freestyleHere are some of the most common swimming strokes.


Most seasoned swimmers often prefer the freestyle stroke or the front crawl. This is because it is a fast and efficient stroke – in fact, it is considered as the fastest one in this list. Because of this, it is used in freestyle competitions as well as in the swimming leg of triathlons.

Freestyle employs alternating arm movements with an above water recovery. The legs perform a flutter kick. Keep in mind that swimmers need to be comfortable with the breathing technique first because it requires the face to stay submerged for a few cycles.

Breaststrokebreast stroke

Breaststroke is also known as the most popular swim stroke because it is often the first kind of stroke that is taught to children and beginners. In fact, a lot of casual swimmers can also perform this stroke. However, this is also the slowest of the competitive strokes. Beginners prefer this stroke because they can keep their head above the water, thus preventing breathing and orientation problems. Experienced swimmers, however, tend to submerge their head during the stroke cycle to enhance speed and efficiency.

In breaststroke, the arms perform half-circular arm movement simultaneously underwater in front of the swimmer. Arm recovery also takes place underwater. The legs execute a whip kick at the same time.


Competitively speaking, backstroke tends to be faster than breaststroke, but it is slower than butterfly. Doctors often recommend this stroke to people who have back problems because it serves as an excellent workout. It is also very comfortable and easy to learn for many people.

As its name implies, backstroke is swum on the back. It utilizes alternating circular arm movements with an above water recovery. Similar to the one used in freestyle, the legs perform as flutter kick.

Butterfly Stroke

After freestyle, the butterfly stroke is considered as the second fastest stroke. Many people deem it as the hardest stroke to learn as it tend to exhaust a swimmer quickly.

The butterfly stroke tends to stand out because of the unique technique. It employs a symmetrical arm stroke with an above water recovery. It also utilizes a wave-like body undulation plus a dolphin kick.