I swim for fun once per week.

During a training session it is better to swim with the same style for many round (4/6 laps) or it is better to alternate the style each time?

I ask it because I find it difficult to swim a lot with the same style because of tired muscles. After a freestyle lap I use to "prefer" a backstroke to recover on arm muscles.


2 Answers 2


There is progress to be had both by continuing to swim using tired muscles, and switching styles to train other muscles.

Using the same muscles, even when they're tired, means those muscles are going to get even stronger than if you stopped. But giving them a bit of a rest, and going back is even better, because you can usually go for longer.

So my advice is definitely to alternate. Try alternating with different frequencies too. For instances, this week do 5 laps per style, and next week try 8 laps per style.

Fitness in general is very dependent on variety. Not just in terms of how many different styles you do, but also in terms of how often you switch.


I guess your avatar means you normally play curling? That means you might want to get the benefit of swimming to strengthen your core muscles. You don't mention what kind of strokes you know, more than freestyle ("front crawl" I suppose) and backstroke ("back crawl" I hope?). Either of those will, when executed properly, strengthen your core by the rotation that the body makes by each stroke.

The answer to your question, though, is yes, do both.

And stop doing "laps". Do 50s and 100s and, as you progress, longer and longer distances. You could try, for example:

  • 2x25 back + 1x50 free
  • 4x25 back + 1x100 free
  • 6x25 back + 1x150 free
  • 8x25 back + 1x200 free

or some set akin to that as your fitness level in the pool increases. And if you really get hooked, contact your local swim club's masters (adult swimming) coach, and make your weekly session one together with other enthusiasts.

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