One The longest swimming pool in the world can fit ten Olympic swimming pools from end to end. The Chrystal Lagoon in Chile measures 1013 metres.
Two If the average competitive swimmer takes 32 freestyle strokes to complete one 50 metre length of an Olympic pool, then it would take around 650 strokes to complete just one length of the Chrystal Lagoon pool.
Three Swim fins are said to be invented by US President Benjamin Franklin. A very keen swimmer, he actually attached his swim fins to his hands rather than his feet to propel himself better through the water.
Four Australia builds more swimming pools per capita than any other nation on the planet.
Five Amazingly, elephants swim underwater using their trunks as snorkels to breathe (they can actually swim 20 miles per day using this technique).
Six The first Olympic swimming competitions did not even take place in a pool. The first Olympic swimming events took place in the Mediterranean, the next in the River Seine and the next in a man made lake.
SevenThe original modern 1896 Olympics in Athens held a 100 metres race for sailors only.
Eight The second ever modern Olympics in Paris held an underwater race in the Seine, plus an obstacle course race.
Nine In 1988 Thomas Gregory was the youngest person ever to swim across the English Channel at the mere age of 11 years and 336 days (a feat that cannot be bettered as there is a minimum age rule nowadays of 16 years and over).
Ten The oldest age category in competitive Masters Swimming is currently 100 to 104 years with the newest world record holder being George Corones of Australia taking 35 seconds off the previous 50 metre freestyle world record in February 2018.
One the oldest stroke is breaststroke – it is the slowest of the four swimming strokes and the stroke that receives the most disqualifications of swimmers in competition
Two the false start is the most common reason for disqualification in competitive swimming, and an early take over is the most common reason for relay teams
Three the newest stroke is butterfly which derived from the breaststroke when a group of American swimmers realised in the 1930’s that breaststroke was faster to swim by recovering the arms over the top of the water
Four the butterfly stroke was first competed with a breaststroke leg kick
Five the youngest swimmer to compete at the World Championships, was 10 year olds old. Alzain Tareq from Bahrain competed in the 50 metres butterfly in 2015.
Six currently there are no age restrictions on World Championship entrants, however, strangely swimmers must be at least 14 years to compete in the World Junior Swimming Championships
Seven the first cruise ship to have a swimming pool was the Titanic but it was only available to first class passengers
Eight worldwide men are twice as likely to drown than women as they are often exposed to water more than women and secondly, due to men’s riskier behaviour
Nine the youngest world swimming champion was Ian Thorpe at the age of just 15 in the 400 metres freestyle in Perth in 1998
Ten michael phelps’ wingspan is longer than he is tall. From fingertip to fingertip, michael’s wingspan measures 6 feet 8 inches, and he is 6 feet 4 inches tall
It is no coincidence that the best freestyle (front crawl) swimmers across the world have an amazingly strong, powerful leg kick.
As much as the freestyle stroke is predominately powered by the arms and upper body, and only relies on the leg kick for a small amount of overall forward propulsion (around 10 to 15% and even less for novice and weaker swimmers), without a strong leg kick, you are at a disadvantage. The perfect freestyle kick can generate better balance, drive body rotation and lift the whole body higher in the water. Triathletes generally aim to kick less in their freestyle swimming stroke but without any kick, the body position is affected and as the legs can drop. To swim faster, you need to put the leg work in during your swim training and also develop leg strength in the gym.
Benefits of a strong freestyle kick
Tips to improve your freestyle kick:
Swimming is taught to children as a valuable life skill for survival and as a form of exercise in the water. As an adult who may have never learned to swim, it is easy to think that all is lost and there is no point in trying to learn. Whether you are in your twenties, forties or in retirement, it is NEVER too late to learn to swim.
Swimming is a wonderful way to keep your body and mind strong and healthy and the benefits can help prolong a healthy mind. You are not alone as an adult non-swimmer and it’s never too late to learn. In fact, it can be more fun to take lessons as an adult. It is a misconception to think that only children can learn to swim efficiently. In reality, there are lots of adults who have not learned but now want to swim with their children and grandchildren, feel conformable in the pool and sea whilst on holiday or simply take up the sport to develop their fitness. As swimming is a low impact form of exercise which means that the supportive nature of the water puts less stress on the body and our joints as we get older. Any adult knows how running affects the knees as they get older, hence swimming is the five star sport for adults and lessons will help fastrack your skills.
If you feel that you are not confident around water at the pool, have very little fitness or unhappy with your current body shape, our coaches are experienced with clients of all types and standard, and our lessons will help you overcome your fears and inspire you to continue during and after your first lesson.
Our venues are luxury private health clubs and our swimming pools are incredibly quiet (which many of our adult clients express how this has helped them develop their swimming, their fitness and their confidence in the water during lessons).
Tips for Learning To Swim As An Adult:
Benefits of swimming lessons for adults
Good butterfly swimming is fun to watch although learning to swim butterfly is often regarded as the most difficult stroke due to its unnatural style.
But it does not need to be! Yes, the butterfly stroke requires the most upper body strength of all the four swimming strokes, as the arms must recover over the water. And true, it is usually taught as the final stroke to swimmers who want to learn the four swimming strokes, due to the demands of the stroke. But learning to put this stroke together with the correct technique, can be a fantastic new swimming stroke within your weekly training sessions.
Competitive freestyle (frontcrawl) swimmers often train on butterfly workouts to help develop their upper body strength. Triathlon swimmers are training on this stroke more and more and seeing the benefits of the use of butterfly in their training sessions as they pull though the water more powerfully.
Building your butterfly stroke
Learning to swim butterfly with ease and confidence takes practice. This stroke developed over the years from breaststroke, initially swum with a breaststroke kick rather than the dolphin kick that is commonly used today. The undulating, wave like motion developed as the dolphin kick became the most efficient way of swimming the butterfly stroke (with two dolphin kicks per arm stroke ultimately become the fastest way of performing the stroke without interfering with the powerful double arm pull).
The butterfly stroke is best known for its undulating movement of the body, with a dolphin leg kick that comprises of both legs kicking down and then upwards simultaneously. Building the timing of all elements of the stoke (the arm cycle, the breath sequence and the leg action) is taught by developing each part separately by our Strictly Swimming Coaches in a series of progressive drills. Ultimately, all parts will be combined together and you will be swimming the full butterfly stroke.
Therefore, whether you simply want to learn butterfly as a new skill, or add to your triathlon training to develop upper body power and strength, our coached swimming lessons will help you develop your technique and achieve this.
Paul started competing in swimming from the age of 8 and eventually went on to represent his country all over the world. During his time at University, Paul specialised in Aquatics and the Biomechanics of Swimming and produced numerous theses on swimming performance.