Most Popular Swimming Strokes

Best Swimming Strokes

In Pool Tips by Platinum Pools

Whether you have a pool in your backyard or not, it is important that your children and adults learn the different styles of swimming strokes. The four most common swimming strokes are Breaststroke, Freestyle, Backstroke, and Butterfly.


One of the most basic styles to start with is the breaststroke.  The movement is like that of a frog, where the action will be symmetrical, although the break stroke and the kick will not be precisely circular.  You need to swim with your head above the water, allowing you to breathe freely and keep your eyes open.  It can be helpful for both beginners and casual swimmers. 

The breaststroke uses the arms in semi-circular movements, and the legs make a frog kick.  It is undoubtedly the most popular swimming stroke.  In fact, for many people, it is the only stroke they do regularly.

In terms of speed, the breaststroke is the slowest swimming style.  The thighs pull forward into the water against the direction of swimming during the leg recovery phase, while creating resistance.

Experienced swimmers and competitive swimmers, on the other hand, submerge their heads under the water during the glide phase, which improves their position in the water and reduces drag.


The freestyle stroke is the most efficient and fastest swimming style used in competition.  It is popular for freestyle competitions and is often the preferred swimming style, even for experienced swimmers and triathletes.  The freestyle requires swimming in a horizontal position with the body facing down.  The body goes side to side, going towards the arm pulling the water.  The head rotates when it requires to breathe. 


Backstroke, as the name implies, is the only one of the four competitive swimming styles that involve swimming on the back.  It involves alternating arms in opposite directions.  As pulling through the water from an overhead position to the hip, the other arm catches up from the hip to the overhead, repeating the step on the opposite side of the body.  The legs do a flutter kick like a forward crawl.


The Butterfly is a stroke requiring great physical effort and skill.  It is a variation of the breaststroke but with greater difficulty.  It is one of the most esthetic swimming strokes, but also one of the most demanding.  The technical aspects of the butterfly stroke require the body waves, the dolphin kick, and the double-armed recovery over water – all present unique challenges.  The effort required to execute this stroke does not make it any easier, either.

As the saying goes, “no pain, no gain.” When it comes to swimming, no matter what stroke you are comfortable with, it is one of the few routines that keeps the whole body in motion.  Over time and with practice, you will feel more and more confident with the various strokes and can get a better full body working by using various strokes in your exercise.