Games and Sports

Types of Swimming Styles

Swimming is a sport in which the whole body must be moved within (through) water. You might think it sounds simple. It is actually quite difficult to combat the drag water creates due to its viscosity. While water can make you feel lighter, drag will not let your muscles relax. This allows the muscles to be exercised without placing too much pressure on bone joints. There are five main styles of swimming. Let us talk in detail about each type of swimming technique, its benefits, and the muscles involved.

Front Crawl

This stroke is also known under the name. It provides maximum speed with minimal effort. Freestyle swimming is done in a Prone horizontal (face up) position. Flutter kicks or alternate arm movement movements can create the thrust that pushes the body.

Legs move alternatively, with quick and compact kicks into the water that keeps the feet pointed. Both the arms pull water back in an alternate manner. One arm pulls the water back from the hip towards the hip. The other retrieves water outside the hip.

For recovery, an arm must be lifted from the water and an elbow is placed sideways. The rapid inhalation of air occurs by the head being pulled out of water sideways. Inhalation of air occurs within the water, to ensure sufficient intake in the shortest time possible.

Front Crawl is one of the fastest and most efficient strokes in swimming.

  1. a) Because of the pointed fingers, there is very little drag during arm rehabilitation.
  2. b. One arm is always pulling the water.

Muscles used front crawl are:

  1. Core and abdominal muscles keep your body streamlined while lifting your breath.
  2. The water is pulled back using the muscles of your forearms.
  3. You can use your glutes or hamstring to propel through your legs and maintain a balance position.
  4. Reaching out to touch the water with your hands requires you to use your shoulder muscles.


This type is also possible in a prone location. Breastroke requires that the body be forced to move in an inclined direction from horizontal. The body can glide through water using frog-like kicks or simultaneous hand movement.

The legs are bent in the water and kicked out to propel the body ahead. This frog-like action (symmetrical whipkicking) occurs underwater.

Armmovements have symmetrical and simultaneous. The hands are extended from the front to the bottom of the chest and create an arc. During the recovery phase, however, hands do not move in a straightline like the freestyle stroke.

This is when the hands and head are above the water surface.

Breaststroke, the slowest of all 5 types is the fastest. Because the head is elevated for most of the time, beginners learn this technique first.

Breast Stroke was performed by using muscles.

  1. Pectoral, Latissimus Dorsi and Pectoral muscles can be used to move arms inwards towards the water.
  2. Quadriceps, Glutes, and Quadriceps can be used to kick the legs under the water.

Butterfly Stroke

The butterfly stroke is performed in a prone pose. It is exhausting and strenuous in comparison to other types. The body moves in wave-like motions, moving hips and chest upwards and downwards on the water surface. Also see Mary Kom & Smriti Mandhana.

Legs are subject to a dolphin-like motion. It means that the legs stay straight while you kick them in the pool.

Arms motions are symmetrical. They follow an hourglass movement underwater. They are extended from the front and move under the chest towards the hips.

When both your head and chest rise above the water, breathing takes place.

The butterfly stroke, which is one of most difficult strokes to master, is also one of my favorite. It can be difficult to master the arm movements, dolphin kick, and undulations. It is tiring and not recommended for fitness or recreational swimmers.

The Muscles that are used for the Butterfly stroke include:

  1. It is important to use the core abdominal muscles and lower back muscles, which help lift the body off the water when we breathe.
  2. Glutes can be used to control the movement of the legs, just like a dolphin.
  3. These powerful strokes require a lot of strength and pecs.


Backstroke is only one type of competitive stroke. The head is in neutral, facing upward. It’s very similar to Front Crawl except for the fact that the back is facing downwards.

Legs fly kicks using quick and compact movements.

Backstroke is achieved by using the Arms to pull water below the back. This allows the body to move backward. Backstroke is competitively the third fastest after Butterfly and Front Crawl.

This type of swimming stroke is safe because the head stays in the water.

Muscles used a backstroke are:

This move requires the shoulders to dominate more than any other stroke. In the backstroke, it is important to use the lower leg muscles. You will use a lot of small muscles, especially those of the subscapularis. The swimming stroke can be beneficial for back patients, as it relaxes the muscles and straightens them.

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