Sports (Olympic) swimming styles

  1. Freestyle (crawl on the chest)

Freestyle (aka front crawl), is sometimes called in the English style, freestyle, fast, and efficient. This is the fastest style of swimming. But at the same time, the crawl can swim a fairly long distance without critical fatigue. That is why usually swimmers in open water competitions and triathletes use this type of swimming.

Freestyle swimming techniques
The technique of freestyle swimming is as follows: the swimmer makes all the movements in the “chest” position, the arms move parallel to the body in alternate mode, the legs work like scissors in a vertical plane, the face is in the water during exhalation, the breath is made under the “back” hand by turning the head sideways.

On the one hand, the technique of crawling on the chest is quite simple and intuitive. On the other hand, the more speed and efficiency you try to achieve, the more nuances appear, and everything turns out to be not so simple.

There are a lot of footwork schemes, different variations of movements when rowing with the hand, and even you can breathe through a different number of strokes on one or two sides. All these nuances depend on the tasks facing the swimmer. Individual techniques are always developed for professional athletes.

Pros and cons

this is the fastest way to swim
average level of learning difficulty
allows you to swim intense sprints, which is good for weight loss

almost does not allow you to swim at a relaxed pace and relax
to achieve real speed results you need to master a fairly complex breathing technique
requires high coordination and consistency of movements

  1. Crawl on back

Swimming on your back is usually quite simple. Small children 3-4 years old are primarily taught to swim just this way.

Backstroke is faster than breaststroke, but slower than freestyle or butterfly.

Doctors often recommend this type of swimming for back diseases. Such swimming strengthens the muscles and gently eliminates many problems with the back and spine.

Technique of backstroke
As the name implies, this type of swimming involves a position on the back. The arms make alternate circular movements along the torso. And the legs work the same way as in the chest crawl, adjusted for the fact that your body is face up.

Pros and cons

if you have a trainer it is easier to master even children 3-4 years old
allows you to “relax” on the water

swimming speed is not high
during intensive swimming, splashes often get into the mouth and nose, which makes it difficult to breathe
in open water, the sun blinds your eyes – it’s better to use mirrored glasses

  1. Breaststroke

Breaststroke is the most popular type of swimming in the world. In fact, most people who have been taught to swim independently can only swim with a breaststroke.

The main advantage of this style is that you can swim with your head above the water, while not experiencing difficulties with breathing and orientation in space. This method of swimming is often called “frog” by the people. However, experienced swimmers and professionals dip their heads in the water for better movement efficiency.

Breaststroke is the slowest style of swimming.

Technique of breaststroke swimming
In breaststroke, both hands at the same time making a semicircular motion in front of the swimmer.

When the arms are stretched out, the head is submerged in the water and the breath is exhaled, simultaneously performing a push movement similar to the jump of a frog.

When the hands make a stroke, the head rises above the water – a breath is taken, and the legs at this time are pulled up to the body for a subsequent push.

Pros and cons

does not require General physical training for beginners
allows you to swim in a very relaxed mode
it is used to restore breath and pulse after intensive swimming
easy to learn for beginners

This is the slowest of the sports types of swimming.