A List of Basic Swimming Strokes

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The Basic Swimming Strokes

Learning to swim like everything takes practice. There are a few popular swimming strokes that are used by both beginners and more seasoned swimmers. These basic swimming strokes are the breast stroke, back stroke, butterfly stroke and the freestyle stroke.

Each of these strokes have been around a long time and are well known by swimmers. Due to this, there are tried and tested tips available for swimmers to use in order to perfect their technique.

Each of these swimming styles are different and this means that some will favor one stroke while others will prefer to swim another stroke.

Swimming the Breast Stroke, Butterfly Stroke, Freestyle and Back Stroke

  • The breast stroke is a swimming stroke that is largely dependent on timing. An indication of how importnat timing is can be taken from the fact that competitive swimmers can be disqualified from a contest if they miss a single stroke. The stroke is one that causes the head of the swimmer to bob up and down as they swim. The legs and arms reach in and appear similar to the motion of a frog.
  • The butterfly stroke is a difficult stroke to master. This is why it is not generally recommended for beginners. To swim the butterfly stroke, the swimmer needs to have great timing and a good deal of strength. This stroke requires the legs to move in a motion similar to a mermaid, the arms to move together in order to push the water downwards and backwards and the torso to move up and down.
  • The back stroke is a stroke that is easier to do than both the breast and the butterfly stroke. The back stroke is simply doing the windmill motion and flutter kick of the freestyle stroke on one’s back. When swimming the back stroke the swimmer must make sure that they move both their arms with equal strength. If they do not do this they will swim off to one side instead of swimming in a straight line.
  • The freestyle stroke is the easiest stroke to learn and thus the most popular. Because it is simple to learn it is the stroke that most people learn when they are taking lessons. The freestyle is done by moving the arms in a windmill motion and kicking the legs in a flutter kick. The only difficult part of the freestyle stroke is breathing as the face is in the water most of the time.

Learning to Swim

These four strokes are what most people learn when the are learning to swim. Even those that know how to swim will benefit from learning to perfect these basic swimming strokes. Lessons are available for beginners, intermediate and advanced swimmers at local swim schools or gymnasiums that offer this service.