Swimming is an exercise that involves the use of the hands and feet to move freely over or under water, or to stop.
It”s a sport that”s suitable for modern people”s daily physical activity and can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and it”s relatively simple to master.
Since it is a full-body exercise and requires a lot of breathing, it is good for the development of muscles and cardiopulmonary system, and it is good for summer recreation.
Characteristics and effects
Swimming is a sport that”s perfect for the modern lifestyle and can be practiced by people of all ages, with no fixed point of support. You don”t have to support most of your own body weight, so there are no physical limitations.
The body position is parallel to the surface of the water, and the movements of the limbs play a large role in moving the body and require specialized breathing techniques.
Therefore, it”s good for muscle and cardiorespiratory development because it”s a full-body workout, requiring a great deal of respiratory effort. It”s also a great way to work on your skin because you”re exposed to air and sun.
It”s a summer recreation that you can enjoy according to your abilities, and it”s a great way to improve your confidence in water safety, as well as the safety of others. You can also improve your endurance by swimming long distances.
Humans are thought to have been motivated to swim as a means of subsistence (fishing, transportation, self-defense), religious ritual, and to treat disease.
The earliest documented murals of swimmers in Libyan caves are thought to date back more than 9,000 years, and intentional swimming was used for physical fitness and military training for boys in Persia and Assyria, and by the Middle Ages, swimming was a required part of military training.
In the early modern period, swimming was recognized and promoted as desirable for public health, education, and leisure by Bernardi in Italy and Kutzmutz and Puel in Germany.
In 1837, the first competitive swimming event was held in London, England, and the strokes were breaststroke and sidestroke.
These strokes have been improved and developed into the current freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.
Freestyle stroke/Crawl stroke
What we usually refer to as freestyle is the crawl stroke, which is the fastest stroke in which the swimmer can gain continuous momentum by stirring the water and pushing the water behind them with their legs moving up and down in a steady alternating motion with their arms in a flat, low resistance position.
Traditionally, the so-called six-beat stroke, in which the feet are kicked six times while the left and right arms are alternately stroked, is the most common stroke, but there are also four-beat strokes and two-beat strokes found in female athletes.
The two-beat stroke maximizes the use of the arms to pull, which requires relatively little energy compared to the large muscles of the legs, which consume a lot of energy.
The arm movement is divided into a pull and a recovery movement, and the key to the pull is that the hand should be almost relaxed at the time of acquisition, and the elbow should be comfortably bent to a certain degree when the fingers are acquired.
In the first phase of the pull, starting with the arms and then the forearms, the hands are flexed downward, forming a very large circle. The tip of the ulna is also slightly rotated upwards. The wrist is slightly bent downward.
The fingers enter first, followed by the wrist, then the forearm, then the elbow.
The thumb is inclined slightly lower than the little finger. In the middle of the pull, the elbow must be pointing outward.
It’s important to note that the pull moves in an S-shape.
The palm of your hand will also move outward and then inward and back outward as the pull progresses.
The pull ends before the arm is fully extended and the hand is lifted into recovery at the moment the thumb grazes the thigh.
The pushing phase to enter recovery takes place below the surface of the water.
As the arm is lifted out of the water, the arm should be bent, and because of the roll of the body, the shoulder is first seen out of the water, followed by the upper arm, then the elbow wrist, and finally the hand. The elbows are held high up.
The forearms are slightly loose and the elbows start the return. In the middle of the retraction, the fingers are guided to the point where the forearm is retracted. This way, the hand is dragging the elbow, which allows the shoulder joint to work in a better way.
In modern freestyle, the role of the kick has little to do with direct propulsion.
However, it”s important not only to correct your posture, but also to your overall movement because it”s like a rudder.
Think of the leg action as a whip, not a full kick, with a slight looseness at the ankle to create a whip-like motion.
The kicking motion is a fluid, smooth motion that starts at the hip joint.
It follows the same principle as a whip, with the knee being the introduction and leading to the lower leg.
The legs should not be stiff enough to stiffen the muscles, and you should practice kicking with the sensation of water passing through your toes.
The kick should create a bubble near or partially above the surface of the water. An incorrect kick will result in a sharp, jerky splash due to excessive knee flexion.
Back crawl stroke
As with the freestyle, you need to stay streamlined to minimize resistance.
In other words, just as the lower abdomen is at the lowest point in the freestyle, the hips should be at the lowest point in the backstroke and the head should be at about a 30˚ angle to minimize frontal resistance.
It”s important to pay particular attention to the glutes, or hips, as too much lowering or lifting of the head can cause the lower back to curve and cause the body to sink.
Your shoulders and chest should be relaxed, and your toes should be on the surface of the water.
As in freestyle, you should keep your head still and roll both shoulders alternately. The shoulders will alternately move closer to the body”s centerline to minimize resistance.
Arm movements, or strokes, consist of pulling and pushing. The hand follows a path that goes down, comes back up, and then goes down again, as the elbow continuously relaxes and contracts.
The arms should be brought flat behind the swimmer’s shoulders. When the arm touches the water, the arm should immediately enter the stroke, and there should be no pause in the movement of the arm in the water.
The rolling of the body should occur naturally at the beginning of the stroke, and the elbow should begin to bend as the arm begins the stroke.
During the arm bend, the elbow should be directed towards the bottom of the pool and not towards the legs.
When the arm passes the shoulder line, the angle of the elbow bend is approximately 90°. At this point, your fingertips are closest to the surface of the water.
The stroke ends with the forearm extending and the arm pushing the water back and down in a rounded motion, while the body rolls to the opposite side.
This action causes the shoulders to come out of the water when the arm finishes the stroke. The shoulders guide the arm into the recovery phase, and the recovery begins with a vertical line.
The arm muscles are relaxed and the momentum gained during the stroke is transferred to the recovery.
The backstroke requires constant and powerful leg propulsion, which is why the six-beat kick is the standard for most world-class backstrokers.
In the case of the backstroke, you need to bend your knees more than in freestyle to achieve greater rear friction traction.
The knee itself moves with very little form (the knee should never come out of the water). When kicking, it”s effective to adopt a stiff-legged stance, as in freestyle, because it allows you to generate more momentum.
Unlike freestyle and backstroke, which are horizontal strokes, breaststroke is an articulated stroke, so you want to keep your legs submerged about 30 to 40 centimeters underwater.
When recovering from a kick, the legs are folded because if the body is horizontal to the surface, the feet will be on the surface and the swimmer won’t be able to push off as hard. Ideally, the angle of the body to the water is about 30-40° with the lower body down.
When your kick generates momentum and propels you forward, you should try to keep your body horizontal to minimize frontal drag.
The position of the head is determined by gaze, so it is recommended that beginners keep their gaze about 15-20° forward, while competitive swimmers should keep it towards the bottom of the pool.
In the case of beginners, the lower body rises above the surface of the water, making it difficult to execute a precise kick.
The arm movement begins with both arms extended in front of the body.
The arms begin to rotate, with the elbows pointing outward.
The arms should be about 15 centimeters below the surface of the water. The hand is pointed outward with the thumb down.
At the beginning of the stroke, your wrist will begin to bend first and your arms will continue to open outward until your body forms a Y shape.
As the arm approaches the shoulder, it turns inward so that the palms of the hands are facing each other, and the upper arm drops down as the hands approach.
In an accelerated motion, the arm is thrust out in front of the body in a strong straight line until it is fully extended.
There should be no pauses in the stroke, especially when the arms are close together at the shoulders.
From the ready position, the legs should be extended and the backward motion should be performed.
Initially, the legs are together. Only when the knees are fully bent do the legs and knees separate.
The feet should be pointing outward and fully extended. The kick starts with a sideways and backward push.
As the bent knee extends, the thigh moves upward. The speed of the kick is very important.
The kick should be progressively faster, otherwise you”ll miss the timing of the water kick.
You reach your maximum speed in the final phase of the kick.
The speed of the kick is largely controlled by the extension of the knee, so the knee shouldn”t be fully extended until the legs are brought together in the second half of the kick.
The body position of the butterfly stroke is very different from that of the freestyle or backstroke.
In the freestyle and backstroke strokes, the center of gravity doesn”t shift as the swimmer rolls from side to side.
However, breaststroke and butterfly are a little different.
When you kick up and down with your feet together, you move your waist up and down because the wave energy from the movement of your waist is transmitted through your knees to your toes to push through the water.
When the waist moves, the center of gravity changes, so the body moves in the up and down directions.
In the case of freestyle and backstroke, the left and right rolls keep your shoulders high, so when you bring your arms back, you can keep your elbows smoothly high and stay on the surface.
However, in the case of butterfly, rolling is difficult and the shoulders are kept horizontal, so if the head and shoulders are not raised to a certain level above the water surface, it will be very difficult to return both arms.
Therefore, the upper body must be raised to the water surface by maintaining a streamlined body through the up and down movement of the center. Therefore, the up and down movement of the body through the center is inevitable.
However, there”s a difference between competitive athletes and amateurs who want to learn the basics of butterfly stroke.
The arm movements in butterfly stroke are almost continuous, although not completely.
To maximize the effectiveness of the pull, the recovered arm has a momentary pause in the water. The arms are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and are almost fully extended when they come in.
The elbow bend is greatest when the hand sweeps the water in a circular motion and the arm is close to the midpoint. The maximum angle of elbow bend is about 90°, so the hands are almost touching.
The position of the elbows is very important.
Your elbows should be pointing out to the sides and you should maintain a high elbow position.
If your elbows go out first, you won’t be able to catch the water and you’ll lose momentum.
Once the hands are close together, the pushing motion begins, with the bottoms of the hands facing the body at the end of the push. This allows the hands to recover and eliminates the risk of complicating the shoulder joint when the arms are later rotated forward.
During most of the stroke, the elbows should be almost fully extended and the elbows should be pointing outward during the stroke.
The recovery movement of the butterfly stroke is more difficult and tiring compared to other strokes.
The elbows come out of the water first, followed by the hands. During the recovery movement, the swimmer”s arms are not fully extended, but are generally relaxed and the momentum from the push is used to throw the arms forward.
There should be no palm down or palm up motion.
The elastic spine and head are propelled forward through the water in a series of kicks that start at the head and end at the feet with a strong snap to make the water bubble.
There are two kicks in each stroke, the first kick is the hand entry and the second kick is the pushing phase of the arm stroke.
The first kick is the squash kick, where the feet and legs press the water into the bottom of the pool immediately after the recovery is complete, and the direction is downward, so the hips and femurs come to the surface.
World-class athletes will lift their hips and thighs after this action to create a streamlined shape, with a momentary pause to ideally catch the water in the initial motion of the next stroke.
The kick immediately after this pause is called the thrust kick.
The frontal resistance of the thigh during the knee bend phase of the dolphin kick can be reduced by keeping the knees about 10 centimeters apart.
In addition, this type of kick creates maximum friction with the water, resulting in greater momentum.