What Swim Stroke is the Fastest? Best Speed in Aquatics

Are you ready to dive into the fast-paced world of swimming? We’re going to explore the four basic swim strokes – freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. We’ll share cool stories about where they came from and why speed is super important in swimming. We’ll also figure out which stroke is the absolute fastest. This will be a fun ride for everyone, whether you’re a top-notch swimmer or just like to splash around! So, hold your breath, we’re jumping in!

4 Main Types Of Swim Stroke


Freestyle is like the superstar of swim strokes. It’s the fastest and most common. You move your arms one after the other, kick your legs like you’re fluttering, and twist your body from side to side. Pretty cool, right?


Now, meet the oldest swim stroke, the breaststroke! You move your arms and legs together while facing forward. It’s not as fast as freestyle, but it’s a favorite because it keeps your head above water.


Backstroke is just like it sounds – you’re on your back! It’s a lot like freestyle, but you’re facing upwards instead of down. It’s been around for a long time and is a classic in swim competitions.


Last up is the butterfly, the tough guy of swim strokes. It came around in the 1930s and uses a dolphin-like kick and big arm movements. It’s quick but takes a lot of energy, so you won’t see it as much in long swims.

What’s the Quickest Way to Swim?

There’s been a big chat about this for years. Some folks think freestyle is the speediest because it’s smooth and steady. Others believe the powerful butterfly stroke gets them across the pool quickest. Then, there are those who back the backstroke or boost the breaststroke. It’s not straightforward, though. How quick you are can depend on how strong you are, your technique, how long you can keep going, and even how warm the water is!

We’ve been watching and timing lots of professional swimmers doing each stroke. It’s interesting stuff, but everyone’s different, so it’s hard to say for sure which stroke is fastest. Usually, freestyle comes out on top, but not always. Some strong swimmers can really get going with the butterfly stroke. On the other hand, the breaststroke and backstroke are often a bit slower, but they might be quicker for some swimmers.

Read more: Can You Swim in The Lost Sea?

Which Swim Style is Super Fast?

The Speedy Swim Styles

Freestyle and butterfly are like the race cars of the swim world. They’re super fast! Freestyle keeps your arms moving non-stop, and butterfly uses a cool dolphin kick. That’s why these two are often the top picks for speed swimming races.

Energy and Speed

Butterfly might make you feel like a superhero, but it also uses a ton of energy. Freestyle is a bit easier on the energy but still keeps up the pace. So, if we’re talking about speed and not tiring out too fast, freestyle wins the race.

Famous Swimmers and Their Favorite Styles

Ever heard of Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky? They’re like swimming rockstars! Phelps loves the butterfly, and Ledecky is all about freestyle. They’ve trained hard to be super fast in their favorite styles.

But remember, the best style for you is the one you enjoy and feel comfortable with. So, whether it’s freestyle, butterfly, or even the backstroke, keep practicing, and who knows, you might be the next swimming superstar!

Is Freestyle Faster than Breaststroke?

Freestyle vs. Breaststroke

Guess what? Freestyle wins the speed race! Swimmers use it for the final sprint in races because it’s super fast. The speed comes from how you position your body, how you kick, and how smoothly the stroke cuts through the water.

Breaking Down the Swim Moves

In freestyle, your body stays flat, like a speedy torpedo. Your arms take turns pulling you forward while your legs do a flutter kick. It’s all go, go, go!

With breaststroke, it’s a different story. Your arms do a heart-shaped pull under the water, and your legs do a whip kick. This makes your body bob up and down, like a cork in the water. Plus, when you’re bringing your arms and legs back to the start position, it all happens underwater. That slows you down.

What Does Science Say?

We’re not just making this up- science is on our side! Studies in the Journal of Human Kinetics and the Journal of Sports Sciences both say freestyle is faster than breaststroke. They found that freestyle makes better use of your energy and fights less against the water. So, it’s not just us saying it, it’s proven!

But remember, no matter the stroke, good technique and plenty of practice are key. So, keep splashing and enjoy your swim!

Read more: How Long Does it Take to Swim a Mile?

Other Factors That Make You Swim Faster

There’s more to fast swimming than just the stroke you use. Your skill, your swim gear, and even the water you’re in can change how fast you swim. Let’s look at these one by one.

#1. How You Swim and How Much You Practice

First up, let’s talk about you. If you’re good at swimming and practice a lot, you’ll swim faster. This means doing the stroke the right way, breathing right, and keeping your body in the best position. If you work out hard, you’ll get stronger and have more energy, which means you can swim faster.

#2. What You Wear When You Swim

Next, let’s talk about your swim gear. If your swim suit fits well, you’ll slide through the water easier, kind of like a fish. Goggles help you see where you’re going, so you won’t waste time swimming in the wrong direction. Some new swim suits and goggles are even designed to help you swim faster.

#3. The Water You’re In

Last but not least, the water matters too. If the water is cold, your muscles might get stiff and slow you down. If the water is moving a lot, like in a river, it might be harder to swim fast. But don’t worry, warming up before you swim and learning to swim with the current can help you out.

If you want to swim fast, you have to think about more than just your stroke. Your skill, your gear, and the water all play a part. So keep practicing, wear the right gear, and get to know the water you’re swimming in. You’ll be swimming faster in no time!


The world of swimming features various strokes, each with its unique attributes and speed potential. While pinpointing the absolute fastest stroke is not straightforward, we’ve explored the contenders.

Freestyle and butterfly stand out as the speed demons, often preferred in competitive racing. Freestyle excels in endurance, while the butterfly’s powerful dolphin kick offers rapid bursts of speed.

Yet, the best stroke for you is the one you enjoy and excel in. Practice, technique, gear, and water conditions all affect swimming speed. So, focus on what suits you, refine your skills, and dive into the water with enthusiasm. Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or just love the sport, remember that your passion is the ultimate driver of success in the pool.