Birth And History Of Swimming

Swimming first appeared during the time of ancient Greece. This sporting discipline consists of performing a set of regular movements, while floating on the water. And being both a complete and gentle sport, it now has more and more followers. International competitions are even organized every year to the delight of swimming pool aficionados.

History of swimming

All the elements suggest that humans already knew how to swim in prehistoric times. But no solid archaeological evidence has yet succeeded in demonstrating this hypothesis. Thus, it was not until the third millennium BC, in the regions of Mesopotamia, that the very first documents attesting to the practice of swimming were discovered.

At that time, it was only a hobby popular with royal families. And for the Greco-Roman civilization, it was even referred to as a culture. Over the centuries, this “culture” has become more democratic. Thus, it became a hobby and then a sports discipline which gave birth to modern sports swimming.

The centuries have passed, allowing this practice to become a real passion for many practitioners of swimming. But it was not until 1837, in the face of the enthusiasm that swimming managed to produce, that the very first competitions were organized. And it will be the creation of the National Swimming Society which will end up marking a major turning point in the field of sports swimming.

This, thanks to the organization of the first breaststroke swimming competitions. This discipline will subsequently evolve, encompassing followers, until being officially recognized in 1870.

This talk about swimming is just a summary of its long history but does not answer the questions that the uninitiated often ask themselves: what are the different types of swimming? Who is behind the different swimming techniques?

The evolution of swimming practice and technique

Since 1870, the practice of swimming has greatly evolved. Initially, the practitioners of this discipline were limited only to floating on the water in a plank position, with their swimming goggles , while performing some orchestrated movements with the arms and legs. But Trudgeon was a game-changer.

He has developed a new swimming technique that aims to turn the body to one side and free the arms in an alternating fashion underwater. This technique will then be taken up and improved by Frederick Cavill. This was how the different types of swimming made their appearance at the 1896 Olympics.

The different types of swimming in competition

There have always been and always will be 4 types of competitive swimming. The 4 strokes which have been practiced since 1896 until today are none other than the butterfly stroke, the crawl, the breaststroke and the freestyle.

  • The breaststroke

One essential thing to know about breaststroke swimming is that it originated in the 19th century in France. It has long represented the flagship discipline of the Olympic Games. In competition, freestyle races were and continue to be done over 50, 100 and 200 meters. Regarding the technique for practicing breaststroke, it is the easiest stroke to achieve. The person who swims must above all stand on their stomach and rely on the coordination of movements between their arms and legs.

The head should only be kept out of the water to aid breathing. In competition, it is essential during the turn to touch the wall with both hands at the same time in order to avoid any risk of disqualification. This is one reason why this type of swimming is called symmetrical swimming.

  • The butterfly

This type of swimming, like breaststroke, is a style of swimming that is practiced on the stomach. But unlike the breaststroke, a pull will be exerted by the swimmer’s arms to propel him forward with the upper limbs out of the water. The legs, however, remain in coordinated motion to allow the swimmer to continuously progress.

During competitions and at the Olympic Games, the butterfly is performed over 50, 100 and 200 meters. At the same time, he must follow very strict standards to avoid being disqualified. With this in mind, it is important to start the race with a dive and then continue with a perfectly executed movement. It is also a symmetrical swimming.

  • The backstroke

The backstroke is another name for the front crawl. Without a doubt, this is the only swimming technique that involves swimming on the back. This practice is carried out by performing alternative movements with the arms while accompanying the whole with alternating kicks of the legs. This allows the swimmer to progress at lightning speed.

During competitions, it is essential to note that the candidate must perform a tumble turn in order to build benchmarks. And since he is unable to see the finish, he must be in relation to the 5-meter lines established on the competition pool. This type of swimming is a discipline with alternative movements.

  • The free nage

In competition, freestyle is practiced over 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meters. As the name suggests, swimming is free. Thus, each swimmer is free to exercise his preferred swimming technique. Generally speaking, practitioners who opt for freestyle often opt for crawl. Indeed, it allows to progress quickly and efficiently. This technique, unlike the backstroke, involves performing alternating movements with the arms and legs, but while lying on your stomach.

What do you need to start swimming?

Before swimming, make sure you have a bikini trimmer . You’ll also need to put on a close-fitting swimsuit that won’t get in the way while you perform alternating movements. Goggles, earplugs and a swimming cap may just as well be essential.

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