Many triathletes and open water swimmers never bother to swim the other stroke focussing solely on front crawl and never learning anything else. However, all of the strokes can help to make you a better swimmer and here are some reasons why.
- Back stroke is very similar to front crawl so there are many transferable skills and learning. Balance, rotation, timing and kick are the same in front crawl as they are in back stroke. So it’s well worth practising these skills on your back in order to help your front crawl. If you’ve mastered them in front crawl then practising on your back adds a greater challenge to your skills so that you continue learning.
- The other strokes give your body an opportunity to move in different ways. With front crawl your arms are moving forwards sometimes leading to a rounded shoulder and back posture which can cause injury. Doing some backstroke moves the arms and shoulders in the opposite direction.
- A lot of us sit at desks a lot, drive cars, or spend a long time on our bike with forward and fixed back position which can cause problems in swimming front crawl. Breast stroke helps to open up the chest in the opposite way to this rounded back posture.
- Alignment of the head and neck with the spine is the same in all strokes even breast stroke and butterfly. If you’ve mastered this alignment in front crawl then practising it in the other strokes increases the level of difficulty challenging your skills to keep getting better and leads to a greater level of mastery.
- Many triathletes lack confidence in the water as well as a lack of awareness of what their body is doing in water, often referred to as feel for the water. Practising the other strokes moves your body in different ways helping to challenge co-ordination and stimulate your movement literacy which will improve confidence and feel for the water
- Being able to swim al the strokes adds variety to a session making it more interesting
- The other strokes use different muscle groups adding a different training stimulus
- Learning a new skill is good for the brain as well as the body!
- Learning a new skill helps to keep your training interesting and your brain and your body engaged.
- Swimming the other strokes is fun!
We are qualified to teach the other strokes the Total Immersion way so get in touch if you’re interested in learning something new.