Health & Fitness

Competitive swimming modalities

At the time of beginning to compete in swimming, an athlete has many alternatives from which to choose.

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Lifeguard course swimming is said to be a complete sport because it works many muscle groups and many other physical abilities and skills. However, it is also in terms of its organization. The competitive modalities are various and athletes can choose according to their possibilities and preferences.

The styles

As every fan of this sport knows, the main styles of swimming are four: crawl or free, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke – also called breaststroke. Basically, the difference between them is that a specific technique must be used in each one to move in the water.

The competitive modalities of swimming are classified by styles. Within each style, there are also tests of different distances. Likewise, it is also possible to combine several of them in a single competition. We will delve into these questions below.

Distances in competitive swimming modalities

The possible distances that a  lifeguard course swimmer must travel according to the test in which he participates are 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, or 1500 meters. It is worth clarifying that these last two only apply in freestyle.

Similarly, some styles have certain restrictions, given the difficulty involved in traveling long distances. For example, the backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke are only contested individually up to 200 meters. They can, instead, be part of a group test of style relays.

Pools of 25 and 50 meters

Each lifeguard course swimming competition can be held in pools of 25 or 50 meters. In fact, there is a World Swimming Championship in a short pool and another called, simply, a World Swimming Championship for 50-meter pools, commonly called ‘Olympic’ and where the JJ is held. OO.

Although it seems that the difference lies only in the length of the pool and the final distances covered are the same, the truth is that this is a very important factor in this sport. In fact, it substantially modifies the swimmers’ preparation, as well as their performance.

This is due to the fact that the short pool demands a greater number of turns to restart the course in the opposite direction. The most powerful swimmers with the highest speed over short distances are the ones who gain the advantage here; meanwhile, the most resistant ones perform better in the long pool.

When the swimmer returns to the starting point after having reached the other end of the pool, he is said to have completed a ‘lap’. Instead, the total length of the pool from one end to the other is called ‘length’. Therefore, a pool length of 50 meters is equivalent to one lap in a 25 meter.

Other disciplines

The World Swimming Championships, organized by the International Swimming Federation, also includes other sports disciplines, such as the following:

1. Jumps: can be from a trampoline or platform. The individual modality can be performed from 1 or 3 meters, while the synchronized one – in pairs – is always from 3 meters.

2. Water polo: this sport is a kind of handball in the water. It is played in teams and with goals in which you have to introduce the ball.

3. Open water: open water swimming may include tours of 5, 10, or 25 kilometers. This last alternative is included in the Olympic Games.

4. Synchronized swimming: this discipline is considered both sporting and artistic. It consists of performing dance routines in the water, it is in a group and is performed with music.

Combinations in competitive modalities

The different mixes of distances and styles also give rise to combined events, also known as ‘styles’. These can be 200 meters, in which 50 meters of each of the four styles are disputed; or 400 meters, which includes a length of 100 meters in each style of swimming.

Another competitive modality is the relay, in which each competitor performs a length of 50, 100, or 200 meters freestyle. Thus, teams made up of four participants carry out the entire distance set for each test.

Finally, the relays can also be combined in a test called ‘style relays’. In this case, four swimmers perform backstrokes, breaststroke, butterfly, and crawl, in that order. The distances are 50 and 100 meters in each length.

In short, the competitive forms of swimming are many. This helps all people who like water sports to choose the one that interests them the most. They are all fun and beneficial!

Must Read: Technical aspects of swimming pools

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