Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
List of swimming styles
This is a List of swimming styles commonly known and swum. They are grouped into competition style swimming, recreational swimming, and special purpose swimming as for example water rescue. These grouping, of course, are not definitive, and some special purpose strokes may be swum recreationally and vice versa. Furthermore, it is possible to swim only legs without arms or only arms without legs, but unless this serves a special purpose such sub-styles are not listed.
There are four swimming styles commonly swum in competitions. Three of them are regulated by the FINA. These three are:
A fourth competition is for unregulated styles and is called freestyle. During freestyle, it is possible to swim any style on this list. Due to the superior speed, most swimmers choose front crawl for freestyle competitions. For medley swimming freestyle is any style except breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.
There are a large number of different recreational swimming styles. Some of them are swum on the breast, some on the back, and some on the side. Of course, all the competition strokes can be swum recreationally.
On the Breast
- Front Crawl is the fastest swimming style.
- Trudgen (also known as Trudgeon): The trudgen is similar to the front crawl, except it is swum with a scissor kick
- Trudgen Crawl: Similar to the trudgen, but with a flutter kick between the scissor kicks
- Double Trudgen: Similar to the trudgen, but the sides of the scissor kick alternate
- Double Trudgen Crawl: Similar to the double trudgen, but with a flutter kick between the scissor kicks
- Dolphin Crawl: Similar to front crawl, but with a dolphin kick. One kick per arm or two kicks per cycle. This style is often used in training.
- Catch up stroke: A variation of the front crawl where one arm always rests at the front while the other arm performs one cycle.
- Heads-Up Breaststroke: Similar to the breaststroke, but the head stays out of the water. This style is very popular for recreational and swimmers and also for rescue swimmers approaching a victim.
- Slow Butterfly (also known as Moth stroke): Similar to butterfly, but with an extended gliding phase, Breathing during the pull/push phase, return head into water during recovery. This style uses four kicks or more per cycle.
- Dog Paddle: face over water and paddling alternatingly with the hands.
- Human Stroke: Similar to the dog paddle, but the arms reach out more and pull farther down.
- Survival Travel Stroke: Alternating underwater arm stroke, one cycle for propulsion, one for lift to stay on the surface. This style is slow but sustainable.
- Snorkeling: Swimming on the breast using a snorkel, usually in combination with masks and fins. Any stroke on the breast can be used, and there is no need to lift or turn the head for breathing.
On the Back
- Backstroke (also known as Back Crawl)
- Elementary Backstroke: Both arms move synchronized with a small synchronized kick. This is also sometimes known as the Lifesaving Kick
- Inverted Breaststroke: Similar to Elementary Backstroke, but with a breaststroke kick.
- Inverted Butterfly: Similar to Elementary backstroke, but with a dolphin kick. This is often used for training.
- Back Double Trudgen: Similar to the Backstroke, but with a scissor kick to alternating sides.
- Flutter Back Finning: Symmetrically underwater arm recovery with flutter kick.
- Feet First Swimming: A very slow stroke on the back where a breaststroke movement with the arms propels the body forward feet first. This is often used for training.
On the Side
- Side Stroke: Lying on the side with alternating underwater recovery and a scissor kick
- Overarm Sidestroke: Similar to the side stroke, but with a over water recovery of the top arm
- Corkscrew Swimming: Alternating between Front crawl and backstroke every arm. This leads to a constant rotation of the swimmer. The stroke is used mainly for training purposes
- Underwater Swimming: any style with underwater recovery can be swum under water for certain distances depending on the need for air. Underwater swimming on the back has the additional possibility of water entering the nose. The swimmer can breathe out through the nose or wear a nose clip. Some swimmers can close their nostrils with the upper lip.
- Gliding: The swimmer is stretched with the arms to the front, the head between the arms and the feet to the back. This streamlined shape minimizes resistance and allows the swimmer to glide, for example after a start, a push off from a wall, or to rest between strokes.
- Turtle stroke: on the breast, extend right arm then pull, after pushing with the left leg (while opposite limbs are recovering), then opposite limbs repeat this process, i.e. left arm pulls after right leg pushes. Uses muscles of the waist. Head can easily be above or below water: this is a slow but very sustainable stroke, popular with turtles and newts.
Special Purpose Styles
A number of strokes are only used for special purposes, e.g. to manipulate an object (a swimmer in distress, a ball), or just to stay afloat. (see also: Drowning)
- Lifesaving Stroke: Similar to the side stroke, but only the bottom arm moves while the top arm tows a swimmer in distress
- Lifesaving Approach Stroke (also known as Heads-Up Crawl): Similar to the front crawl, but with the eyes to the front above the water level, such as to observe the surroundings as for example a swimmer in distress or a ball
- Water polo stroke: This stroke is used for Water polo and is similar to front crawl, but with head above the water and a slightly inward curved arm to keep the ball between the arms and in front of the head.
- Pushing Rescue Stroke: This stroke helps assisting a tired swimmer: The tired swimmer lies on the back and the rescuer swims a breaststroke kick and pushes against the soles of the tired swimmer
- Pulling Rescue Stroke: This stroke helps assisting a swimmer in distress. The both swimmers lie on the back, and the rescuer grabs the armpits of the swimmer in distress and performs a breaststroke kick (on the back) for forward motion. The kick has to be not too shallow as otherwise the victim will be hit.
- Pulling Rescue Stroke (Unconscious Victim): Similar to the Pulling Rescue Stroke, except the rescuer holds the head by the cheeks and underneath the chin, and ensures that the mouth and nose are out of the water
- Pulling Rescue Stroke (Uncooperative Victim): Similar to the Pulling Rescue Stroke, except that the victim is uncooperative, e.g. due to panic. To reduce the danger to the rescuer, one arm of the victim is twisted on the back to restrict movement and to bring the victim in a favorable position for transport. The arm may be twisted with one or both hands depending on the circumstances, and an eventual available hand may pull the victim by his shoulders or his chin.
- Shoulder Pulling Rescue Stroke: Both swimmers are on the breast, and the victim hangs from the shoulders of the rescuer. This stroke works only with a cooperative victim, and has the advantages that the rescuer can use both hands and arms for a forward motion using breaststroke. The breaststroke kick should be very deep to avoid kicking the victim in the stomach. The victim can also perform a breaststroke or flutter kick. The victim must keep his shoulders in the water and must not push the shoulders of the rescuer down.
- Clothes Swimming: The swimmer is wearing clothes that restrict movement when wet, i.e. almost all clothes. This is done to practice situations were the swimmer fell in the water dressed or the rescuer did not have time to undress. Due to the restricted movement and the weight of the wet clothes over water (weightless under water!) an overarm recovery is not possible. Most swimmers swim breaststroke, but any stroke with underwater recovery is feasible.
- Rescue Tube Swimming: The lifeguard pulls a flotation device, which is pushed forward when approaching the victim.
Without Forward Motion
- Back Floating (also known as dead man float): Lying on the back with minimal leg movement, and staying afloat with the natural buoyancy. Only the face is over the water. This style is only to stay afloat and to rest.
- Survival floating: Similar to the back floating, except on the breast. The head is raised periodically for breathing. This is very useful for observing objects in the water using a mask or goggles. Often in combination with a snorkel
- Treading water: The swimmer is in the water heads up and feet down. Different kicks and hand movements to stay afloat. This is useful to keep the head out of the water for a better view or to catch an object as for example in water polo.
- Sculling: This is a figure 8 movement of the hands for forward motion or upward lift. Use in surf lifesaving, water polo, synchronized swimming and treading water.
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