Swimming Tutorial

Styles of Swimming

In competitive swimming there are 4 major styles.


Swimmers participating in this style will be diving into the pool stretching their arms and shoulders and enter the surface of the water showing the head downwards. While swimming the participants will rotate their arms in a semi-circle way to move forward. They will move their hands as well as push their body into the water simultaneously for better result in the movement. This style of swimming is originated from the style called breast stroke and it’s also considered as the most difficult swimming style among the four.

FINA has set many rules and regulations for this swimming event.


  • Swimmers will keep their body on the chest at the start of the race and at the turns.
  • Should not roll their back at any point during the race event.
  • They should move the hands synscrously while racing. They need to move their legs too in a synchronous manner but no need of doing in a high level but alternative movement is necessary.
  • Brest stroke leg kick is not allowed.
  • At the turn of each side they should touch the board with both the hands or else it’ll be considered as disqualification.
  • At the start of the race they can stretch the initial momentum to a limit of 15 meters by stretching their hands and legs.

Back Stroke

In this style of swimming they will swim on their backside. It’ll be easy for them to breathe in this style because their face will always above the water level. However they won’t be getting enough vision and they won’t be able to know where they’re going so there will be artificial lanes to guide them and the experienced swimmers will know how many strokes are required to reach the end point and they will swim and take the return according to that.

Swimmers can try turning their head to confirm whether they’re on the right path or not but in most cases they won’t do it because it may slows them down giving others an advantage. Because they’re swimming with face upwards their legs will be staying parallel causing an obstruction for normal flow of water. So to avoid that swimmers will try their maximum to stretch their legs so that they can at least   avoid this problem to an extent.

Like all the other styles back stroke is also having many rules. They are

  • Swimmers are not allowed to stand on the gutter when the race is starting and they’re not allowed to bend their toes over the lip of the gutter.
  • Swimmers are allowed to push off at the start and after turning.
  • For turning the swimmers can take a vertical turn but it should not last more than a single arm push or double arm pull. They should go back to the original position after leaving the wall.
  • Swimmers can take a sight roll of an angle less than 90degrees.
  • Swimmers should take care to swim with some of their body parts in the surface of the water. They can stay completely under the water while taking the turns and finishing the race.
  • Swimmers should touch the wall while taking the turns.

Breast stroke

This swimming style is considered as the oldest and easy style of swimming. In this style swimmers will stretch their arms forward and push it downwards for moving forward. At the time of pulling hands towards the waist, they place their feet closer to hips and fold the legs and stretch it for pushing the water for faster movement.  This leg movement is considered similar to a frog movement and named this as frog kick or whip kick.

In this style of swimming for gaining maximum speed the swimmers will try to keep their heels immersed in water or as close as possible to avoid the unwanted blocking of water flow. Maintain the maximum breath is really challenging and for that they should pull their stomach and bring their face above the water level while moving. This small arm stroke style will put less pressure which makes it ideal for long distance swimming.


  • Swimming should start on the breast of the swimmer.
  • At start they should separate their hands and use arm stroke style.
  • It’s necessary to take a leg kick after an arm stroke because both arm stroke and leg kick is the complete stroke cycle.
  • Turn on their back and swimming or staying is not allowed.
  • Hands should be moved simultanesiouly.
  • Hands should be kept at horizontal level.
  • Elbow should always remain in the water, however at the time of turn they can put elbow outside and play the final stroke.
  • Hands cannot be bring above the hip line at the time of first stroke and turning.
  • The feet should be outwards at the time of propulsive part of kick.

Free Style

Free style is the type of style where less number of rules and restrictions are been placed. The swimmer can choose any style of swimming for free style but they should follow the rules that are in that particular style, however winning is the top most priority. In free style front crawl is the most usual and most picked style among big competitions. In front crawl swimmer will move their arms forward pulling water backwards for easy movement and gaining speed.

For this the swimmer will flutter-kick the feet simultaneously and arm movement will be continue in a semi-circular motion. They can also choose whip kick their feet, it’s also known as Trudgen.


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