Jaldi Fit
The four competitive swimming strokes

  • Freestyle / crawl
  • Backstroke
  • Butterfly
  • Breaststroke

Not all swimming strokes have equal aerobic benefits. The butterfly uses the greatest amount of energy, followed closely by the freestyle and backstroke. The breaststroke and elementary backstroke have less of an aerobic impact because of the glide phase in which most people tend to relax. Yet, swimmers using these strokes can reap significant aerobic gains if they swim continuous laps.    

Training tips

  • Warm up in the water. Before you begin the session, swim two or three slow lengths, varying your strokes.

  • Cool down at the end of the session. Do two lengths at a comfortable pace, then dry off and follow a basic cool-down routine.

  • As you swim, think about keeping your body in a straight line from head to hips to legs. All parts of the body are aligned and integrally linked.

  • Kick from the hips, not from the knees. All arm movements should be initiated from the shoulders, not from the elbows.

  • Breathe properly: breathe out through your mouth while your head is in the water; and turn your head to one side, so your ear is by your shoulder when you breathe in.

  • Keep your movements smooth and rhythmic.

Mastering the water

Improve strength and technique by practicing with flotation boards. Alternate strokes. Swim one length of a stroke you find more difficult, then swim two lengths of a stroke that you find easier.

Interval train. Instead of swimming up and down at the same speed, vary your pace. For example, swim one length very fast, then two lengths at a more leisurely pace.

Optional accessories

These accessories can assist you while you swim and help improve technique.

  • Swimming boards / Kickboards
  • Flippers
  • Pull-buoys
  • Paddles

Useful tools to monitor speed are:

  • The tempo trainer
  • The aqua pacer
  • The pace clock or stop watch