4 Types of Swim Strokes You’ll See at the 2024 Summer Olympics

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What Is the Breaststroke?

During the breaststroke, a swimmer glides beneath the surface of the water, with their arms stretched out in front of them, then pulls their arms back as they come up for air. This may sound straightforward, but the breaststroke is far more complicated than what meets the eye. “You have to find a balance between remaining horizontal and keeping your kick below the surface,” Latchford said. The kick in the breaststroke is also unique, with the legs moving in a frog-like motion.

Like butterfly, breaststroke requires a two-hand touch on the wall when a swimmer turns or finishes, or else they’ll be disqualified. Breaststrokers must also master a “pullout” at the start of the race and off of each turn. “In the breaststroke pullout, swimmers streamline glide until they feel like they’re beginning to slow, then they pull both arms down to their sides and are allowed one butterfly kick. After this, they breaststroke kick and pull up to the surface and begin the swim,” Latchford said.

What Muscles Does the Breaststroke Work?

This types of stroke requires the activation of several different muscles, including the back, shoulders, legs, and arms.

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