyle, also known as front crawl, is the most popular type of stroke for swimming laps and is considered the fastest and most efficient of the four main strokes. It is also the easiest to learn, making it an excellent choice for beginners. In addition, because freestyle uses a continuous flutter kick, it can be helpful in improving leg strength and stamina.
Freestyle Stroke Swimming Technique
One important thing to note about the freestyle stroke swimming technique is that it helps to maintain a good body posture. The swimming technique starts with you floating on your stomach. Then, your face and body are parallel to the pool.
Floating on your chest gives you a leveled body position, and it will help you move faster in the water. You should also align your hairline with the water surface and keep your head still. A proper freestyle swimming technique is to rotate your shoulders and hips with each stroke.
You should never make a turn completely. You should also roll your head from one side to the other. The direction you will move your head will depend on the arm in front of your head. If your body is well positioned, your arm will have a good motion range.
The arm is one of the most important factors that push the body forward during the freestyle stroke. It would be best if you began by reaching your arm in from you, and your fingers should be a little open and relaxed. First, you should allow your fingers to enter the water, then move the water to make way for your body. After each stroke, your hand should always end near your hips.
Benefits of freestyle swimming stroke
The freestyle stroke is the most effortless swimming stroke. This is because it is the first swimming technique beginners learn. It is also taught because of its easy breathing techniques. Learners can hold their breath underwater and take another lungful of air when they come up.
With freestyle swimming, you will burn hundreds of calories with half an hour of swimming. You do not need to hit the thread mill to burn calories. This swimming technique does it for you in no time.
The freestyle stroke is the fastest swimming technique because one arm is always under the water, gathers momentum as it comes up, and it can propel the body forward. As a result, swimmers reach their goals faster making it most efficient stroke.
However, when swimmers want to set their swimming workout to lap counts, they favor the freestyle stroke swimming technique. It is also the best swimming method for long-distance swimmers so considered best for triathlon swimming stroke.
Apart from the mandatory workout, the freestyle stroke also gives swimmers a full-body workout. It tightens the muscles in the arms, legs, and core. It also helps to tone the back muscles. Strong muscles help to build endurance and speed when swimming.
The freestyle stroke swimming technique also helps amateur swimmers build their breathing patterns. Since it is the first swimming method taught, beginners can learn to swim and hold their breath.
Breaststroke is often thought of as the slowest of the main swimming strokes, but it is actually very efficient once you get the hang of it. Breaststroke is a great choice for those looking to build upper-body strength, as it uses both your arms and legs in a coordinated way.
Breaststroke Swimming Technique
The breaststroke swimming technique is like the freestyle stroke technique in the arms and legs movement. Here, your arms and legs move separately, and your body is horizontal. Under the water, your arms will come together at your chest, and it will sweep the water apart. Your arms are to remain underneath the water throughout the duration of the swim.
As your arms clear a path for you to go through, your legs will push you forward with a frog kick or whip kick. The frog kick is done by bending your knees and flexing your feet. .you will then kick your legs apart and bring them together again in a straight line.
The arms and leg movements are done alternatively. The arms rest when the legs are in motion, and the legs rest when the arms are in motion. Breaststroke is the easiest swimming form to learn. You can concentrate on the process without worrying if you are getting it.
You do not need to worry about breathing when using the breaststroke technique. You can perform the breaststroke technique with your head above water. Your arms and legs will be completely underneath the water.
Why is breaststroke considered the slowest swimming stroke?
The breaststroke swimming technique is the slowest swimming stroke. This is because of speed fluctuations between the strokes. Breaststroke can produce a lot of power and speed through the pulling motion. The arm recovers fast, while the leg’s slow recovery causes slow movement through the water.
The breaststroke is also the hardest on the legs. When performing the breaststroke, the muscles of the legs are tightened to do a frog kick, which slows down movement. The legs and thighs are also pulled against the swimming direction, which causes a lot of drag.
Breaststroke forces a swimmer to create resistance to gain momentum. You will need to recover by extending your hand through the water when you take a pull. You will also need to bend your knees and bring them to your hips. The movement of your arms and legs underneath the water creates drag, slowing down movement.
Since you’re kicking your legs and dragging your arms under the water, swimming is slower. The breaststroke swimming technique is also slow because of your body position in the water. Every time you lift your head, your remaining half body sinks. You can also perform your breaststroke by moving your arms and legs without lifting your head. Both methods will cause drag and resistance, which slows down movement.
Is breaststroke good for beginners?
Learning the breaststroke technique is good for beginners. Beginners can learn the technique at their own pace, making it easy. However, some beginners take time to learn how to hold their breath.
Backstroke is another stroke that is relatively easy to learn and perfect. It is often used by swimmers who are looking for a low-impact workout or those who have injuries that prevent them from using other strokes. Backstroke is an excellent choice for building lower-back strength and improving flexibility.
Backstroke Swimming Technique
The backstroke swimming technique is also known as the back crawl technique. It uses alternating arm movement. The swimmer uses the arm underneath the water to move through the water above the head to the hip. The arm above the water recovers, and the process continues. While the arms works, the legs do a flutter kick like the one done in the freestyle technique.
The backstroke is the only swimming technique where the swimmer is on their back. This is because the body sways a little to each side as the arms move. This means that the arm pulling back in the water is lower than the arm above the water.
The head remains in position as the body sways. The head is usually positioned face up and doesn’t follow the movement of the arm or body. The flutter kicks the legs perform and provide momentum to move through the water.
The legs move in opposite and alternating directions. When one leg is up, the second leg moves down, and the process is repeated for the swim duration. A six-kicking pattern is used in backstroke swimming. This is the universally used kicking pattern per backstroke cycle.
Benefits of Backstroke Swimming
Swimming a few lengths of the backstroke is an excellent way to start the day. It is one of the best swimming techniques for improving posture. Backstroke swimming burns around 250 calories when you swim for 30 minutes. It saves you extra thread mill time. You get to do what you love and burn calories simultaneously.
Another benefit of backstroke swimming is that it can help you lengthen your spine. This is because you are practicing and stretching to keep yourself straight in the water. As a result, backstroke swimming will help you look taller and straighten your back.
Backstroke swimming also helps to tone the stomach, legs, arms, and shoulder. It also improves hip flexibility. Consistently swimming on your back provide you with a full body workout. It will help build your muscles, strength, and endurance.
Backstroke swimming will also give you a good cardio workout. The water supports your body while you swim, gentler than other cardio exercises. It is the perfect heart exercise when you are advised not to swim.
Backstroke is the best swimming strokes to ease back pain. It also corrects rounded shoulders. It is therapeutic and helps return shoulders to their proper alignment.
Butterfly stroke is considered the hardest type of swimming Stroke since it’s performed entirely underwater except when you take breaths every few strokes (butterfly breathing).
Even though it may look difficult to perform this Stroke correctly, once you get the hangout, you’ll see why people love it so much! When executed flawlessly butterfly looks like poetry in motion – plus, it provides one heckuva workout since almost every muscle group in both upper & lower body is utilized during this powerful yet graceful swim style!
Butterfly Swimming Technique
The butterfly swimming technique is one of the most challenging swimming strokes to learn. It takes extra energy, strength, and advanced knowledge to swim. In addition, a butterfly stroke might seem complicated and impossible if you are new to swimming. But, with dedication and exemplary tutors, you will be able to perform the butterfly stroke in no time.
When you want to perform the butterfly swimming stroke, the first thing to note is your body position. Your head should be placed in a neutral position, and you should be looking straight down. Your hips should be positioned near the surface of the water. You can swim more quickly when your body is set correctly.
The next step is for your hand to hit the water with a small splash. Your arms movement is similar to the freestyle movement. You should always pull your arms down; it is okay if your arms move a bit closer. The leg movement, also known as the butterfly kick, helps you complete two kicks per arm cycle. The first kick helps to move your arms out of the water and the second kick helps to keep your movement forward.
Your breathing should be controlled. Some swimmers breathe with every stroke, while others breathe at intervals. The breathing pattern of swimmers during the butterfly stroke changes as they build more strength.
Why is the Butterfly the hardest stroke?
There are three reasons why the butterfly stroke is the hardest swimming stroke. The reasons are explained below.
The butterfly stroke requires the swimmer to bob up and down, which does not exist in the other swimming strokes. Therefore, you will need different stroke mechanics to swim the butterfly stroke perfectly.
Butterfly swimming involves total body coordination. Rhythm and coordination play a massive role in butterfly swimming. Beginners do not learn butterfly swimming until they are well experienced in other swimming strokes.
Butterfly swimming needs every muscle in the body to work. You will need a lot of baseline strength to work the swimming stroke out.
Benefits of Butterfly Swimming
Butterfly swimming is at the top of the calorie-burning list. It burns an average of 450 calories for swimming for 30 minutes, making it the best swimming stroke for weight loss. In addition, it is the most efficient swimming stroke for toning and building muscles. It also helps build your upper body strength and back muscles, improving your flexibility and body posture.
With butterfly swimming, your core is trained and challenged to keep your body stable. Your arms and legs move at the same time in the water. This movement requires adequate training of your arms and upper body muscles. A solid upper body helps you to move your arms successfully above the water and over your head.
Butterfly swimming also improves cardiovascular capacity. When performing the butterfly stroke, a swimmer’s head is always submerged in water. As a result, the swimmer only raises their head to take breaths, which helps the heart utilize oxygen. Research has shown that butterfly strokes strengthen the heart and lungs. It also reduces the death rate by 50%.
Butterfly swimming also reduces body pressure and improves blood circulation in the body. It also deals with insomnia because the arms, legs other body muscles are tired. Tiredness will help people with insomnia to sleep better.
Why is Butterfly swimming best for toning?
It has been generally agreed that butterfly swimming is best for toning. It burns 450 calories for swimming for 30 minutes and targets the chest, stomach, arms, and back. The areas targeted by the butterfly stroke become stronger. This is why butterfly swimming is the best for toning.
Toning is often used to describe muscle building by rigorous training or workout. Of all the four swimming strokes, butterfly swimming is the hardest and the one that requires the most workout. The strenuous workout helps tone the arms, legs, chest, and core muscles.
It can take up to six weeks of swimming before you start seeing toning changes in your body. The time it takes to see muscle changes from swimming depends on your body type and the effort you put into swimming.
Why Butterfly Swimming burns the most fat?
If you want a fun way to burn fat, then butterfly swimming is for you. Due to its severe swimming technique, it burns the most fat than other swimming strokes. In addition, it is a full-body workout that allows you to burn fat at your own pace.
It is the most efficient swimming stroke for burning fat and toning your muscles. However, it would be best if you had short bursts of power and strength to be able to perform the butterfly stroke. When you start the butterfly stroke, your arms and legs will tire quickly. This means that you’re burning fat, and only consistent training can help you burn fat completely.
Why Butterfly swimming stroke uses the most energy?
Butterfly swimming requires the most physical movement among all the four types of swimming strokes. In addition, it is the swimming stroke that consumes the most energy. The butterfly swimming pace will determine the amount of energy needed to swim.
Butterfly swimming uses the most energy because you need a lot of power and strength in your upper body. It would help if you had the energy to bob up and down in the water. It would help if you also had the power to move your arms in and out of the water. If you want to challenge yourself in the water, then the butterfly stroke is for you. You will burn a lot of energy, and your muscles will be tired enough for you to sleep.
In swimming, survival strokes mean a swimming stroke used to conserve energy. It helps you to maximize your breathing and navigate tricky waters until you are safe. Using a survival stroke is the most efficient way to get from point A to point B when swimming. A survival stroke can also be said to be any stroke that helps you last in a challenging water situation.
Survival strokes are classified into three categories. They are the survival breaststroke, backstroke, and survival sidestroke.
The survival breaststroke is similar to the regular breaststroke. The survival breaststroke is meant to conserve energy, so it will not be as fast as the regular breaststroke. Instead, it will be slow, and the hands will remain underneath the water. If you swim towards a target, your head can also be above the water.
The survival backstroke is very important when water conditions are rough. It is very different from the common backstroke. In the survival backstroke, your arms will always remain underwater, and your head should be facing up with your eyes open.
The survival side stroke is a fundamental swim stroke for lifeguards. It involves the lifeguard swimming on their side while towing a casualty in the water. If you are using this stroke for survival, you can use both arms to pull water while your legs do the scissors kick.
The best survival stroke for swimming is the survival backstroke. The survival backstroke allows you to breathe while swimming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which swimming stroke should I learn first?
As a beginner, I learned the freestyle stroke first. Freestyle is also considered the fastest swimming technique, which is easy to learn. So, most of the instructors suggest learning freestyle first.
How many strokes must a beginner have to learn?
A beginner should learn at least two strokes: freestyle and backstroke. Freestyle is for faster swimming, and backstroke is for a lower-impact workout.
To enjoy swimming and get benefit from it you must learn different swimming strokes. All the strokes are well known for various reasons—freestyle for the fastest swimming and butterfly for more calories to burn.
No matter which stroke you choose as a form of exercise, ensure you warm up properly before each swim session and cool down afterward to avoid injuries.