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Swimming Strokes

What is a Swimming Stroke?

A swimming stroke is a method of moving the arms and legs to push against the water and propel the swimmer forward.

Swimming strokes should create the least possible water resistance. When swimming, there should be a minimum of splashing so that forward motion is smooth and not jerky.

Types of Swimming Strokes

  • Butterfly
    • The most difficult and exhausting stroke.
    • The body is in a prone position.
    • Involves the dolphin kick with a windmill-like movement of both arms in unison.
    • When swimming competitively, the swimmer must not swim underwater. The only time a swimmer can swim underwater is the first stroke after the start and each turn.
  • High Elbow Catch
  • Breast Stroke
    • The body is in a prone position.
    • Involves frog kicking alternates with a simultaneous movement of the arms from a point in front of the head to shoulder level.
    • When swimming competitively, the swimmer's head must be kept above the surface of the water at all times.
  • Power stroke
  • Crawl
    • Front or Back
      • The body is in a prone position.
      • Involves alternating overarm strokes and the flutter kick.
      • The head remains in the water, the face alternating from side to side.
  • Sidestroke
    • Involves a forward underwater stroke with the body on one side and a scissors kick.
  • Trudgen
    • Named after an English swimmer whose speed made it famous.
    • Involves alternate overarm strokes in a prone position, with a scissors kick and the head remains on one side.
  • Freestyle
    • Swimming where any stroke is used.
    • When swimming competitively, only 15 meters can be spent underwater from the start or from each turn.
  • Backstroke
    • Involves alternate over-the-head arm strokes and a flutter kick in a supine position.
    • When swimming competitively, only 15 meters can be spent underwater from the start or from each turn.
  • Dog Paddle
    • One of the most simple strokes.
    • Involves reaching forward with the arms underwater and using a modified flutter kick.


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