How to Swim the Sidestroke

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The sidestroke is named because the swimmer lies on one's side with asymmetric arm and leg motion and it is helpful as a lifesaving technique and is often used for long-distance swimming.  The sidestroke allows the swimmer increased endurance because, instead of working both arms and legs simultaneously in the same way, the side stroke uses them simultaneously but differently. A swimmer tired of exercising one side can turn over and use the other, the change of action helping the limbs to recover.

The hands act like oars, and do not waste any power by oblique action. In ordinary swimming on the right side the left arm moves gently in the water, almost at rest. Then, when the used arm when becoming tired, the swimmer turns on the other side, and the left arm works while the right arm rests.

  1. Your starting position: Lie on the side you feel the most comfortable with. Stretch your body, extend your legs and point your toes. You should also stretch your hands and keep them far apart. Keep your head out of the water and angle it towards your hip so you can maintain your balance
  2. Your legs’ movement: A lot of the power comes from there. Your legs should do a scissor kick . Cross them at the hips and slice through the water till they meet in front of you.
  3. Your hands’ movement: You should move your hands so as to make them meet. Imagine that you are reaching for something with your front hand and then giving it to your back hand, then your back hand throws it backwards.
  4. Synchronization of the arms and legs: Your legs should snap at the same time when your hands are meeting; let yourself glide at the end of each stroke.