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American Lifeguard and Safety Train
Danny Johnson

SWIMMING, A MILLENNIUM SUPERSPORT

Collective or individual, swimming is not new! Born several centuries ago, the enthusiasm for swimming remains a reality today. In the USA, swimming is the 9th most practiced sport in clubs and the 2nd in recreational sports. 

SWIMMING AND ITS EVOLUTION

Swimming has always existed. It is very likely that the first prehistoric men knew how to swim in order to be able to cross lakes and rivers! The very first documents attesting to its practice date from the 5th century and come to us from the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans.

Closer to our time, the first swimming clubs were established in Britain in 1837 and the first official swimming championship was held in 1846 in Sydney, Australia. The swimming is integrated with the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 with the 100 meters, 500 meters, and 1200 meters at sea.

As for France, the first French club specializing in sports swimming was founded in 1873 in Normandy, in the city of Le Havre. A few years later, in 1899, the first French championship took place, with the program: the 100 meters freestyle in Paris, the 500 meters in open water in the Seine, and the 400 meters at sea in Saint Valéry en Caux (Seine-Maritime, Normandy).

It was not until the turn of the century, in 1902 to be exact, for the first French Swimming Champion to take place in a swimming pool; And in 1937 for the birth of the French Swimming Federation (FFN).

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SWIMMING

No, swimming isn't just about swimming styles! We can distinguish several sports in swimming: swimming sports, the swimming synchronized, diving, or water polo.

Sport swimming is an individual or collective sport (relay practice) that consists of covering a certain distance using an approved swimming method,

There are 4 types of approved swimming :

The breaststroke: it is the swimming most practiced and it is also the one that is taught to children first.


  • The crawl: it is the most famous swim in the world and is also the fastest. This is why it is practiced during competitions swimming water-free
  • The back (or backstroke): this is the only swim where you do not put your face in the water
  • The butterfly: it is the swimming reserved for the initiated by its complexity of execution.

Apart from swimming and its approved swimming, we can distinguish several disciplines of aquatic sports such as:

Synchronized swimming, called artistic swimming since the summer of 2017, is a mixture of gymnastics, dancing, and swimming. It is practiced in a swimming pool and requires excellent lung capacity, flexibility, not to mention… grace!


Diving is a very impressive individual sport for its audience. The diver soars from different heights to perform codified acrobatic figures before a jury before entering the water. The platforms are located at 5 meters, 7.5 meters, and 10 meters.


Water polo is a team sport between two teams of seven players. It became an Olympic sport in 1900 for men and in 2000 for women. It is the little brother of Handball in an aquatic version!

BENEFITS AND BENEFITS OF SWIMMING


Sport swimming is considered a complete sport, with recognized benefits on the whole body. Thus, the different styles of swimming have their strengths.

Swimming helps build muscles while protecting joints. It also acts on the respiratory system and cardiac activity. Finally, it provides a feeling of well-being. Yes, swimming creates endorphins which are also known as the molecules of happiness! The repetitive side of swimming allows the brain to disconnect and generate "good fatigue". Stop stress and insomnia!

But do you know the benefits of each swim? A quick overview ...

Breaststroke, for example, works on endurance. However, it is not recommended for people with back pain: swimming with your head above water tires your neck and lower back.

The crawl, with its cardio aspect, allows you to work on your breath and endurance. The front crawl is excellent for building the entire body (arms, buttocks, shoulders, and abdominal strap) and for refining the silhouette by burning a lot of calories,

The back is recommended by physiotherapists for people with back pain. The swimming position requires less use of the respiratory function.

Finally, the butterfly is a very physical and very difficult swim. It will deeply muscle the abdominals, back, arms and shoulders.

For other aquatic sports, let's see their benefits:

The synchronized swimming can work cardiorespiratory endurance. The synchronized swimming also saves on reflexes and agility and promotes team spirit and self-confidence.

The dive, meanwhile, allows them to master his apprehension and manage risk with self-control. The dive also allows you to work on your flexibility and strengthen your sheathing from head to toe.

The water polo can work too cardiorespiratory endurance. The water polo develops agility and speed, a sense of strategy, and group cohesion. Be careful, however, some areas of the body may suffer, especially from lack of warm-up and stretching: the tendons can be affected, especially those of the shoulders, as well as the knees due to backpedaling to stay on the surface.

ZOOM ON OPEN WATER SWIMMING


Another variation of sport swimming is open water swimming. The water swimming free is a discipline of swimming is practiced in lakes, rivers or sea. It became an Olympic sport in 2008 at the Beijing games (only on a distance of 10km).

There are several distances to cover:

  • The medium distance (up to 5 km)
  • Long-distance (up to 10 km)
  • Ultra long-distance (up to 25 km)

One of the biggest difficulties is to adapt the technique of swimming to the environment according to the weather conditions such as wind, currents, waves, and water temperature. The open water swimmer must have the appropriate equipment: an appropriate wetsuit in case of cold weather, conspicuous equipment (because no, in a competition you are not alone), a safety buoy (the cramp can occur at any time). moment).

The swimming water-free is very different from the swimming pool. Nevertheless, it is recommended for the swimmer in open water to train very regularly in a swimming pool (in parallel with training in a natural environment) to become efficient over the distance and to adapt his breathing during the effort. In open water swimming, you will not be able to rest on the edge of a pool and you will also need to take some visual cues (banks, buoys, etc.) so as not to get lost!

Logan Fontaine on the last World Cup stage in Abu Dhabi At American Lifeguard,

we are proud to have Logan Fontaine as our ambassador! Licensed at the Rouen Vikings Club, Logan already has an impressive track record:

  • 2017 World Championships in Budapest (Hungary): Gold medal in the 5 km team in open water
  • 2018 European Swimming Championships in Glasgow (United Kingdom): Bronze medal in 5 km open water
  • 2018 European Junior Swimming Championships in Malta: Gold medal in 10 km open water
  • Come and discover on our website his complete list of achievements as well as his interview: LOGAN FONTAINE

In short, if we had to summarize, swimming is a sport beneficial to health that allows you to maintain your body, develop endurance and coordination. Overworked? Stress? Swimming has more anti-stress significant virtues. And the icing on the cake, swimming is practiced in summer and winter! There is bound to be a club near you! So when do you get started?


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