Swimming is a solo sport where the participant must move their complete body inside (through) water. Doesn't it appear to be simple? In actuality, overcoming the drag that water causes owing to its viscosity takes a lot of work. While you may feel lighter in the water, the drag will never allow your muscles to rest while moving. This allows muscles to be exercised without placing stress on bone joints. There are ten different types of swimming exercises to choose from. Let's take a closer look at the different types of swimming kicks, types of swimming strokes, types of swimming in the Olympics, and much more. So keep reading!!


If people find going to the gym or other types of exercise difficult or monotonous, swimming strokes are an enjoyable method to exercise. It's also a terrific way to get some exercise outside. Swimming does not necessitate the use of any equipment, and it may be done in any safe water body, including natural bodies of water or temperature-controlled indoor or outdoor pools. It's a terrific kind of aerobic exercise/cardio that has little impact on the joints, lowering the risk of joint injury and minimising the deterioration of injured joints in arthritis. Swimming is an excellent activity for people of all ages.

Swimming is sometimes the "ideal workout" because of its numerous health advantages, including increased life expectancy. According to studies, swimmers have a 50% lower mortality rate than non-swimmers. Swimming is an excellent way to lose weight and burn calories. Swimming is divided into numerous types/styles/strokes. Swimming can burn more calories than jogging and other aerobic workouts, depending on the types of swimming exercises and intensity. In 10 minutes, freestyle swimming may burn 100 calories, while butterfly swimming can burn 150 calories. Around 100 calories are burned during a 10-minute run. As a result, a 30-minute intensive swimming workout may burn the same amount of calories as a 5-kilometre run.

Swimming can be learned for competition, exercise, self-improvement, or survival. To swim in any body of water, one must first understand the different types of swimming.

Table Of Contents

  1. Types of swimming strokes and styles
  2. Benefits of swimming
  3. Equipment, accessories, and apparel used in swimming
  4. Frequently asked questions
  5. The bottom line

Types Of Swimming Strokes And Styles

1. Front Crawl (Freestyle)

Front crawl, also known as freestyle swimming, is the fastest and most efficient kind of swimming in which a person swims with his body straight and travels forward in the water. Furthermore, it is the most popular form of swimming since every beginner begins with freestyle and progresses to other methods. There are generally few regulations in effect during freestyle competitions. Distances in freestyle races often range from 50 metres to 1500 metres. Regarding the advantages, swimming experts advocate starting with freestyle since it provides full exercise for the body and allows a person to cover a longer distance with less energy expended by employing front crawl strokes.

Difficulty Level: Easy
How to do Front Crawl swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • The body is in a horizontal position, face down in the water, during freestyle.
  • The head is constantly in a neutral position and only rotates to breathe on either side.
  • To swim ahead in the water, the body rolls from side to side.
Arms movement
  • One arm extends first while the other recovers underwater.
  • Down-sweep is performed by lowering the forearm and raising the elbow. The upper arm is used to move forth and backwards.
  • One arm pulls the water during In-sweep. Up-sweep follows, with another arm pushing against the water.
  • The forearm relaxes when the arms swing forward during recovery.
Legs movement
  • A flutter kick is used in freestyle. It refers to feet that are spread out and move quickly.
  • The flutter kick alternates between two directions. In a steady action, one leg rises while the other descends.

2. Backstroke

Backstroke, also known as Back Crawl, is the polar opposite of Front Crawl (Freestyle). Harry Hebner popularised the backstroke. In the 1990 Olympics in St. Louis, backstroke was recognised as a competitive swimming event. The difficulty of breathing while front crawl swimming was one of the key reasons for its discovery. As a result, Backstroke became its polar opposite, so it's also known as Back Crawl. According to experts, Backstroke helps to improve body posture.

Difficulty Level: Medium
How to perform Backstroke swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • The corpse has been rotated backwards and is floating horizontally.
  • Following arm motions, the body rolls from one side to the other.
  • While the face is up, the head stays neutral.
Arms movement
  • Water is pushed backwards with outstretched arms.
  • The movement is in the shape of an S.
  • Arms travel from one hip to the other during recuperation.
  • During rehabilitation, the arms are straight.
Legs movement
  • Flutter kick is a swimming technique that is utilised when swimming backstroke.
  • Alternative up-down kicks in vertical directions with pointed feet.

3. Breast stroke

It may come as a shock to you, but what I'm going to tell you is real. Among all the different types of swimming kicks and styles, breaststroke is the most popular. A swimmer's body faces down into the water while his head is up. As a result, breathing is simple. Out of all the swimming strokes, many beginners and casual swimmers prefer breaststroke. Breaststroke is the slowest swimming stroke, according to another fascinating statistic. So, if you're seeking a fun way to swim, opt for breaststroke. According to fitness experts, breaststroke is a cardiovascular workout that strengthens the heart and promotes blood circulation.

Difficulty Level: Easy
How to perform Breaststroke swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • During breaststroke swimming, your body posture changes constantly. When a person begins to swim, it shifts from horizontal to inclined.
  • The torso assumes a 45-degree angle above the water as the body travels forward in the water.
  • Throughout the swimming action, the head is aligned with the body.
Arms movement
  • The arms are stretched forward at first.
  • Arms move outwards with the first pull, then backwards, and finally downwards.
  • Elbows stretch to the level of the shoulder blades.
  • Hands move towards each other under the chest as the arms travel rearward.
Legs movement
  • Frog kick or whip kick is used in breaststroke.
  • Legs are stretched during the arm pull phase.
  • The knees bend and go towards the hips after that.
  • During breaststroke swimming, the feet travel forth and backwards.

4. Butterfly Stroke

The Butterfly stroke is the newest of all types of swimming kicks and styles. It began as a spin-off of breaststroke in 1933. Sydney Cavil, an Australian swimmer, is credited with popularising this stroke. Due to both arms and legs' simultaneous pull/push, the Butterfly stroke is quicker at the peak stage than Freestyle. During the recovery period, however, the stroke slows down. As a result, the butterfly stroke becomes a slower overall swimming technique. The toughest stroke in swimming, according to experts, is also the finest for improved body conditioning and muscular strengthening.

Difficulty Level: Hard
How to perform Butterfly swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • As swimming begins, the body begins to float horizontally on the chest.
  • The head is always in line with the torso with the face down in the water.
  • Wave-like motions occur when the body picks up speed.
Arms movement
  • Arms enter one after the other as the body heals.
  • Arms extend straight for a brief period due to the drooping chest.
  • When the palms and forearms are in a line pointing backwards, it's called a catch.
  • Then there is a constant in-sweep and out-sweep.
  • Finally, release and recuperation assist the body in resting.
Legs movement
  • The dolphin kick is used in the butterfly swimming stroke.
  • A person begins a whipping action of their legs with pointed feet.
  • Legs move in lockstep with the hips as they rise.
  • The cycle continues, with legs following the hips as they are straightened, legs doing the whipping movement, and so on.

5. Sidestroke

The Sidestroke method is accomplished when the swimmer's body leans on one side while motioning with asymmetric arm and leg motions. It is typically utilised for long-distance swimming. Swimmers have been observed utilising this method to relax after a long hour of swimming. Even better, the sidestroke is employed as a life-saving technique with caution. Swimming experts promote the sidestroke technique, believing that mastering it can propel young swimmers to new heights in the sport, as it gives much-needed flexibility. For example, in his book A Treatise on the Utility of Swimming, author H Kenworth writes, "Until recently, it was usually considered that breast or belly swimming was the fastest technique; however, this notion has proven false." The sidestroke is now widely recognised as the superior technique, and young swimmers would be well to practice it properly."

Difficulty Level: Medium
How to do Sidestroke swimming techniques?
Body movement
  • The swimmer begins by reclining on one side with their legs spread out.
  • The upper arm is flat on the body's side.
  • Half of the face is submerged, and the head is aligned with the spine.
Arms movement
  • The lower arm is thrust back against the water, bent at the elbow.
  • An insweep is performed with the palm facing upwards and the hand reaching in front of the chest.
  • The upper arm pushes against the water while the lower arm stretches back to the front.
Legs movement
  • A scissors kick is used in sidestroke.
  • The upper leg is bent, and the knee and the foot are brought to the chest.
  • The lower leg then bends, and the foot slides towards the back of the body.
  • It is critical to have flexible coordination between the arms and legs.

6. Trudgen

Trudgen is a swimming style named after English swimmer John Trudgen. It is also known as the Racing Stroke. This stroke is a variant of the sidestroke. Forbes Carlile's study article uncovers how and when John created his unique Trudgen method, which helped him become the quickest sprinter of his day. "Keeping flat on his chest with his head carried high in the air, (John) Trudgen startled onlookers by swinging each arm alternately over the water and making one horizontal breast-stroke kick to each cycle of the arms so that his body lifted and progressed in jerky leaps," Carlile writes of John's victory in 160 yards handicap on August 11, 1873, at the Lambeth Baths, London. When he moved overseas with his father, an engineer, (John) Trudgen stated he learned his stroke from the South African Kaffirs."

Difficulty Level: Medium
How to do Trudgen swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • From the stomach to the side, the body moves.
  • It should be located beneath the water's surface.
  • Only the arm stroke and breathing cause the body to rise.
Arms movement
  • Arm limbs should just emerge from the water.
  • Elbows are angled toward the ground.
  • Arms are spread out in front of you, palms facing down.
  • To go ahead, the arms alternately loop water to the back.
Legs movement
  • Legs alternate between scissors and dolphin kicks.
  • On a horizontal plane, the feet are together.
  • Legs are raised up to the top of the torso.
  • When the hands travel to the front, it's called a scissor kick.
  • When the arm strokes resume, the feet come together in a dolphin kick.

7. Combat Sidestroke

CSS (combat sidestroke) is a variation of the standard sidestroke. The US Navy SEALs were the first to use it. Former Navy SEAL Stew Smith (CSCS) and Terry Laughlin of Total Immersion Swimming, in particular, were instrumental in the invention of this sidestroke. According to experts, it's also very efficient and calming, and it's a combination of sidestroke, front crawl, and breaststroke. To carry heavy equipment underwater, US Navy SEALs train the combat sidestroke technique.

Difficulty Level: Hard
How to perform Combat Sidestroke swimming techniques?
Body movement
  • Underwater, the body should be flat.
  • The body shifts to either side for breathing while floating.
  • The body should be as near to the surface as possible.
Arms movement
  • Throughout the stroke, all arm movement takes place underwater.
  • In a streamlined position, the arms spread out together over the head.
  • Shoulders are lowered to aid in body rotation from one side to the other.
Legs movement
  • During fighting sidestroke, the legs perform the greatest work.
  • Its major goal is to propel the body ahead quickly.
  • A scissors kick initiates leg movement.
  • The leg closest to the ground pulls the body forward, while the bottom leg extends the body back.

8. Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a type of swimming when a person is fully-clothed. It is more of a leisure sport. A diving mask is required, including a tube (snorkel) and frequently paired with a set of fins. The mask enables clear eyesight underwater, the snorkel aids in breathing when submerged in water, and the swim fins allow for easier movement. Snorkeling does not need any specific training or much physical exertion. Many people compare it to scuba diving; however, scuba is deeper than snorkeling, which requires a person to float near the surface. Snorkeling is primarily done around barrier reefs, islands, and cays.

Difficulty Level: Easy
How to perform Snorkeling swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • In a horizontal position, the body must be straight.
  • Swimming should be done with the head down in the water.
  • Because breathing is done through the snorkel, the body does not turn to either side.
Arms movement
  • It begins with one arm reaching underwater as the other recovers.
  • Down-sweep is performed by lowering the forearm and raising the elbow.
  • The upper arm is used to move forth and backwards.
  • One arm pulls the water during In-sweep. Up-sweep follows, with another arm pushing against the water.
  • The forearm relaxes when the arms swing forward during recovery.
Legs movement
  • A flutter kick is employed, same as in freestyle. It refers to feet that are spread out and move quickly.
  • The flutter kick alternates between two directions.
  • In a steady action, one leg rises while the other descends.

9. Fins Swimming

Fins swimming comprises swimming with fins either on the water's surface using a snorkel with either monofins or biffins or below with monofins either by holding one's breath or with open-circuit scuba diving equipment, according to Wikipedia. Fins swimming competitions have been held at the world level since 1976, thanks to the Confederation Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS). It was recently exhibited in the European Games in Baku in 2015.

Difficulty Level: Medium
How to do Fins Swimming techniques?
Body movement
  • A streamlined physique is required for this method.
  • The head should be pointing downwards.
  • To maintain appropriate breathing, the body must move from side to side.
Arms movement
  • Arms work the same way they do in freestyle.
  • It begins with one arm reaching underwater as the other recovers.
  • Down-sweep is performed by lowering the forearm and raising the elbow.
  • The upper arm is used to move forth and backwards.
  • One arm pulls the water during In-sweep. Up-sweep follows, with another arm pushing against the water.
Legs movement
  • Leg training is the most important aspect of fins swimming.
  • To propel the body forward, tight-fit fins are alternatively flapped in the water.
  • Leg work that is consistent and fluid aids the fins in their task.

10. Corkscrew Swimming

It's essentially a drill in which a swimmer practices underwater. It gives the body more flexibility, making other types of swimming exercises much easier to master. Corkscrew is a freestyle and backstroke hybrid. It continues with three freestyle strokes, followed by three backstroke strokes.

Difficulty Level: Medium
How to perform Corkscrew Swimming strokes?
Body movement
  • Given the combination of two opposing styles, the body moves a lot from side to side.
  • Swimming can be done on either the back or the stomach.
  • According to the shifting fashions, the head posture changes.
Arms movement
  • If the body starts to float on its stomach, the arms stretch out first.
  • The body shifts to its back after three front arm strokes.
  • The arms then follow the backstroke arm action three times in a row.
Legs movement
  • Flutter kick is used frequently in corkscrew swimming.
  • Continuous flutter kicking helps to maintain proper equilibrium.

Benefits Of Swimming

Swimming has eight major advantages, including:

Weight loss: Swimming is an excellent way to lose weight and burn calories. Swimming can burn more calories than jogging and other aerobic workouts, depending on the type of swimming technique and intensity.

Increased muscle strength: Swimming improves joint strength, muscular strength, and muscle definition all throughout the body, giving it a toned and defined appearance. It builds muscles without putting them under stress.

Increased flexibility: To move through the water against the opposition, swimming requires a lot of twisting, stretching, and joint action. This gradually leads to more flexibility. Swimming is the ideal workout for people who can't walk or jog due to arthritis since it doesn't strain the joints.

Improvement of asthma: In exercise-induced asthma, breathing dry gym air or being allergic to pollen can cause an asthma attack. Swimming while breathing damp air reduces this danger. Swimming can aid in treating asthma symptoms by boosting lung capacity and general lung health.

Reduced stress: Swimming produces endorphins and has a similar relaxing effect as yoga. Being in the water, particularly in an outdoor pool or natural water body, may be relaxing, stressful, and beneficial for alleviating depression.

Beneficial to skin: Because of the salt in saltwater, swimming in the ocean rather than a pool can be beneficial to the skin. Salt can aid in retaining hydration, detoxification, and cell development. Consequently, your skin will be healthier and have a better texture. On the other hand, swimming in the ocean necessitates being a very strong swimmer since, unlike a pool, the ocean's currents are powerful, and there is a great chance of mishaps such as unintentional drowning.

Improved social wellbeing: Swimming is a social activity that can assist in the formation of new friendships while exercising or training. Friends and family may come together to go swimming, relax by the pool, and have a nice time. Swimmers of all ages may take lessons, exercise, and work with a coach in the pool together. You can assemble your friends and family around your pool if you have one at home. According to research, exercising and connecting with others improves mental wellness. The study's participants reported lower anxiety and despair levels than their counterparts.

Increased focus and goal orientation: Swimming, especially for experienced swimmers, improves focus and teaches goal orientation.

Equipment, Accessories, And Apparel Used In Swimming

  • Swimmers who desire to compete utilise equipment that helps them improve their technique and stamina.
  • Even if you are a beginner or a seasoned swimmer who enjoys recreational swimming, you must safeguard yourself with accessories and equipment.
  • Goggles, hair guards, swimsuits made of comfy material, and towels to dry off your wet body and hair are just a few of these products.

Swimming is one of the most effective strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle and provide additional advantages. This page provides a comprehensive and complete overview of the various swimming techniques and the benefits they provide. But remember to start slowly and with help, as trying advanced skills for a new swimmer might be disastrous.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the 6 main types of swimming strokes?

The 6 main types of swimming strokes are Freestyle, Front Crawl, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly stroke, and Sidestroke. These are the strokes that Olympians use the most and are extremely helpful to the human body. You may transition from one stroke to the next, but perfecting each stroke requires time and effort. You can look over the above-mentioned list to get some pointers and a basic idea of how each stroke is accomplished in water.

2. What is the easiest stroke to swim in?

Many people assume that Breaststroke is the easiest swimming strokes and style to master; however, the consensus is that Freestyle (Front Crawl) is the easiest. When completing freestyle strokes, the body should be straight and horizontal, with the face parallel to the pool of water. Several authority organisations slightly alter the freestyle swimming strokes in international championships.

3. What is the hardest stroke in swimming?

The Butterfly stroke is the most difficult swimming stroke out of many types of swimming strokes and styles. It's mostly because it's broken down into three parts, each of which must be completed smoothly before moving on to the next. Push, Pull, and Recovery are the three steps. The butterfly stroke's pull phase focuses on body posture and propulsion. The push occurs as your hands' palms push back through the water beneath your body. The speed is increased by both the pull and the push. The third step is recovery, which entails maintaining a straight body line and repeatedly rising on the water.

4. What muscles benefit from swimming?

Simply said, swimming rejuvenates the entire body. On the other hand, Swimming is extremely beneficial to certain muscles in the body. When you breathe, your core abdominal and lower back muscles are active, and you acquire a lot of strength over time. Glutes in the rear guarantee that the legs move in a dolphin-like manner, making it flexible. Pecs, lasts, quads, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and more are among the muscles that benefit from swimming.

5. Can I learn to swim at 50?

Swimming becomes more difficult to learn as you get older. Nonetheless, there are effective methods for learning to swim at the age of 50. The first step in that direction would be to overcome your fear of water and develop a desire to swim. Swimming must thus be viewed as more of a kind of recreation for the body than a form of workout. Experts believe that various psychological elements play a role in teaching older persons to swim. The Water Cure is one well-designed treatment in this scenario.

6. Why do Olympic swimmers breathe every stroke?

Most Olympic swimmers breathe after each stroke and on both sides of the pool. Bilateral breathing provides for respiratory control and oxygen intake, which is why this technique is used. It trains the body to operate better with less oxygen, allowing the athlete to breathe as much oxygen as possible during the race and fuel the high-octane swim.

7. Which swimming stroke is best for toning?

Breaststroke is the greatest for toning among the various swimming strokes and styles. Experts believe it is a far superior cardiovascular workout to others. Breaststroke tones the thighs, hamstrings, lower back, triceps, and other muscles and strengthens the heart and lungs. Swimmers also prefer breaststroke for toning their chests.

The Bottom Line

Like any other outdoor activity, Swimming requires you to be mindful of your limits. We give you information on how to do this task using several ways. However, you must properly train yourself with the assistance of a trainer to attain the degree of proficiency required to execute them without help.

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