Since the human body is slightly less dense than water, water supports the weight of the body during swimming. As a result, swimming is “low-impact” compared to land activities such as running. T
Hydrodynamics is important to stroke technique for swimming faster, and swimmers who want to swim faster or exhaust less try to reduce the drag of the body's motion through the water. To be more hydrodynamic, swimmers can either increase the power of their strokes or reduce water resistance. Efficient swimming by reducing water resistance involves a horizontal water position, rolling the body to reduce the breadth of the body in the water, and extending the arms as far as possible to reduce wave resistance.
Swimming can be undertaken using a wide range of strokes and they are used for different purposes, or to distinguish between classes in competitive swimming. It is not necessary to use a defined stroke for propulsion through the water, and untrained swimmers may use a 'doggy paddle' of arm and leg movements, similar to the way four-legged animals swim.
The four main strokes used in competition and recreation swimming are the front crawl (also known as freestyle), breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. Competitive swimming in Europe started around 1800, mostly using the breaststroke. In 1873, John Arthur Trudgen introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions. Butterfly was developed in the 1930s, and was considered a variant of the breaststroke until accepted as a separate style in 1953. Butterfly is considered the hardest stroke by many people, but it is the most effective for all-around toning and the building of muscles.
- Why is swimming generally considered a low impact activity?
- What should swimmers possess to feel less tired on water?
- How should swimmers lessen the wave resistance?
- Which is a very basic style of swimming?
- Which was popularized in the 1800s?