Are you wondering if learning several different swimming strokes makes sense? Or if sticking to your favorite swim stroke is enough?
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 the front crawl.
Or you may be a long-time swimmer that can swim the breaststroke or front crawl 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 more significant time investment, there are only benefits to know several different swimming strokes.
Better workout: When you swim several strokes, you use more different muscles, and your body gets a better workout.
Less injuries: The risk of a swimming injury is decreased because you don’t always use same movements, and the muscles are more balanced.
Variety: Your swimming fun is increased because your workouts are more varied when you can choose from several swim strokes.
Skill transfer: 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 the backstroke. Or the body undulation that you need for the butterfly stroke is also an asset while swimming breaststroke.
Versatility: Knowing several types of swimming strokes can also be a significant advantage in triathlons.
For example, if you know front crawl, you will swim faster and tire less quickly 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, catch your breath and swim a while in that position to recover.
So my recommendation is that unless you are in a big hurry and need to learn how to swim one particular swim stroke as soon as possible, it pays off to learn how to swim the four competitive strokes.