Health & Fitness

Swimming Strokes: Which is Right For You?

Thinking of making swimming part of your fitness routine? Here’s how to choose the right swimming stroke to suit you.

Fancy incorporating swimming into your fitness routine?

Swimming is one of the most popular forms of exercise, and it’s never been easier to start swimming. There are public swimming pools available all around the country, and the cost of a single swim isn’t much.

However, if you’re new to swimming or haven’t swum in a while, you may be a bit stuck as to which stroke to learn. Depending on your fitness goals and your expertise in the sport, you’ll want to choose a swimming stroke that suits you to get the most out of your workout.

Ready learn about the main four different strokes? Keep reading!

1. Breaststroke

Breaststroke is often the first stroke taught to learners, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer any major health benefits.

However, there’s a reason why this stroke is so popular and it’s not just because it’s easy.

Breaststroke is a great choice if you’re seeking a cardiovascular workout from your swimming routine. It’s also fabulous for your chest and lats. And if you don’t like having your head underwater for long periods, breaststroke will suit you perfectly.

If you’re looking to burn fat fast, however, breaststroke may not be the stroke for you as it’s relatively slow. So, if you’re looking for a higher intensity workout, read on to discover some more energetic strokes.

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2. Front Crawl

Front crawl, otherwise known as freestyle, is renowned as being the fastest swimming stroke.

As you drag yourself through the water, you propel faster by kicking out with your legs.

It’s a more challenging stroke to learn as you need to learn proper breathing techniques to successfully make the most out of the stroke. If you get it wrong, you can become out of breath in the middle of your routine which can disrupt your workout.

Despite the challenges, the front crawl is one of the most popular forms of swimming, especially for the fitness junkies out there.

Work on your chest, back, and lat muscles with front crawl and challenge yourself to a pure power workout!

3. Backstroke

As you can imagine, backstroke involves swimming on your back. It’s a relatively relaxed stroke and helps work different sets of muscles – especially on the back!

It’s also great for the hamstrings, and like breaststroke, you don’t need to worry about breathing as your mouth is always out the water.

While you probably wouldn’t dedicate a whole workout to backstroke, it works well used in combination with other strokes to gain a broad workout from your swimming session.

While it can initially be challenging to stay balanced on your back, with practice it gets easier. This means learning backstroke can be a little trickier to learn than other strokes such as breaststroke.

Additionally, another issue is that you can’t see where you’re swimming, so you’ll need to become aware of space during your workout.

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4. Butterfly

If you’re looking for the ultimate swimming workout, then butterfly is the stroke for you.

This fast, energy-draining, and muscle-shredding stroke is great for burning fat and works your core, shoulders, and chest.

However, it’s also one of the most challenging strokes to master. When practiced correctly, it looks fantastic, but it can be difficult and intimidating to learn.

Both arms must swing simultaneously, pulling back under the hips to create forward motion. Meanwhile, the legs and feet snap together to make a kick. Likewise, you’ll need to master proper breathing techniques and will struggle to maintain practicing the stroke for long periods.

If you’re interested in mastering the butterfly stroke – good luck! While it’s tricky to learn it’s worthwhile in the long run if you want to burn fat and make swimming part of your core fitness routine.

Which Swimming Stroke Is For You?

Each of these four strokes offers its pros and cons, working different muscles and having different technical aspects. But if you love swimming, one of these strokes is bound to suit your needs.

If you’re looking for a more mindful and gentle swimming practice, then breaststroke or backstroke will suit you. If you’re seeking a full-body workout, go for front crawl or butterfly.

Want more exercise advice? Here are seven fitness trends to incorporate into your workouts in 2019.

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