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and is able to keep himself up. In another method a band around the learner's chest is fastened by a rope to the end of a pole held by an assistant (see Fig. 2), who thus gives the swimmer aid as long as he needs it. Some teachers say that the learner ought to practise his strokes lying across a chair, before he tries them in the water, but others consider this unnecessary. The various kinds of swimming strokes will now be described.
Breast-stroke. This is the ordinary stroke and the one generally used by learners. Fig. 3 shows the position of starting as seen from above, and Fig. 4 the attitude as seen from one side. The hands are brought under the chin, fingers together, and palms down and slightly hollowed. The arms are then pushed straight forward, keeping the hands together till they are at
apart as possible, while the feet are together, and the legs are then kicked back and out so that the soles of the feet press flatly against the water. The legs must then be closed stiffly, like a pair of scissors, forcing the water out from between them, and so pushing the swimmer forward. When they are closed the knees must be opened again as at first.
The arm and leg strokes must be made at the same time, the feet being drawn up as the hands are advanced, the kick being made quickly as the hands begin to strike out. and the legs being closed when the hands have about half finished the stroke. Fig. 4 shows the proper angle for the body to make with the water surface. The head should be kept back as far as possible, that it may be supported by the lungs. The breath should be in time with
the stroke, the lungs being empty when it is being made, and full when the swimmer is drawing in his limbs for a new one. The reason for this is that the body is lighter when the lungs are full of air, and there is greatest need of their sustaining power between strokes.
Beginners are apt to place most reliance on the arm movement, paying little attention to the legs; but the leg stroke is really as important as that of the arms, or even more important, as some teachers think. The swimmer will be able to go much farther without tiring himself if he
uses his legs properly than if he simply kicks with them.
Side-stroke. The swimmer lies on his side instead of his breast. Either side may be used, but most swimmers prefer the right, since the right arm can then be used to the greatest advantage. The head is turned so that the chin rests against the uppermost shoulder, and lies as deeply in the water as possible. The face may be kept above water, or it may be above only when the forward impulse raises it a little. The lower hand is advanced under water on a level with the head, and then is brought downward at arm's length. It is returned by bending the elbow and wrist, so as to give as little resistance as possible. While this hand is being advanced, as just described, the upper hand is used like an oar, the fingers being bent at right angles to the arm. Thus the hands are used alternately, each doing its work in turn. At the same time the upper leg is kicked out in front of the body, and brought around like an oar, the foot being stretched out in a line with the leg, and the lower leg is stretched out beyond the back, and brought around to meet the other. Both legs are then drawn in for another stroke, as in the chest-stroke. The side stroke requires more practice than the chest-stroke, but the body offers less resistance to the water in this stroke than in any other. It is often used by skilled swimmers as a rest in going long distances.
Overhand Side-stroke (Fig. 5). This is like the one just described, except that the uppermost arm is
Fig. 6. but more tiresome than the cheststroke.
Swimming on the Back. There are several methods. In one, the swimmer lies on his back, keeping his face barely out of water. The legs are inclined downward and held together, the stroke being made entirely with the hands. The arms are kept closely at the swimmer's sides and he propels himself by a rapid twisting motion of the hands from the wrist, the back of the hand being uppermost to begin with, and the palm at the end of the stroke. The chest stroke may also be used in swimming on the back. The swimmer may advance head first or feet first, as he chooses, and he may use hands alone or feet alone in making his stroke. When the arms are not used they should be folded on the chest, or held straight along the side.
There are many other methods of swimming, and every good swimmer usually has a stroke differing a little from every other. When one has mastered the simple strokes, he can invent other methods to suit his fancy. Some of the styles used by skilled swimmers, besides those already mentioned, are:
1. The corkscrew stroke, in which the body turns under water, apparently screwing its way forward. This is done by a patting motion of the soles of the feet, the swimmer steering with one hand, which is held straight forward.
downward movement of the hands. The depth to which a diver goes Depends on the angle at which he enters the water, and on his movements beneath it. Skilful divers often bring up stones from a depth of twelve or fifteen feet, while on the other hand they can dive without touching bottom when it is only six or eight feet below the surface. A very deep dive is often aided by carrying a stone in one hand. The learner may begin diving by standing in water up to his waist and plunging into it head first. ' He should try diving from a moderate height before he ventures to leap from a high bank or from a springboard. Some swimmers dive feet foremost: but this requires skill to keep upright, if the jump is from a high place; and if the swimmer strikes on his side or does not hold his feet together, he may be badly injured. Jumping into the water from a low bank, however, is perfectly safe, and requires no skill.
When a swimmer dives frequently, he should fill his ears with oiled cotton. People who have large nostrils are often obliged to stop them up in like manner, and boys, when diving, often hold the nose in one hand; but this is awkward and can only be done when diving from a very low bank, or from a row-boat.
Floating. The human body is a very little lighter than water, on an average, but the head is heavier than water. If left to itself, therefore, the body tends to float, bnt with back upward, the head hanging down beneath the surface. To float on one's back, keeping the mouth and nostrils out of water, so as to breathe, requires skill and confidence. The lightest part of the body is the lungs, and the swimmer's effort should be to alter the position of the limbs and body above and below the lungs, so that there will be a perfect balance. One of
floating, the best floating positions is that where the swimmer extends his arms above his head, throws the head back, and draws up the legs under the thighs. The body is not horizontal, but inclines downward toward the legs, the back being slightly hollowed. The only parts of the body above water are the chin, mouth, and nose. A more difficult position is the horizontal, the body being held straight and stiff, the legs close together. The toes, chest, face, and fingers are just above the surface. It is also possible to float perpendicularly. Confidence is more essential to floating than anything else. The beginner usually feels that he is going to sink.
and throws up his hands, with the result that be goes down, his body not being light enough to sustain his arms out of water. The learner should remember that his body will float of itself so long as it is nearly under water, and that there is no danger of his sinking unless he tries to raise head or limb. In assuming the floating position, all the movements must be made slowly and under water. The lightness of the body will be increased by keeping the lungs as full as possible. To one who is skilled in floating the sensation is delightful, and swimmers often rest themselves thus in still water. In rough water it is of course impossible.
Treading Water. To tread water the swimmer assumes an upright
Treading Water, position, only the head being above water, and moves his legs as though walking upstairs, pushing downward against the water with the soles of his feet. Very slight exertion is required to keep the head