Skip to main content
Special Report

Winning in the Olympics

What separates a champion from the rest of the pack? Science has some compelling answers

Health

Push Comes to Pull: What's the Best Freestyle Swimming Stroke? [Video]

This summer's Olympic games in London feature 14 different freestyle swimming competitions, by far the most races for any type of stroke. The world's elite swimmers can traverse a 50-meter pool in 22 to 26 seconds, yet they are divided over which of two variations of the stroke are more effective: the more powerful "deep catch" approach or the more streamlined "scull." And the physics behind the debate is fascinating.In the deep catch approach, a swimmer puts his or her arm straight forward, then down as deep as possible into the water, and pushes that arm back as hard as possible, keeping the palms perpendicular to the direction the swimmer wants to move...

July 23, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier
Scroll To Top