In order to understand competitive swimming, it is imperative to be familiar with each type of stroke. Each stroke involves different movements, breathing, and techniques in a race. Let's learn about each of them and some things you should know about each stroke.
For this stroke, the swimmer's arms and legs should be moving simultaneously and in sync with one another. Their arms and legs should be fully extended and stretched the whole race. Furthermore, the swimmer wants to keep their body at an equal level in the water, to prevent drag. A key technique is to have a powerful and wide arm stroke. This will aid the swimmer to be quicker. This is known to be the fastest stroke and incorporates almost every part of the body.
In order to breathe efficiently, the swimmer should choose a side (normally their dominant side), and each time they stroke with that arm, they should be coming up for a breath. When breathing in the freestyle stroke, the swimmer should also know to exhale when under the water.
A common mistake is for the swimmer to lift their head forward when taking a breath, this could delay their body movement. It is much more efficient for the swimmer to turn their head sideways, simultaneously with their stroke, when taking a deep breath.
Some additional don'ts when swimming in this stroke are swimming horizontally, positioning wise, it is better to swim alternately on each side, instead of flat. Furthermore, the swimmers' elbows should be high and extended on each stroke.
As for the swimmer's legs, the knees should not be bent. It is imperative to keep them fully extended and to kick from the hips using the entire leg to gain the most power.