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Understanding the Different Strokes Used in Swimming

Learning to swim is fun and anyone who has been receiving training and lessons in swimming from an expert trainer knows this well. But apart from the fun aspect, there is a lot that you need to understand in order to be a good swimmer. Also, you will be able to derive the maximum benefits of this excellent exercise only when you adopt the right techniques and understand the minute aspects of those. If you are currently receiving Arizona swimming lessons, you might surely be learning various types of strokes. But, do you know how these strokes are helping you? Or perhaps, what are the difficulties associated with each of these strokes? Here is a list of all the different types of strokes used in swimming and a detailed analysis of their advantages and disadvantages. Take a look.

Breaststroke

If you are an advanced swimmer by now, breaststroke is something you have probably mastered long back. However, beginners are taught breaststroke with time and care because it is believed that if you are good at performing breaststrokes, you will be able to adapt to any stroke in the future. Breaststrokes look simple but they involve a whip kick, an insweep and outsweep of your arms with your hands staying below the chest followed by a recovery. The arm and leg movements, on the other hand, occur at the water surface or below it.


One of the basic advantages of breaststroke is that your head always stays above the water, offering you with enough visibility and allowing you to breathe without trouble. Another advantage is that breaststrokes are easy to learn because both your arms and legs are in sync. Having said that, the only shortcoming of breaststroke is that it is a slow form of swimming and, thus, practicing breaststroke even over a long period of time does not make you an efficient swimmer in the real sense.

Backstroke

Backstroke is the second most important stroke taught to swimmers. A very popular stroke, it is used to swim on the back and involves flutter kicks where the legs kick up and down alternatively. The arms are made to move more vigorously in a windmill-like motion. Your straight arm needs to move above the waters in a circular motion from the hip to the extended front position. It then catches and pulls under the water from this front position back to the hip. A swimmer needs to have developed a good balance by the time he starts practicing backstroke.

Now, the main advantage of backstroke is that it is an efficient form of swimming and can be used to swim over long distances. Backstroke swimming is an excellent exercise, often treated as an effective remedy for  back problems. On the other hand, the main difficulty associated with backstroke is that breathing becomes difficult as your nose is up and water can enter the nose easily. Also, while swimming, you will not be able to have an idea of the direction in which you are swimming and this, again, can be a major cause of concern for beginners.

Freestyle Stroke

Swum flat on the stomach and involving flutter kicks and alternatively moving arms, freestyle stroke is one of the most loved swimming techniques among accomplished swimmers. In freestyle stroke swimming, your arms need to move from the hip to the front above the water and then catch and pull back to the hip under your body in the water.

The primary advantages of freestyle stroke are speed and efficiency. Freestyle stroke is undoubtedly the fastest and the most efficient swim stroke. This form of swimming allows the swimmers to cover the longest possible distance without wasting much of their energy. With respect to the shortcomings of this particular style of swimming, the swimmers find it difficult to breathe because the face remains submerged and turned towards the bottom of the pool. You should constantly rotate your head to the side to strike the right coordination of breathing and swimming. It is this difficulty level associated with freestyle stroke that makes it a preferred swimming style in competitions.

For the all the above mentioned swimming styles and techniques, practice is the only way of mastering the forms and emerging a professional swimmer.