Learning the Basic Strokes Involved in Swimming

Swimming is an important skill for everyone to learn. Not only is it excellent exercise, but learning to swim may just save a life one day. There’s no telling when someone might be faced with a natural disaster or have a car slide off a road into water. And children can learn to swim easier than adults can, so teaching them to swim should be on everyone’s to-do list.

One simple way to teach kids to swim is to utilize SwimHub’s swimming lessons. Children of all ages have fun swimming, but it’s necessary to teach them everything they need to know. Lessons start out basic and advance as the child learns. Not only are lessons educational, but they are fun for kids, too.

Floating is where the body floats easily on the water without sinking. This is probably the first step in teaching a child to swim. The body is naturally buoyant and once the child learns to relax in the water, floating comes almost spontaneously.

Swimming underwater is another lesson in swimming. The child will be instructed on how to hold his/her breath with their head underwater. Some kids do better at first if they plug their nose, and there are even rubber nose plugs available to buy if it will help. But, anyone learning to swim should graduate to swimming underwater without plugging the nose; in an emergency situation, they may not be able to use their fingers to plug their nose.

Swimming on top of the water is sometimes more complicated than the other lessons. This involves using both arms and legs in sequence to propel the body across the water. There are different strokes used in skimming across the water, like the Freestyle and the Butterfly.

The Doggie Paddle is probably the first ‘stroke’ everyone learns after floating. Imagine the way a dog looks in the water, all four legs working independently to propel his body through the water. It’s an inefficient way to swim, and not practical for most, but is the first step in learning how to coordinate the arms and legs.

The Freestyle stroke, also called the front crawl, is probably the most common. The body sits on its belly on the water, and arms are rotated in a circle, first one, then the other, while the legs are kicked to move through the water. The head is turned on every second arm stroke for a breath.

The Backstroke is like the Freestyle, except its done while on the back. The arms work opposite one another. Breathing should be timed with the arm fully extended over the head, as this opens the chest to allow more airflow. Like with the Freestyle, often swimmers will breathe on every other arm stroke.

The Breaststroke is a complicated stroke performed on the belly. The hands are clasped in front of the body as if in prayer, then pushed to the front of the body, out, and around to the sides. Think of the action of a frog’s legs when he swims and you’ll have a good idea of what the Breaststroke looks like. Breathing can be done on either every or every other stroke.

The Butterfly stroke is extraordinarily difficult and requires a lot of upper body strength. The stroke uses the same motion as in the Freestyle, only the arms should rotate at the same time. The upper body should come out of the water, the arms rotate, then the body dives under the water again. Breathing is usually timed on every other stroke; when the swimmer isn’t breathing on a stroke, the body stays under the water while the arms rotate.

There are still other, more complex swimming strokes, but once the basics are learned, swimming can bring excellent benefit into anyone’s life. And, in an emergency situation, knowing the skill of swimming can save a life!