10 Types of Swimming Styles and Their Short History and Techniques

10 Kinds of Swimming Style – Does Sinaumed’s like swimming, especially on weekends, to get rid of fatigue from daily activities? It turns out that swimming has existed since prehistoric times, you know… This is only natural, because ancient people liked to get into the water and move their bodies for various purposes, one of which was looking for food. The activity grew progressively until the 15th century, which Nicolas Wynman has noted as the emergence of the modern sport of swimming. After that, the development of the sport of swimming is increasingly in demand by many people, starting from the construction of the first swimming pool in 1800 to various swimming styles.

In modern times like today, swimming has been included in world sports competitions, namely the Olympics. However, to take part in this Olympic competition, we don’t just have to enter the water and move around carelessly, yes… we have to understand the technique in swimming style. Some of the swimming styles that are often contested in the Olympics are freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke. That is why the school curriculum, especially in sports subjects, often teaches these 4 swimming styles. In fact, there are not only 4 swimming styles, you know… So, what are the different swimming styles? What are the techniques for learning the various swimming styles? Well, so that Sinaumed’sTo understand these things, let’s look at the following review!

1. Freestyle (Crawl)

Freestyle swimming is a swimming activity with the chest position facing the water surface. The characteristic of this freestyle is that the body position is in a straight line and when there is a recovery movement, both hands move above the surface of the water. Later, both hands will alternately move far forward with a paddling motion, while the two legs will move in a “whipping” motion alternately up and down. When practicing this freestyle, the face position must be facing the surface of the water. The main goal of this freestyle swimming is so that your body can slide quickly while in the water. This style is also included in swimming competitions in Olympic competitions because it is easy to learn and efficient.

In freestyle swimming, breathing is done when the middle arm is moved outward from the water, that is, when the body is in an inclined position and the head is turned to the side. Now, when taking a breath, swimmers are of course free to choose to turn to the right or left. Actually, this freestyle is a swimming style that is not bound by certain basic techniques. Even this style can also be done with a variety of movements in swimming, so that it can make swimmers go fast in the water. This style is also effectively used by beginners.

A Brief History of Freestyle Swimming

Freestyle swimming is believed to have appeared in the Western world, to be precise in London in 1844. At that time, Indian swimmers used this freestyle so that they easily beat British swimmers (using breaststroke) when there was a competition between the two. Even though at that time, British swimmers still considered the freestyle in swimming not elegant because it splashed a lot of water. Not long after that, between 1870-1890, a British swimming coach, John Arthur Trudgen began to learn this freestyle from the natives of South America. Based on this, freestyle swimming continues to grow to what it is today.

Freestyle Swimming Technique

Body Position

  • Must be prone with a horizontal body position.
  • Try to relax your body.
  • Try to keep your head, back and legs as flat as possible with the surface of the water.
  • The forehead, shoulders, heels and buttocks are in the average position of the water.

Foot movements

  • The legs must continue to move in order to produce an uninterrupted thrust when swimming.
  • The back of the sole of the foot is stretched and straight towards the back.
  • The punching movement starts from the groin, then the lower leg, and ends with a “beat” movement from the ankle.
  • Keeping your knees and ankles relaxed can increase the effectiveness of your strokes in the water.
  • The upward movement of the feet should not exceed the surface of the water.
  • The foot movement is carried out twice with the foot kick and two hand pulls.

Hand movements

  • When the arm enters the water, the thumb enters first, followed by the wrist and upper arm.
  • The position of the hands when entering the water, is in front of the shoulders with the elbows bent down and forward.
  • The wrists are bent slightly and the fingers are together.

Breath Intake

  • Done by tilting the head to the right or left side.
  • Done using the mouth, that is, when the head is in a tilted position to the side and then exhale while facing the water.
  • Done simultaneously with the end of the hand movement.

Benefits of Freestyle Swimming

Reporting from halodoc , the use of freestyle when swimming can provide great benefits, including:

a) Increase Height

According to BuildYourDreamBody, to increase height through swimming can be done freestyle. This is because freestyle tends to be dynamic and can make the body pull towards the front and back.

b) Exercising Muscles

Through this free style, the muscles of the body will move optimally. Therefore, people who often do freestyle swimming will not easily experience back muscle pain.

2. Butterfly Style

The butterfly style is called the dolphin style which is also one of the swimming styles in Olympic competitions. This swimming style has the chest position facing the water surface. While on both arms simultaneously pressed down and moved outwards, before it swung to the front. On both legs simultaneously kicking downwards and upwards, like the movement of a fish’s tail.

This butterfly style is classified as the newest swimming style, you know because it was only created in 1933. Unlike other swimming styles, learning this butterfly style takes quite a long time, especially to learn the coordination of the movements of the hands and feet. Historically, this butterfly style was created by Henry Meys who was already an expert in sports from America when he was participating in the YMCA swimming competition in 1933. At that time, Henry Myers combined breaststroke with continuous arm movements and rotations.

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Butterfly Swimming Technique

Starting Technique

  • Done right above the starting beam by bending the body towards the water.
  • Knees slightly bent.

Body Position

  • The position of the body should be face down and almost parallel under the surface of the water.
  • On the legs, when doing the beat, it should not be too deep.
  • On the legs, the position must be slightly raised until the mouth is on the surface of the water. This is so that it is easy to take a breath.

Arm Movement

In this butterfly style, arm movements must be done simultaneously, both between the left arm and the right arm.

  • Catch / Catch : when the body and arms have entered the water, move the arms outwards and continue with movements like catching.
  • Down Sweep / Reaching : when the catching movement has been carried out, then the swimmer must be able to move the wrists and elbows that have been slightly bent, downwards.
  • In Sweep/Pulling : Be sure to pull your hands in and back, just under your head.
  • Up Sweep/Pushing : Push the arm backwards, then proceed to take it out of the water again.
  • Recovery / Recovery : Raise the elbow above the surface of the water, then proceed with a circular motion of the shoulder joint.

Foot movements

  • Try to keep your legs in a straight position, from the base of the foot to the toe.
  • Knees bend first, but don’t bend too much.
  • Make a kicking motion with your feet.
  • After kicking the foot, position the foot as if you were pedaling downwards.

Breathing Technique

  • Lift your head up, just above the surface of the water. But don’t get too high.
  • Try to raise your head slightly above the surface of the water and when you’re done, lower your head back down to the bottom of the water quickly.
  • Use your nose to blow out the water.

Benefits of Swimming Butterfly Style

The following are the four benefits of swimming the butterfly style as follows:

a) Train the Arm Muscles

Especially in the coordination of the arms and legs, so it will help train the arm muscles.

b) Exercising Leg Muscles

In very strong leg coordination, it can help train leg muscles.

c) Forming Posture

Namely by training the chest muscles and muscles in the shoulders, so that it can encourage the formation of ideal body posture.

d) Lose Weight

Swimming butterfly style can help burn fat and lose weight helps build muscles in the abdomen.

3. Backstroke

As the name implies, this backstroke swimming has a back position facing the water surface. Meanwhile, the position of the face is above the water so it will be easy to take a breath. However, swimmers can only look in that direction. That is why, during a race, swimmers who use this backstroke will estimate the poolside wall by counting the number of movements.

In this backstroke swimming, later the movement of the arms and legs will be similar to the freestyle, with one difference, that is, the position of the body tends to lie on the surface of the water. Both hands will alternately be moved towards the waist like a paddling motion. To take a breath, the mouth and nose are outside the water, so it will be easy to breathe properly.

During the race, the starting attitude is carried out in the pool by facing the pool wall with both hands holding the iron grip. While both knees will be bent between the two hands. Just a little trivia, the backstroke has actually been known since ancient times, you know… Then it was contested for the first time at the 1900 Paris Olympics so it is called the oldest swimming style after the freestyle.

Backstroke Swimming Technique

Body Position

  • Try to keep your body position straight and parallel to the surface of the water.
  • Lower your hips about 2-5 cm from the surface of the water. This is done to keep the movement of the feet in the water so that they remain stable.
  • Make sure the head is facing up. The neck must be relaxed so that the movement remains in a straight line.
  • The water level on the head must cover the ears.

Foot movements

  • The position of the two legs must be in a straight condition with close proximity.
  • Ankles should be relaxed, with knees slightly bent especially when starting rowing.
  • Movement starts from the groin. Bend the knees slightly then shake the toes.

Breathing Technique

  • The most appropriate tempo for breathing is to take a breath at rest from one arm.
  • Exhale at rest from the other arm.

Hand movements

  • Swing your arms alternately straight to the surface of the water. Try to go over your head and enter the water with your arms by your side.
  • Rotate your arms back and they should go over your head.
  • While your arms are in the water, bend your elbows to a 90° angle and push them toward your hips.
  • Straighten your arms once they reach your hips.
  • Make sure your palms are facing your body and leave them out with your thumbs first.

4. Breaststroke or Frog Style

Breaststroke swimming, aka frog style, is a popular choice for recreational swimming. In this breaststroke, you have a stable body position with your head out of the water for a long time. The position of the chest will face the surface of the water, but it’s still different from the freestyle, because the torso in this style will be in a fixed state. Both legs will kick outwards, while both hands remain straight forward.

Later, both hands will be opened to the sides, like a movement as if they were splitting water. This is done so that the body can move faster forward. Meanwhile, breathing is done when the mouth is on the surface of the water, right after one or two hand-foot movements. This swimming style is usually taught to beginners and is the slowest style.

A Brief History of Breaststroke

This breaststroke is the most popular swimming style in various countries, and has even been taught in ancient schools in Egypt, China, Greece, to Rome. In 1538, a German scientist, Nicolaus Wynmann managed to publish a book on swimming for the first time and contained breaststroke techniques, with the aim of promoting swimming as a way of saving oneself from drowning. After that, swimming competitions became known in Europe in 1800 and most of the participants used this breaststroke.

Basic Techniques of Breaststroke

Movement Start

  • Almost the same as the freestyle and butterfly, namely the sliding style.
  • Stand on the edge of the pool with one foot against the pool wall.
  • The position of the body is bent so that it looks parallel to the surface of the water. Both hands are straightened and flank the ears.
  • Repulsion of the feet on the pool wall firmly, so that the body will slide forward.
  • Both arms and legs in a straight position to maintain balance.
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Foot movements

  • Body position should be prone or prone.
  • Hold on to the pool wall.
  • The position of the head is on the surface of the water and both legs are straight.
  • Both legs pulled to the side and then straightened both legs again, like the frog legs while swimming.
  • When both legs are straightened, make a whip especially when the feet are closed.
  • The condition of both feet relaxed.

Hand movements

  • Place both feet on the pool wall.
  • Straighten your hands and position your head out of the water.
  • Pull both hands together toward the lower chest while palms paddling the water.

Breathing Technique

  • Inhaling can be done when both hands are being pulled to the side.
  • Head lifted up while taking air.
  • If a beginner, do it slowly.

Benefits of Breaststroke Swimming

a) Eliminate Stress

Since breaststroke swimming has a fairly slow movement, it is suitable for recreation aimed at relieving stress. With the position of the head that is sometimes below the surface of the water, it can help refresh the mind and relieve stress.

b) Maintain Body Cholesterol Levels

Sinaumed’s surely knows that the human body needs cholesterol in order to produce vitamin D while protecting cells and forming hormones. However, excessive cholesterol levels are also dangerous, especially for the heart. Well, one way to control cholesterol levels in the body is to regularly swim using the breaststroke.

5. Side Swim Style

Side stroke is a swimming style that is rarely used by swimmers, although it is definitely there for recreational purposes. Namely by using the side of the body only. While one hand is in the water and the other is above. The hands that are in the water will usually make circular swing movements to push the body. Then, the hand that is above will make a relaxed movement straight towards the head.

This swimming style is indeed not contested in official competitions, because very few people know of its existence.

6. Dog Swimming Style

As the name implies, the movement will be like a dog swimming in the water. The position of the head is above the water, while the feet and hands will make a paddling motion. This movement is one of the easiest swimming styles to do, especially for beginners who can’t swim.

7. Trudgen Swim

This swimming style is actually a development of freestyle. The position of the feet in the water will resemble scissors with alternating up and down movements. The position of both hands is horizontal, so that as the legs move, you also pull one arm towards the water in a circular motion like a pinwheel. After that, insert the other hand under the body part of the thigh. For breathing techniques, it can be done at any time according to the strength of each swimmer.

8. Underwater Swimming Style

Actually, the style of swimming underwater is actually faster than swimming on the surface of the water. At the 1988 Olympics, many swimmers took part in the underwater backstroke event. After that, the Olympics stated that swimmers were only allowed to be underwater for 15 meters, right after the starting movement.

Since this stroke is performed underwater, it is common for swimmers to have difficulty exhaling so they will either breathe through life or even use a nose clip. Some of the styles that can be done underwater are:

a) Sea Lion Stroke 

This stroke is performed with a rowing motion, precisely the arm on the side going along the line of the body accompanied by kicks flapping in the contralateral order (on the opposite side). This is what causes this style to be called the sea lion swimming style and is effective enough to be done underwater which has a narrow size.

b) Dolphin Kick

This style is usually used at the start of a race to maintain speed, which results from the wall pushing at the start and the turn. The trick is to kick the legs up and down, while being pressed simultaneously. So, when used to practice swimming underwater, the arms will be stretched in front of the head.

c) Fish Kick

Almost similar to the previous dolphin kick style, but for this one style it is done while on the swimmer’s side. Precisely this style is the fastest swimming style , you know because it can create a vortex that encourages swimmers to move forward.

9. Swimming Style To Save Lives

Unlike the purpose of swimming in the previous style, this swimming style is not done for recreational or competition purposes, but instead as an effort to save lives in the water. This style can not only be done by safety officers, but also ordinary people to minimize risky events that are experienced by people around us. So, here are some swimming styles to save lives.

a) Pushing Rescue Stroke

Namely swimming style to help swimmers who feel tired. Later, the tired swimmer will lie on the back of the rescuer so that the rescue party will kick the whip to get to the edge of the pool or ocean.

b) Lifesaving Stroke

Almost the same as the side stroke, but the lower arm will move while the upper arm will pull the swimmer who is struggling.

c) Extended Arm Tow (Unconscious Victim)

This style is done when the victim is unconscious, so the rescue will be carried out by swimming side stroke or supine breaststroke. Later, the rescuer holds the head with straight arms, then hands cupped under the chin. This is to ensure that the victim’s mouth and nose are out of the water.

d) Head-Up Front Crawl (Tarzan Stroke)

Done with eyes still facing forward on the surface of the water, as if observing the circumstances around the water.

e) Pulling Rescue Stroke

Later, the swimmer will lie on his back and the rescuer will grab the swimmer’s armpit by kicking the whip on the back. This is to create a forward movement. However, the kick should not be too shallow because later the victim will be hit by the whip kick.

10. Glide Style As Basic Movement

Actually, gliding is not a swimming style but instead becomes the initial movement when going to swim, especially in breaststroke, butterfly and free. However, many people still understand it as a swimming style.

To perform this technique, the swimmer simply stands on the edge of the pool while sticking one bent leg on the pool wall. Then, bend your body so that it is parallel to the surface of the water. While the position of the two hands should be straight forward while pressing the earlobe. The greater the push from the feet, the farther the sliding motion will be.

So, that’s a review of the 10 different swimming styles that Sinaumed’s can find in swimming, both for recreational purposes, competitions, as well as efforts to save lives. Is Sinaumed’s already adept at mastering some of these swimming styles?

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