Are you wondering if learning all the different swimming strokes makes sense? Or if sticking to your favorite swim stroke is enough?

Three children practicing breaststroke movements on dry land

Learning several different swimming strokes requires patience but has its rewards.

For example, you may be a beginner triathlete being able to swim breaststroke. But you’d like to be able to swim much faster for an upcoming event next summer and need to learn freestyle.

Or you may be a long-time swimmer that can swim the breaststroke or freestyle stroke well. But now you are wondering if being able to swim the butterfly stroke or the backstroke will bring any advantages?

The Benefits Of Swimming Several Strokes

Well I think that besides a bigger time investment, there really are only benefits to know several different swimming strokes.

  • When you swim several strokes you use more muscles and your body gets a better workout.
  • The risk of a swimming injury is decreased because you don’t always stress the body with the same movements and the musculature is more balanced.
  • Your swimming fun is increased because your workouts are more varied when you can choose among several swim strokes.
  • The skills that you learn in one stroke can often be transferred to another swim stroke. For example, the balance skills that you learn for the front crawl are also needed in backstroke. Or the body undulation that you need for the butterfly stroke is also an asset while swimming breaststroke.
  • Knowing several types of swimming strokes can also be a big advantage in triathlons. Obviously, if you know freestyle you will swim faster and tire less than if you only swim breaststroke during the event. Switching to breaststroke in turn can be interesting when you need orient yourself, as you have better visibility than when you are swimming front crawl. And if you know backstroke, you can roll on your back when you are tired and take a few strokes in that position to recover.

In conclusion

So my recommendation is that if you aren’t in a big hurry and need to learn how to swim one particular swim stroke as soon as possible, I really pays off to learn how to swim the four strokes.

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