Swim for the Win: Great Swimming Techniques for Athletes

Young man swimming the front crawlIn swimming, a healthy body is not the only thing that matters. The technique used while in the water can also determine the skill level of the swimmer.

Athletes looking to stay on top of the competition should be familiar with the proper swimming techniques. The Labs reports that an athlete who is strong and fit but does not know the fundamental swimming strokes will not be a fast and efficient swimmer. Athletes looking to improve their skills in swimming should master these fundamental swimming techniques.

Freestyle Stroke

Also called the front crawl, this is the preferred technique of many seasoned swimmers as it is the fastest. To perform this stroke, swimmers execute a flutter kick while performing alternating arm movements. Swimming regulations only allow a maximum of 15 meters submerged underwater to prevent a swimmer from gaining a competitive advantage though. So, make sure that one part of your body is always above water after this point.

Butterfly Stroke

The butterfly stroke is the most difficult and exhausting swimming technique to execute. The style requires the arm strokes to be symmetrical and necessitates an above water recovery period. The swimmer must use the dolphin kick and the action should be synchronized with the arm movements. Both shoulders need to be in line with the surface of water. Like the freestyle stroke, the same 15-meter rule applies. Both hands must touch the wall in order to finish the race.


Often taught to beginners, this is the most popular swim stroke of all. Swimmers start with the execution of half-circular arm movements while the legs simultaneously perform a whip kick. This stroke forbids the use of flutter, dolphin, or scissors kicks. The shoulders must stay in line with the water and the head constantly needs to stay above the surface of the water. Similar to butterfly stroke, both hands should touch the wall to end the race.

Mastery over these basic techniques can help athletes improve their swimming and help them place in a competition. Aside from constant practice, athletes can benefit from a swim coach who can give them useful feedback and watch their progress.