The Most Energy Efficient Swim Strokes

The Most Energy Efficient Swim Strokes
Swimming is great exercise. That said, when it comes to safety, some techniques are better than others. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the most energy efficient swim strokes.

Swimming for Your Health

First and foremost, swimming is a terrific form of exercise. It works all of your muscle groups at once and can even improve cardiovascular health. During the pandemic, swimming has been an excellent form of both relaxation and physical fitness for millions of people.

To put it simply, swimming might just be the ultimate exercise.

Learning The Most Energy Efficient Swim Strokes

That said, there is also danger to consider. Water safety is always a primary concern on this blog. Keeping this in mind, there are a number of “ways” to swim. When you find yourself in danger, you might need all the energy and strength you can muster – and for longer than you may realize.

For this reason, let’s discuss some of the various styles of swimming and the most energy efficient swim strokes. While the best swim strokes will be a matter of personal opinion, here are some general tips.

When in Danger, Avoid The Butterfly Stroke

The butterfly stroke is one of the most popular ways to swim. Michael Phelps famously used it to rocket to success in the Olympics. Below is a quick video tutorial to help you identify it:

Now, even though it is popular, that doesn’t make it one of the most energy efficient swim strokes. In fact, it is actually quite tiring. This is a stroke built for speed, but not conserving strength. When trying to stay afloat while stranded in the water, swimmers should avoid the butterfly technique. It is very easy to become exhausted, which can lead to drowning danger.

The Benefits of the Breaststroke

The breaststroke is a swimming technique that aims for longevity. It is also considered one of the easiest strokes to learn. Here is a video of this stroke in action:

The breaststroke is one of the slowest swimming techniques, but it also designed to be done for longer periods of time. Keeping that in mind, the breaststroke is an excellent style to remember in case you find yourself caught in the water. 

The Sidestroke

In many ways, the sidestroke is safer than the breaststroke. As the name implies, this energy efficient swim stroke allows you to swim on your side.

It is most often used by lifeguards during rescues. With the sidestroke, the swimmer’s head remains above water. This keeps the breathing unobstructed when you are experiencing trouble in the water. As with the others, here is a video showing how the sidestroke is done:

The Backstroke is Good for the Back

The last technique we’re discussing today is the backstroke. This is another stroke with a health benefit. It is done on the back and is the third fastest form of competitive swimming stroke. Of course, we’re not talking about speed today. We want to get to the bottom of the most energy efficient swim strokes.

The backstroke is an excellent choice for anyone who suffers from back pains or injuries. Doctors often recommend it in these cases. It also helps to keep the head above water, since the swimmer will be on their back, facing up. It is low-impact and breathing remains unrestricted. If you find yourself in trouble in the water, knowing how to backstroke can be a life saver. Get a better look at this swimming style in this example video:

Which is the Best?

As we mentioned above, knowing which is the best will largely depend on the individual. Personal tastes and abilities will play a big part. That said, techniques like the sidestroke and the backstroke are both energy efficient swim strokes. With proper training, almost anyone can learn them, no matter their age. To learn more, read our detailed blog post about finding and taking swimming lessons.