How does swimming change a person's life?

Swimming styles


The frog once served as an object for demonstrating a suitable swimming technique. In the so-called frog poke, the swimmer pulled arms and legs at the same time, so that it looked like a tied package, and then pushed them far away from him.

From this the breaststroke developed over time. It is the most complicated and slowest technology - and the most German. Unlike anywhere else in the world, for a long time anyone who wanted to learn to swim was taught breaststroke as an initial technique.

This type is not suitable for long-distance swimmers. You can't go fast enough. Especially not when your head stays afloat. Such a posture puts a lot of strain on the neck and back.

In the correct breaststroke, the head is only lifted out of the water to take a breath. You exhale in the water during the gliding phase. The body lies flat in the water, the pool must be held up. The leg movement is reminiscent of a pair of scissors.


Breaststroke swimmers experimented in the 1930s. They were tired of the tenacious retrieval of their arms underwater and tried to do it over their heads. With the result that they could achieve better times in competitions with this technique.

This butterfly swim was the precursor to today's dolphin. In 1953 the world swimming federation "Fina" separated the two species from one another by means of more precise rules.

This type of swimming is exhausting and difficult. In addition to being in good shape, swimmers need perfect technique. The whole body moves in waves: the arms are pulled under the body to the hips at the same time, then thrown forward again over the water. In this swing phase the shoulders also appeared.

In order to lift the head for breathing and to move forward, a special leg kick is also important. Leg movement begins at the hip. The thighs sink down while the lower legs still go up. Then the lower legs are pushed down vigorously from the bent knee.

This dolphin kick has been greatly improved by swimming athletes over the past decades and ensures more speed, especially after the start and turn. Here it is now also used for the crawl and back. It is only taboo for breast swimmers. If you look at the results of competitions, dolphin is the second fastest swimming type after the crawl swim.


Backstroke swimming in the relaxed "paddle version" is ideal as a recovery phase. In this back-friendly position, the body can relax very well.

Of course, this cozy lolling around is not suitable as a competition discipline. Back crawling is the order of the day: the arms are stretched out. While one arm dips just behind the head, the other dips out of the water and is guided backwards. The legs are raised and lowered with short movements.

The dolphin kick also speeds up the back start. 15 meters under water are allowed, which the swimmers use to accelerate with this wave movement of the body.

Not much has changed in this type of swimming since the 1950s. Backstroke is easy to learn compared to breaststroke or dolphin. The only disadvantage: In well-frequented swimming pools, unwanted body contact can occur.


The modern type of crawl began its triumphal march at the beginning of the 20th century, initially against strong opposition. Several Australian swimmers developed the alternate arm pull, including splashing overwater kick, into a competitive discipline. They had copied these movements from the South Sea islanders.

At the Olympic Games in 1908, the turbulent move was already the fastest discipline. However, it was considered too strenuous for longer distances.

Today the crawl is the supreme discipline because it is the fastest. In competition, freestyle has long since become synonymous with crawl. This type of swimming is also easy to learn. Provided the swimmer is not afraid to dip his head in the water and exhale under the water.

When inhaling, the head must not be lifted forwards, but must be turned to the side while at the same time the arm goes out of the water.

The sliding phase is important when moving the arm. If the swimmer is rowing his arms like a windmill, he will not get anywhere. The arms are alternately immersed in the water as far as possible in front of the head and pulled backwards under the body to the level of the thighs.

The body lies stretched and flat in the water, the legs move easily up and down, stabilize the body and support forward movement.