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Basic Swimming

Swimming is derived from the word swim, meaning to move through water by means of fins, tail or the limbs. The term may also refer to move as though gliding through water or, to float on water or another liquid. Swimming, in recreation and sports, the propulsion of the body through water by combined arm and leg motions and the natural flotation of the body. Swimming as an exercise is popular as an all-around body developer and is particularly useful in therapy and as exercise for physically handicapped persons. It is also taught for lifesaving purposes. History Archaeological and other evidence shows swimming to have been practiced as early as 2500 bce in Egypt and thereafter in Assyrian, Greek, and Roman civilizations. In Greece and Rome swimming was a part of martial training and was, with the alphabet, also part of elementary education for males. In the Orient swimming dates back at least to the 1st century bce, there being some evidence of swimming races then in Japan. By the 17th century an imperial edict had made the teaching of swimming compulsory in the schools. Organized swimming events were held in the 19th century before Japan was opened to the Western world. Among the preliterate maritime peoples of the Pacific, swimming was evidently learned by children about the time they walked, or even before. Among the ancient Greeks there is note of occasional races, and a famous boxer swam as part of his training. The Romans built swimming pools, distinct from their baths. In the 1st century bce the Roman Gaius Maecenas is said to have built the first heated swimming pool. Competitive swimming Internationally, competitive swimming came into prominence with its inclusion in the modern Olympic Games from their inception in 1896. Olympic events were originally only for men, but womens events were added in 1912. Before the formation of FINA, the Games included some unusual events. In 1900, for instance, when the Games swimming events were held on the Seine River in France, a 200-metre obstacle race involved climbing over a pole and a line of boats and swimming under them. Such oddities disappeared after FINA took charge. Under FINA regulations, for both Olympic and other world competition, race lengths came increasingly to be measured in metres, and in 1969 world records for yard-measured races were abolished. The kinds of strokes allowed were reduced to freestyle (crawl), backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. All four strokes were used in individual medley races. Many nations have at one time or another dominated Olympic and world competition, including Hungary, Denmark, Australia, Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada, Japan, and the United States. Instruction and training The earliest instruction programs were in Great Britain in the 19th century, both for sport and for lifesaving; these programs were copied in the rest of Europe. In the United States swimming instruction for lifesaving purposes began under the auspices of the American Red Cross in 1916. Instructional work done by the various branches of the armed forces during both World Wars I and II was very effective in promoting swimming. Courses taught by community organizations and schools, extending ultimately to very young infants, became common. The early practice of simply swimming as much as possible at every workout was replaced by interval training and repeat training by the late 1950s. Interval training consists of a series of swims of the same distance with controlled rest periods. In slow interval training, used primarily to develop endurance, the rest period is always shorter than the time taken to swim the prescribed distance. Fast interval training,

used primarily to develop speed, permits rest periods long enough to allow almost complete recovery of the heart and breathing rate. The increased emphasis on international competition led to the growing availability of 50-metre (164-foot) pools. Other adjuncts that improved both training and performance included wave-killing gutters for pools, racing lane markers that also reduce turbulence, cameras for underwater study of strokes, large clocks visible to swimmers, and electrically operated touch and timing devices. Since 1972 all world records have been expressed in hundredths of a second. Advances in swimsuit technology reached a head at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where swimmers wearing high-tech bodysuits that increased buoyancy and decreased water resistance broke 25 world records. After another round of record-shattering times at the 2009 world championships, FINA banned such bodysuits, for fear that they augmented a competitors true ability. Different Types of Swimming Styles Different Swimming Strokes, Swimming Techniques Swimming is an excellent form of exercise that workout every single muscle of the body. Although any style of swimming works equally on all the muscles of the body; the muscle involved actively in a particular swimming style tends to exert more as compared to the other muscles. To become a perfect swimmer and get all the benefits of swimming, one should learn all the swimming techniques and strokes since different swimming strokes will put your body in different positions and place different demands on the various muscles. This eventually will strengthen your muscles and will make you a good swimmer. Apart from this, knowing different forms of swimming has got many advantages like swimmers in long time swimming can avoid fatigue by just allowing their body to rest in certain positions. In case of competitive swimmers, knowing different swimming techniques allows them to take part in more than one event. So, do not ignore any swimming techniques and read on to find out the different swimming strokes and swimming techniques. Different Swimming Strokes: Forward Crawl or Front Crawl: This style of swimming is regarded as the fastest swimming technique as it provides the swimmer with the most speed and is universally used in freestyle swimming competitions. In forward crawl or front crawl, the swimmer strongly kicks their feet, while alternatively bring their arms over their head and then into the water, while timing the breathing along with the strokes. Back Stroke: Here the swimmer floats on their back and the body remains horizontal. The swimmer pulls the water beneath them with arms. The arms alternate so that always one arm is underwater while the other arm is recovering and the leg alternatively kicking upward and downward thereby propelling the body forward. This style of swimming has got advantage of easy breathing and disadvantage of not having clear vision about where they need to head on. Butterfly Stroke: This style of swimming is regarded as the second fastest swimming technique after forward crawl or front crawl. This is also the toughest of all the swimming styles and requires strong muscles along with good technique to perform. Here the swimmer swims on his or her breast where both the arms move simultaneously and the legs remains straight together as you kick them in butterfly style kick (also known as dolphin kick). Breast Stroke: This the slowest of all the swimming styles and most entertaining stroke to watch. This is because of its ability to keep the head out of water in major portion of time. It is the favorite style of rescuer in drowning rescue operation, as the particular style of swimming allows the rescuer to approach the victim without losing sight of them. In breast stroke kind of swimming, the swimmers arm at start will

sweep out from the breast and then sweep in back to the breast. This pattern is accompanied by frog-style kicking of the legs. Side Stroke: This kind of swimming is not included in any competitive swimming events, but still has a great value. This swimming style is very effective once getting hold on the drowning victim, as it requires only one arm that acts like an oar and a leg to perform. Here the swimmer lies on ones side with asymmetric arm and leg motion with a leg performing scissor kick kind of movement. The style of swimming requires less energy and is mostly used in long distance swimming.