The History of Swimming
People have been swimming for more than 4000 years. It began as a survival skill for hunting and other things. It only became popular as a sport in the 19th century.
Some early strokes were the breaststroke, the sidestroke, and various forms of the crawl. The butterfly is the most recent stroke. It used to be a form of the breaststroke and only became its own stroke in 1952. There are lots of different strokes now.
Young swimmers usually swim using the doggy paddle. More experienced swimmers may use the front crawl, back crawl, breaststroke, sidestroke, elementary backstroke, or butterfly.
These are the basic five strokes:
The front crawl and back crawl are similar. In the front crawl you pull your arms over your head one at a time. You kick by doing the flutter kick where you kick both your legs up and down in a fluttering motion.
The back crawl is sort of like the front crawl, just on your back. You have to keep your head up and your body flat so that you don't sink.
Some feel the butterfly is the toughest stroke to do. You have to do a dolphin kick with your legs together. Then you have to swing your arms over your head and back into the water.
In the breaststroke, you do the frog kick. You move your arms around and in front of your body and that helps you glide through the water. It is sort of like swimming underwater but you want to try to stay on top of the water.
The sidestroke is when you lay on your side. The kick is a scissor kick and your arms just go forward and back to guide you along.
The elementary backstroke is like the breaststroke on your back. You do the frog kick and you bring your arms around your body, just like the breaststroke.
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