Since what seems like the beginning of their time, man has had a strange fascination with water. Maybe because it’s needed to survive, or because the life in it seems so mystical and unreal, I’m not sure anybody really knows why we enjoy being around it so much. For some people, it’s fun just to be in it, or by it, but for others, it’s more fun to be competing in.
Competitive Swimming consists of 4 strokes, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Butterfly. Each stroke has a streamline after each push off, and although most have the same, breaststroke has a special pull out that acts as the streamline.
After you dive in or push off the wall, you always streamline. When you streamline. it’s almost like doing the superman, but your hands are together with your arms are straight and tight, squeezing your head. With every stroke, except breaststroke, you dolphin kick until you come up. Most people try to do 4 kicks.
Freestyle is the stroke that most people think of when they think of swimming. If you took swimming lessons, you’ll probably know it as the front crawl. The stroke is like a windmill, and the flutter kick is used. Here’s a video to give you a little more advanced information.
Backstroke, or for those that took swim lessons, back crawl, is just Freestyle on your back, with your arms going backwards instead of forwards. When swimming backstroke, it’s best to make sure your arm exits the water with your thumb first, and enter the water with your pinky. Another video just to see how it looks? Here you go.
Breaststroke is done with a frog kick. With the pull, you want to bring your arms to your hips while breathing, then into a “prayer” at the beginning of the glide, pushing your arms above your head in a stream line.
The pullout is the streamline of breaststroke. After you dive in (or push off), you bring your arms down in one pull while doing ONE dolphin kick. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME YOU BRING YOUR PULL DOWN TO YOUR HIPS. After that, you have one frog kick while you bring your arms up, preparing to start the stroke.
The butterfly, in my opinion, is the hardest and the prettiest stroke. Butterfly is swam with the dolphin kick, which is basically how you would swim like a mermaid as a little kid. The stroke is both arms circling in a windmill motion simultaneously. It really does look quite pretty. It’s also really hard to explain any further than i have, so here’s a speedo video explaining it a little more.
That’s how to swim competitively, but even if you don’t want to compete, it’s fun to know how to swim like this. Play around with it, and see if you like it. Maybe you’re secretly a swimmer on the inside.