4 Basic Strokes You Can Learn at a Swim School


Swimming as a sport is complicated. A competitive swimmer must learn to swim the four required events: freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke. Using your arms and legs in any coordinated movement while trying to keep your head above water may be a daunting maneuver for beginners, but with proper instruction, it all comes easily.

The Freestyle Stroke

In terms of competitive swimming, freestyle refers to any stroke you want. However, because it is the fastest, the front crawl (or Australian crawl) is favored and has claimed the name of “freestyle”. The freestyle is one of the easier strokes to learn, along with the breaststroke. The freestyle stroke does require coordination of the legs and the arms in conjunction with the movements of the head and breathing. For this stroke, the head is forward and down while the propulsion is provided by the combination of legs alternately kicking and the full reaching strokes of the arms with cupped hands acting like paddles as the swimmer’s body is pushed through the water. Recreational swimmers will use this stroke most of the time and it is the most exciting event in swimming. The freestyle starts with the contestants at the edge of the pool, and their bodies are lowered, contracted and ready to release an enormous leap off the stand into the waters below.

The Butterfly Stroke

The butterfly stroke is the hardest to execute but the most fun to watch. The butterfly seems to defy science, but it can be accomplished with sufficient strength in the swimmer’s legs and upper body. It involves the person propelling their body through the water by spreading their arms out like wings above the water and paddling back under the water. The feet during this style are connected and being pushed up and down to increase speed. This stroke must be learned to make the swim team in high school but is low on the agenda of strokes for beginning swimmers to master.

The Breaststroke

The breaststroke is seen as one of the slowest moving swim techniques; however, it is one of the most suitable for long distance swims. Along with the butterfly stroke, it is one of the more difficult swim techniques to perform. It can be performed through pushing your hand straight through the water, and waving your hands back to your hips going all the way around. This stroke will engage your forearms, chest, and upper back more than any other swim style. The breaststroke can be performed at any pace and is a great workout.

The Backstroke

The backstroke is popular for those recreational swimmers who like to watch the clouds in the sky. The face never goes below the surface of the water for recreational swimmers, but for competitive swimmers, there is the turn at the end of the pool’s length. For the majority of the swim, you will be laying on top of the water on your back and paddling backwards. This stroke is not as easy as it looks in competitive events because it is easy to violate the swim lanes and become entangled with the lane markers, but when there are interesting clouds in the sky at the beach, it cannot be topped.

These four strokes are necessary for competitive swimming, but most recreational swimmers only use the freestyle and once in a while the backstroke. If you want to add another stroke to your freestyle, there are adult swimming lessons in Somerset NJ to help guide you through the proper techniques to master your favorite swim style.

The Many Health Benefits of Swimming

Swimming is not often the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of a beneficial sport for maintaining the human body and reducing unwanted weight. The reason that swimming is disregarded is the simple fact that swimming is fun, unlike a trip to the gym. But do not be misled, 20 minutes of continual swimming will keep the human body in great shape on the outside and inside. This cardiovascular workout is very beneficial as it stretches and exercises many more muscles compared to the ones used in running or bicycling. There are benefits to the human balance system as well because swimmers must maintain their balance while they are slicing through the waters heading for the opposite wall of the pool. Swimming may be the perfect sport for all of us that have ever experienced the shocks and injuries connected with running.

Learn how to swim and find a partner to swim laps with you. Time your swim laps and lengths and look for overall performance improvement and don’t forget to have a great time.

The Health Benefits of Swimming

  1. Cardiovascular: Studies have shown that swimmers and runners contain many physical similarities which include their low blood pressure levels, a healthy heart and low cholesterol levels. However, unlike running, swimming offers the body a workout that can be done throughout your life with minimal strain on joints and rest of the body.
  2. Flexibility: Swimming engages the whole body, allowing muscles that aren’t usually used, to contract and stretch. Not only does this improve the strength of your body overall, but it really improves your flexibility.
  3. Balance: As we age, our balance is affected. Swimming is a balance-intensive sport, and if swimming is continued through our golden years, our balance will not suffer. The water forces you to create your own sense of balance and in doing so it improves your balance in and out of the water.
  4. ‌Swimming Skills May Save a Life: Drowning is an all too frequent experience in swimming pools or in calm, natural waters. Beginning infant classes at 3-6 months can save countless lives. When you know how to swim, you will be able to help a child who is experiencing problems in the surf. Adult swimmers are often caught in rip tides and sent to the bottom by huge waves. Being an experienced swimmer will keep both yourself, and those around you, safe.

It is important to begin lessons at any early age. Into the Swim recommends very early lessons to prevent the risk of accidental infant drowning. Talk to our swim instructors for more information and enter your child into swim school as soon as possible. There are many small group swimming classes available so you can prepare for a future of fitness and pleasure. By taking swimming lessons, your body will enjoy the exercise and you will be confident whenever near the water.