MODALIDADES || De la Natación

1. What is swimming?

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, swimming is the ” action and effect of swimming ” and swimming is the fact of ” moving in the water, aided by the necessary movements, and without touching the ground or other support .” However, these concepts may be somewhat imprecise, which is why some authors (Iguarán, Arellano or Counsilman), seeking greater conceptual rigor, add denominations such as sport, exercise, strength , propulsion , resistance , balance , health, Being able To redefine the term swimming as:

“The ability that allows the human being to move in the water, thanks to the propulsive action performed by the rhythmic, repetitive and coordinated movements of the upper limbs, lower body and body, and that will allow you to stay on the surface and overcome The resistance that offers the water to move in it. “

In order to finish with the terminological definition of swimming, the different objectives or aims pursued by this practice must be taken into account. These can vary from a utilitarian approach That covers the basic needs of the human being: such as preserving life, to an educational approach That Allows in Addition to learning swimming Contribute to the comprehensive formation of the person from the engine point of view, Cognitive and Affective.
Another objective may be the hygienic-sanitary approach to an improvement of the physical and prophylactic condition. For the author of this page, these three approaches are the most important, but not the only ones. Other approaches are competitive or recreational.

But swimming is not limited to these approaches, but it caters to other special needs in the other sport. For example, asthmatic, pregnant, epileptic and those with any type of physical and even psychic decline, can benefit from this practice.

The advantages of sporting practice and the many benefits of swimming are known to all. Swimming is an exceptional sport because it allows its practice, with different approaches, throughout life. Babies can begin their walk in the pool from a few months of age, with extraordinary results, not only for them, but an an experience for their parents. On the other hand, it is easy to see people of up to 70 or 80 years swimming.

The swimming practice is based mainly on the technical and secondarily in speed training and endurance. This circumstance is because, unlike in other sports, the human body was not designed to swim, since this action implies movements unnatural and little instinctive. Therefore, no matter how much you swim or how much intensity you apply, you will not get a better swimmer. According to renowned swimming coach Emmett Hines, swimming is the most complex and repeatable set of rhythmic and repetitive movements in relation to any other sport, and involves the work of a greater number of muscle groups, in perfect coordination with greater amplitudes of Movement than Any Other activity “.

Finally, say that swimming is mainly focused on speed. That is why in recent decades swimmers have concentrated on the sole purpose of breaking records that are being exceeded each year.

2. Swimming styles:

In swimming there are four styles: front crawl , back , breaststroke and butterfly .
From the point of view of propulsion and examining the efficiency that the upper and lower limbs have in each style, we can say that the only style that provides equal effectiveness between upper and lower limbs is the breaststroke. In all other styles, the effectiveness of leg action is less important than arm action. We can see these percentages in the following table comparative (table 1):

Table 1: Comparison between leg and arm propulsion.
Propulsion / Style Crawl Back Butterfly Fathom
Total: 100% 100% 100% 100%
Propulsion of arms: 80% 75% 65% Fifty%
Propulsion of legs: Twenty 25% 35% Fifty%

2.1. Style Crol

This style is most popular in learning schools because it is the first to be taught.
The crol has its origin in the word “crawl” of English, which means to crawl or crawl. It also receives the name of free style because in the so called tests, the swimmer can swim any style (crol, breaststroke, back, butterfly, doggy, side, etc.), except in the tests of individual styles or combined relay, In Which freestyle means any style other than the back, breaststroke or butterfly.

This style arose in Australia and its characteristic movements are attributed to the Englishman John Arthur Turdgen in the year 1870, that imitated the technique of the natives Australians.

In this style the swimmer is in the ventral or prone position (upside down), and consists of a complete action of both arms (arm stroke) alternately, first the right and then left, in a movement similar to that of the blades of a Mill, and a variable number of leg shakes (kick), depending on the swimmer and the distance of the swim test.
For more information on the technique of this style you can see the crol technique or crol exercises .

For now, it is the fastest style, followed by the butterfly, the back and finally the breaststroke. However, the latest advances in terms of technique, indicate that the times recorded in the butterfly are getting closer and closer to the speed of the crol.

The following table shows the evolution of records of the male world in a 50-meter pool for 12 years (table 2). As you can see, in the first 5 years the marks were successively overcome until, on January 1, 2010, the use of plastic and polyurethane swimsuits was banned, to return to the textile swimsuit. The boxes marked in red are the current current records.

Table 2. Evolution of World records in the 50 meter pool, (updated June 2016).
  50 m Crol 50 yd Butterfly 50 m Back 50 yd Brace
March 2004: 00: 21.64Alexander Popov (RUS) 00: 23.30Ian Crocker (USA) 00: 24.80Thomas Rupprath (GER) 00: 27.18Oleg Lisogor (UKR)
February 2006: 00: 21.64Alexander Popov (RUS) 00: 22.96Roland Schoeman (RSA) 00: 24.80Thomas Rupprath (GER) 00: 27.18Oleg Lisogor (UKR)
August 2008: 00: 21.28Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 00: 22.96Roland Schoeman (RSA) 00: 24.47Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 27.18Oleg Lisogor (UKR)
August 2009: 00: 20.94Frédérick Bousquet (FRA) 00: 22.43 Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04 Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.67Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA)
December 2009: 00: 20.91 Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.67Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA)
August 2010: 00: 20.91Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.67Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA)
August 2012: 00: 20.91Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.67Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA)
May 2014: 00: 20.91Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.67Cameron Van Der Burgh (RSA)
August 2014: 00: 20.91Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.62Adam Peaty (GBR)
August 2015: 00: 20.91Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.42 Adam Peaty (GBR)
June 2016: 00: 20.91Cesar Cielo (BRA) 00: 22.43Rafael Muñoz (ESP) 00: 24.04Liam Tancock (GBR) 00: 26.42Adam Peaty (GBR)

In the following links you can see all the records of the world and records of the feminine world in swimming pool of 50 meters of all the categories of swimming.

Regarding the regulation for the freestyle we emphasize among many other norms, the following ones:

  • Any part of the swimmer’s body must touch the wall upon completion of each length of the race, including the finish.
  • Some part of the swimmer shall break the surface of the water during the course of the test, except for the exits and turns, in which the swimmer may be submerged not more than 15 meters.

 

2.2. Back style

Also called as back crol. In this style the swimmer is in a dorsal or supine positionAnd consists, as the crol from the front, in a complete and alternate action of both arms (arm stroke) and a variable number of leg strokes (kick).
For more information on the technique of this style you can see the back technique or back exercises.

At first, about the year 1912, this style was swam on the back of the body with double stroke, that is to say, with movements of the arms simultaneously and with bicycle kick. Over time the style has evolved to this day thanks to technical modifications made by swimmers like Kierfer in 1993, Vallerey in 1948 or Tom Stock in 1960, and with contributions from prestigious coaches such as James Counsilman.

As for the regulation for this style we will highlight the following points:

  • In the starting position, swimmers must be caught in the handles of the starting platforms; The feet, including the toes, will be below the surface of the water.
  • Some part of the swimmer shall break the surface of the water during the course of the test. However, it will be allowed, although not more than 15 meters, to advance fully submerged after the exit and in the volteos.
  • During the turning the swimmer can turn on its vertical towards the chest (turn in ventral position) and then make a single or double stroke to start the tumbling, touching the wall with any part of his body. The swimmer should return to the back position immediately after leaving the wall, being able to cover not more than 15 meters below the water and with undulatory movements of the body.
  • On arrival you must touch the wall in the back position, being able to be totally submerged at this time.

 

2.3. Breaststroke or chest style

It is the oldest of all because its movements and posture are more natural.
Although his technique has evolved faster than the rest of the styles, it is the slower of the four. In this style the swimmer is in the ventral position and makes movements of arms and legs simultaneously and symmetrical. The shoulders and hips make an ascending and descending movement that, coordinated with the movement of arms, allows to make the inspiration.
For more information on the technique of this style you can see the technique of breaststroke or exercises of breaststroke.

Until 1986 two types of breasts could be distinguished: the formal breaststroke and the natural breaststroke. The formal breaststroke is characterized by a horizontal position of the body and to make the inspiration through a flexo-extension movement of the neck. The natural breaststroke is characterized by a less horizontal position, with the lower hips and an upward and downward movement of the shoulders and hips.

In 1986 the regulation was modified by abolishing the prohibition of sinking the head during swimming. With this modification comes what is called “wave breasts” characterized by a wave movement of the body, similar to that performed in the butterfly with the intention of placing the swimmer “above” the wave that he produces, as well As by an air recovery .

Another characteristic of the breasts that differentiate it from other styles is that in the propulsion, the stroke (arm action) and kick (legs action), share an importance of 50%, that is, they contribute the same Degree of propulsion. (See Table 1).

As for the regulation for this style we will highlight the following points:

  • It is not allowed to turn to the back at any time.
  • The movements of the arms and legs will be simultaneous and in the same horizontal plane.
  • Hands should be pushed together, forward, facing the chest, down or over the water.
  • The elbows should be kept below the water, except at the time of the turn and the arrival.
  • In the arm action, the hands can not go beyond the hip line, except in the first stroke after the start and each turn.
  • In the action of legs or kick, movements are not allowed in the form of scissors or dolphin.
  • You can break the surface of the water with your feet but not followed by a downward movement in the form of a dolphin kick.
  • In the turns and the arrival, the wall must be touched with both hands simultaneously, either above or below the water level.
  • During each complete stroke and kick cycle, some part of the head will break the surface of the water, except after the exit and in the turns in which a full stroke can be given backwards (towards the legs), while being submerged.

 

2.4. Butterfly style

It is the most modern style of all, its appearance dates back to the 50’s and is a variant of breaststroke. It is one of the most difficult to learn since it requires high levels of strength and coordination.

In this style the swimmer is in the ventral position. Both movements of the legs and arms are very similar to those made in the crol style but simultaneously and with slight variations. In addition, it requires perfect coordination between the upper and lower limbs; These last make a movement similar to the fluttering of the dolphins, hence also known as the “dolphin style”.

Another feature of this style is a continuous undulating motion of the whole body, in the form of a “S” lying down, which must also be perfectly coordinated with legs and arms for better propulsion in the water and allow inspiration.
For more information on the technique of this style you can see the butterfly technique or butterfly exercises.

As for the regulation for this style we will highlight the following points:

  • The movement of arms will be simultaneous and the recovery of these will be performed outside the water.
  • The movement of legs or kick will be simultaneous although it does not have to be at the same level.
  • In flips and on arrival, the wall should be touched with both hands simultaneously, either on or below the surface of the water.
  • In the turning and in the arrival it will be possible to give one or more kicks, but only an underwater stroke that brings the surface to the swimmer.
  • It is permissible for the swimmer to make a distance of not more than 15 meters below the water, at the exits and at the turns.