It takes thousands of hours to master all four competitive strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.

Doing all four together is a test of your endurance, strength, speed and skill.

In this video, we’ll show you how to swim all four strokes with perfect technique, so you can swim like a pro!

If you’re looking for more swim Workouts, Technique Videos and tracking tools, download the MySwimPro app on iOS or Android. Sign up for MySwimPro Coach to start your personalized Training Plan.

5 Reasons Why You Should Swim More Than Freestyle

1 – Improves Your Feel Of The Water

By mixing up your stroke, or focusing on a kick or technique drill, you will feel more comfortable in the water and it will improve your body positioning, breathing skills, and your pull.

Related: Most Common Mistakes Beginner Swimmers Make

2 – Improves Your Freestyle

When you focus on your non-dominant strokes, such as breaststroke or backstroke – you are working new muscles that engage different parts of your body. This helps you get stronger!

This strength training in different muscles actually really helps your freestyle stroke. So it’s a win-win for all your strokes!

The 4 Strokes:

  1. Freestyle
  2. Backstroke
  3. Butterfly
  4. Breaststroke

Related: How To Swim Breaststroke With Perfect Technique

3 – Improves Endurance & Burns More Calories

By swimming new strokes and awakening new muscle groups, you will get a great full-body workout every time you swim. This endurance work will increase your heart rate, improve your aerobic capacity and burn more calories.

The new strokes will force you to focus on different areas of your body, so you can train muscles like your hip flexors, abs, glutes, lats and hamstrings.

These new exercises will definitely help you feel more stronger and comfortable in the water.

Related: 10 Health Benefits of Swimming

4 – Prevents Injury

When you swim freestyle back and forth continuously, you might be at a higher risk for a shoulder injury. All that repetitive motion builds up and could cause some serious rotation issues.

If you mix up your workout with breaststroke, backstroke, and kicking drills you will give your shoulders a rest and break up that repetitive motion. These new strokes will help you build strength in your shoulder stability, and balance.

We also highly recommend incorporating strength training outside of the pool, also known as Dryland Training in swimming terms. Here are some ideas.

5 – It’s More Fun!

We all know that swimming continuous freestyle back and forth for a long time can get really boring.

Switch things up! Try new exercises, and your workouts will be much more interesting because you will engage your body and your mind at the same time, while mastering a new skill. We promise you, it will make your swim training a whole lot more fun!

Related: 5 Drills For Beginners

How To Get Started

We recommend switching 10-20% of your workout to a new stroke or drill that is not freestyle. When you start, try to swim just 25-50 yards or meters in a new stroke. You can try backstroke, breaststroke, or sidestroke. We recommend holding off on butterfly until you’re feeling really strong 🙂

Once you get comfortable, you can try a FRIM set, which means 25 yards or meters of each stroke in this order:

  1. Freestyle
  2. Backstroke
  3. Breaststroke
  4. Freestyle

Beginner Swim Workout Idea:

Here is a 2,000 meter workout you can try. For intermediate swimmers, it should take 40-60 minutes to complete. If you are a beginner swimmer, you can always decrease the amount of repetitions or decrease the distances so that it suits your style.

Just remember, the important thing is to incorporate different strokes and energy zones into your workout.


  • 1 x 300 Freestyle
  • 4 x 50s Backstroke/Freestyle


  • 4 x 25s Drill Fist Drill
  • 1 x 200 FRIM (50 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Free)

Main Set

  • 10 x 100s Freestyle (Threshold)

Cool Down

  • 4 x 50s Breaststroke/Freestyle

Related: 6-Week Beginner Weight Loss Training Plan

We hope you enjoyed this video and these great tips! Send us an email if you have more questions at

If you’re looking for more swim Workouts, Technique Videos and tracking tools, download the MySwimPro app on iOS or Android. Sign up for MySwimPro Coach to start your personalized Training Plan.


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