Swim Fast. Swim Strong. Swim for hours. What’s your swim style?
That depends on who you are. And what you want to get out of your swimming experience.
When I first started swimming, I struggled. I was left with trial and error to find my best style. It took a couple of months. I felt like a bird in the water. A total phony. A poser. Then, one marvelous day… I found my INNER FISH. The back stroke. I’m a total swimming rockstar with the backstroke.
Have you found your inner fish?
Tenacity. Stamina. Alleviation. Recuperation.
Which term resonates with you? Do you look at swimming as a means to a fit body? Or a means to get across the English Channel? Either way, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each stroke. Find out which style is the best match for you.
1. FREESTYLE = SPEED DEMON
Do you want to race past all your friends in nearby lanes?
Do you crave speed in the water? Then put on your speedo. We have the solution!
The freestyle stroke is what you’re looking for. By mastering technique, you can reach higher velocity and momentum.
You’ll be like a jet in the water! Plus, it just feels… natural. And comfortable.
Remember: Technique is a key factor! “The freestyle is the most efficient and fastest stroke in the water.” But only when executed correctly.
2. BREASTSTROKE = AWESOME BODY
Is swimming your secret weapon for a fit bod?
Swimming is a great workout. No matter what your stroke is. But some styles are better than others in building muscular strength.
The “breaststroke relies primarily on a strong kick, but using a vigorous pull gives you a good workout.”
The frog kick incorporates most leg muscles. And the arm pull utilizes most arm muscles. Which is where the power is derived.
This is why it works!
There’s a reason why frogs can jump so far! Your limbs will be like coiled springs of power. Ready to shoot you across a pond at any moment!
3. SIDESTROKE = A BAD BACK’S BEST FRIEND
Do you have neck or back problems?
Do they cause you to cringe at the thought of most aerobic exercise?
If so, the sidestroke is your new best friend.
The sidestroke is “a good option for lap swimmers who have back or neck problems that make breaststroke painful.”
Water is amazing for joints! Because there’s less weight bearing down on your body. “Water’s buoyancy helps cushion joints and bones. Immersed to the waist, your body bears 50% of it’s weight…to the neck, 10%.”
There’s more too! The neck and back stay fairly stationary in this style. Unlike others… where you are constantly arching… Or pulling your face in and out of the water.
You can get a great workout. And not want to die after. It’s possible! Trust me … your neck and back will thank you. And so will your massage therapist.
4. BACKSTROKE: EASY ON EYES AND BREATHING
Are your eyes especially sensitive to chemicals?
Do you find it difficult to incorporate breathing in time with your strokes?
The backstroke is a good fit for you.
The technique is simple to learn and you can keep your face out of the water at all times. Which is better for those who struggle with the breathing techniques in other types of swimming strokes. It is also better if you find it difficult to open your eyes underwater.
Due to the easiness and minimal energy exertion, this stroke is great for long distance stamina and endurance.
Only your muscles will burn (not your eyeballs).
5. BUTTERFLY = BEAUTIFUL
Are you completely bored of the same old strokes that everyone at the gym uses?
Could you do the freestyle or backstroke in your sleep?
Are ready to move on to a higher level of swimming.
Try the butterfly!
The butterfly stroke is considered the hardest stroke to perform both physically and technically.
Everyone in the pool will do a double take if you whip out this stroke. It is super impressive if you perform it correctly. And it is pretty amazing to watch. With both arms whirling majestically overhead and the legs following suit in a dolphin kick, it is a sight to behold!
You will look stellar. In and out of the pool.
6. WATER RUNNING = NURSE YOUR WOUNDS/DON’T GET FLABBY
Is your body in pain from running on hard surfaces?
Water running can be a great alternative.
“It is a great form of cross training and an excellent way to deal with and prevent injuries. Water running can allow an injured athlete to recover without loosing fitness.”
It provides resistance to muscles without the impact. It’s a great way to get an effective workout without straining joints. If you are healing from an injury, or just want to mix-up your training routine, water-running is a great option.
Just swap your sneakers with some goggles. And you’re all set! It’s a miracle! You don’t have to sacrifice your goals to heal.
GET OUT THERE!
No matter who you are…
No matter what your goals are…
No matter the injuries… Or the sensitivities…
There is a swimming style somewhere out there
THAT IS PERFECT FOR YOU.
What are some other styles of swimming that you love?
Do you have any secret tips you’d like to share?
PLEASE DO! Help us all glean knowledge with our collective swimming wisdom.
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