Swim WEST Clinic- Lesson 4- Number of strokes

Lesson number 4 – How to count moves (strokes)


Every time a hand touches the water counts as a stroke.

If you swim in a 25m pool your initial goal is to reach 18 strokes, and for a 20m pool – 15 strokes.

Our end goal is to be able to swim 1 Kilometer in 18 strokes, breathing every 3 strokes.

Why do we try to get our strokes to be as long as possible? First, because it helps our lower back. Second, because by elongating the muscles we float better. The slow stretch allows us to get a better range of motion and also to save energy.

A longer muscle takes less oxygen, but long, slow strokes also cut down on your oxygen intake, which takes some getting used to (between 1.5 and 3 months), but once your WEST course will be over, you will have longer muscles, and won’t need the same amount of oxygen as before. You will move faster, with longer strokes, even in very long swims of over a Kilometer, all this without creating stress on your neck.

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