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What are the Best Swimming Tips?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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Swimming is a sport that is typically done with a unique combination of grace and power. Controlled and repetitious arm and leg movements propel the body through the water. The front crawl, backstroke, breast stroke, and butterfly are the most popular swimming strokes, each with their own special technique and set of swimming tips for style and maximum performance. Above all, recreational water-lovers and competitive swimmers have one thing in common — they trust the water.

For beginners, swimming tips that teach the art of the doggy paddle are usually the most helpful. Mastering it is the first step in learning how to be comfortable in the water without sinking to the bottom. This move gives the swimmer a sense of control and understanding about how his or her motions in the water affect the ability to stay afloat.

Similar to the way animals swim, but very different than other typical swim strokes, the doggy paddle is performed with the swimmer in a vertical position. It is done by alternating arm and leg movements that push the water toward, and then away, from the swimmer. When people play in the ocean, this is often the stroke they use to keep their heads above water.

Other swimming tips can include using a kickboard or other floatation device to assist with aquatic buoyancy. Some beginners hold onto the side of the pool for support, extend the body outward and kick their legs. This helps them become accustomed to the kicking motion used in most swim strokes, while keeping the torso and legs elevated near the water’s surface. Floating is an important aspect of learning to swim.

The backstroke is one that relies heavily on the ability to float. When performing this movement, the legs kick at a steady pace and the arms rotate backward through the water. Since the swimmer performs this stroke laying, horizontally, on his back, it can be difficult for him to gauge how quickly he approaches the edge of the pool. There are a few swimming tips that can help combat this problem, and make the backstroke more enjoyable.

Some backstroke swimmers sing a song in their heads while they do this movement. By measuring the amount of time it takes to reach the end of the pool, based on a certain verse of a song, the approximate distance can be judged. The swimmer can then stretch his or her neck to look behind and confirm the proximity to the pool’s edge. This technique may take some getting use to, and a little finesse to master. Once it is learned, however, it can save the swimmer from some uncomfortable bumps on the head.

The front crawl, breast stroke, and butterfly all have characteristics in common, with regard to technique. The best swimming tips for better propulsion through the water, during them, include ones that support controlled movements designed to create less resistance for the swimmer. For example, cupping the hands, with the fingers kept tightly together, will typically make him swim faster.

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