Swimming Strokes: Pros and Cons to Each Style

Swimming Strokes: Pros and Cons to Each Style

When I was younger, I loved to doggy paddle around the lake. I was supposed to stay in the kids side of the swimming area, but I kept swimming out farther and farther until I realized that I couldn’t touch the bottom anymore. And then I’d panic.
My parents would quickly rescue me and remind me to stay in the area closer to shore.
I would listen, and then promptly forget and swim out deep again.

Seeing that I would not be stopped, my parents decided to put me in swimming class. Suddenly, my water world opened up!
Who knew that there were so many ways to move in the water?
I was taught all the main swimming strokes. While some were hard and others were easy, I grew to love the pool and the feel of moving myself through the water.
If you’re a swimmer, or if you’ve read our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Swimming, you’re probably familiar with the main types of swimming strokes. I want to share the best parts and worst parts of each stroke with you. That way, you can enjoy swimming and find the stroke that is right for you.

Freestyle or the Crawl

Pros: Freestyle, or the Crawl stroke, is a great stroke. It is really easy to learn, so it’s often the first stroke taught.
It is the fastest stroke on the block. So when you feel the need for speed, this is the one to pick.
Cons: Most of the time your face is in the water, so you have to learn how to breathe.  It can be kind of tricky to get the timing down on the head turn so you can take a breath without messing up your strokes.

The Backstroke

Pros: The backstroke is another great stroke for beginners.
It doesn’t have a lot of different movements so it’s easy to maintain your form and it’s easy to learn.
Your face is in the air the whole time, so you don’t have to worry about timing your breaths underwater.
Cons: It does take some work to keep yourself afloat.
It is really easy to get off course if you don’t pull your arms through the water at the same pace. Also, some people find it hard to bend their arms at the right angle to get power behind their stroke.

The Breaststroke

Pros: If you are learning the breaststroke, then this means you are advancing as a swimmer.
The breaststroke is easy to swim slow and is, in fact, the slowest stroke.
So, when you are out for a nice easy swim, this is the stroke for you.
Cons: The breaststroke is the slowest stroke. It is one of the hardest to learn because of all the components and the timing to do it correctly.

The Butterfly

Pros: The butterfly is one of the fastest strokes around. This is another stroke that shows that you are advancing as a swimmer.
The butterfly also allows you to get plenty of air so you never have to panic wondering if you will mess up your stroke.
Cons: Once again, this is one of the hardest strokes to do. It requires a lot of strength to get yourself out of the water.
It also requires a lot of timing and rhythm. A lot of people find this one really hard because of the energy you need to sustain the stroke the whole length of the pool.

One Last Thing

So, those are the four main strokes of swimming. Once you’ve learned all of them, you will be a swim master (able to go to the deep end with ease).
As you are learning to swim, be sure to keep your Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod Shuffle handy to help you keep your timing as you swim.
If you have any more thoughts or ideas leave them in the comment section below. Have a great swim!


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