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Swimming as a competitive sport

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Introduction

Swimming as a competitive sport Swimming is one of the oldest activities known to man. Ancient carvings show that people have been able to swim for over 4,000 years. A stone picture from Iraq, dated from 869 BC, shows warriors swimming using inflated animal bladders and breathing tubes like a scuba diver would use an air tank and snorkel. Swimming became popular as a sport in the 19th century. Early swimming strokes included the front crawl, the backstroke and the sidestroke. In those early days men and women swam in separate pools. Swimsuits were also very different than today. In those days swimsuits were made of long, baggy and heavy wool. Today swimsuits are made of lighter fabrics and are more streamlined. Swimming as a sport consists of four areas - swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo. International swimming competitions are governed by the F�d�ration Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA), which has over 160 member nations. ...read more.

Middle

The backstroke basic are easy learn but require some practice to perfect. Legs and arms both move in alternate actions same as in front crawl. Useful techniques include having the head tilted slightly forward as if it is propped up. Also making the shoulders roll, which will cause the body to follow, and having the elbows more bent. Butterfly is the newest sport introduced in the competitions. The movement, which is used, is known as undulation. This is when the hips rise and fall as the shoulders lift and sink. Also the legs will be moving up and down but it is important they stay joined together. For the stroke there are two leg kicks to every arm pull. When the arms are on the recovery stage the chin should naturally rise above the surface of the water, this is when a breath should be taken. Although breastroke is the slowest competitive stroke it is the one most common with recreational swimmers. ...read more.

Conclusion

A training schedule will be different for each type of swimmer. Sprinters concentrate on in increasing their speed but tend to only do shorter distance in both training and competitions so stamina is not so essential. This means they need to improve their anaerobic system helping them to keep going for longer with a limited amount of oxygen and using carbohydrates only. While long distance swimmers concentrate more on the stamina side of things, as they need to keep going for longer periods of time. This means they will be using there anaerobic system and there aerobic system soon after. Pools can come in varying sizes and shapes. The traditional type of pool and the ones used for competitions are either 25m or 50m long and are of a rectangular shape. If for diving they should be 6m deep approximately. Equipment is generally optional but is useful for improving techniques of swimmers and building up specific muscles. Some pieces of equipment commonly used are goggles, kickboards, pullboays, flippers and hand paddles. ...read more.

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