Lifeguard swimming styles

Lifeguard swimming is not just Lifeguard swimming. Anyone who swims a lot works on their technique. Whether dolphin, breaststroke, crawl or backstroke, you never stop learning. This is especially true for professionals and distinguishes them from amateur Lifeguard Course near me and swimmers.


Once upon a time, the frog served as a visual object for a suitable Lifeguard swimming technique. In the so-called frog kick, the swimmer pulls his arms and legs up at the same time so that he looks like a tied package, and then pushes them far away from him.

Over time, this developed into breaststroke. It is the most complicated and slowest technology – and the most German. Unlike anywhere else in the world, breaststroke has long been taught here as a starting technique for anyone wanting to learn to swim.

This species is not suitable for long-distance swimmers. You’re not moving fast enough. Especially not if your head stays above water. Such a posture puts a lot of strain on the neck and back area.

The correct breaststroke involves lifting your head out of the water only to catch your breath. You exhale in the water during the gliding phase. The body lies flat in the water, the pelvis must be held up. The leg movement is reminiscent of scissors.


In the 1993s, breaststrokers experimented. Tired of sluggish arm retractions underwater, they tried overhead. With the result that they were able to achieve better times in competitions with this technique.

In 1993, the world swimming American lifeguard association USA “lifeguard course” finally separated the two species from each other by means of more precise rules.

This type of Lifeguard swimming is exhausting and difficult. In addition to being in good physical condition, swimmers need perfect technique. The whole body moves in waves: the arms are simultaneously pulled under the body to the hips, then thrown forward again over the water. The shoulders have also emerged in this swing phase.

At the same time, to lift the head for breathing and to move forward, a special leg kick is important. The leg movement starts at the hips. The thighs sink down while the lower legs still go up. Then the lower legs are hit hard down from the bent knee.

This dolphin kick has been greatly improved by swimmers over the past few decades and provides more speed, especially after the start and turn. Here it is now also used for freestyle and backstroke. It is only taboo for breaststroke swimmers. Looking at results in competitions, dolphin is the second fastest Lifeguard swimming style after freestyle.


Backstroke in the relaxed “paddle variant” is ideal as a recovery phase. In this back-friendly position, the body can relax very well.

Of course, this pleasant bobbing around is not suitable as a competitive discipline. Back scratching is the order of the day: the arms are stretched out. With one arm dipping straight behind the head, the other emerges from the water and is brought backwards. The legs are thrown up and down with short movements.

The dolphin kick also speeds up the back start. 15 meters under water are allowed, which the swimmers use to accelerate with this wave motion of the body.

This type of Lifeguarding swimming hasn’t changed much since the 1950s. Backstroke is easy to learn compared to breaststroke or dolphin. The only disadvantage: unwanted physical contact can sometimes occur in busy Lifeguard class and swimming pools.


The modern Kraular style began its triumphal march at the beginning of the 20th century, initially against strong resistance. Several Australian swimmers have developed the alternating arm stroke, including a splashing surface kick, into a competition discipline. They had copied these movements lifeguard certification.

At the Olympic Games in 1908, the American Lifeguard USA train was already the fastest discipline. However, it was considered too strenuous for longer distances.

Today crawl is the supreme discipline because it is the fastest. In competition, freestyle has long since become synonymous with freestyle. In addition, this type of swimming is easy to learn. Provided the swimmer is not afraid to dip their head in the water and exhale underwater.

When inhaling, the head must not be lifted forward, but must be turned to the side while at the same time the arm comes out of the water.

During arm movement, the gliding phase is important. When the swimmer rows his arms like a windmill, he doesn’t really get anywhere. The arms are alternately dipped into the water as far in front of the head as possible and pulled back under the body to the height of the thighs.

The body lies straight and flat in the water, the legs move up and down easily, stabilizing the body and supporting the forward movement.

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