The sidestroke is a swimming stroke, so named because the swimmer lies on one side. It is helpful as a lifesaving technique and is often used for long-distance swimming. The sidestroke allows the swimmer great endurance. Instead of working both arms and legs simultaneously in the same way, the side stroke uses them simultaneously but differently. A swimmer tired of exercising one side can just turn over and use the other, the change of action helping the limbs recover.

To begin, the swimmer may lie on the right side, stretching the right arm out as far as possible away from the feet, keeping the fingers of the right hand quite straight and the hand itself held edgewise, so as to cut the water like a shark's fin. The left hand is placed across the chest, its back against the right breast.

The legs make a scissor kick, in which the legs are held straight out, knees unbent, and swung back and forth in opposite directions (out of phase). The lower leg does the greater share of the work. Before its impetus is quite expended, the right arm comes round in a broad sweep, until the palm of the right hand almost touches the right thigh. At the same moment, the left hand makes a similar sweep, but is carried backwards as far as it can go.

This completes one cycle of the stroke, which is then repeated.

The hands act directly upon the water like oars, and do not waste any power by oblique action. In ordinary swimming on the right side the left arm moves gently in the water, almost at rest. Then, after some time, the swimmer turns on the other side, and the left arm has its chance to work while the right idles.

A modification of swimming on the side is the Trudgen stroke. The side stroke is also called the Indian stroke, because the Indians applied it to their swimming technique.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • sidestroke — [sīd′strōk΄] n. a swimming stroke performed, while lying sideways in the water, by working the arms alternately backward and forward while executing a scissors kick with the legs …   English World dictionary

  • sidestroke — n. to do, swim the sidestroke * * * [ saɪdstrəʊk] swim the sidestroke to do …   Combinatory dictionary

  • sidestroke — /suyd strohk /, n., v., sidestroked, sidestroking. Swimming. n. 1. a stroke in which the body is turned sideways in the water, the hands pull alternately, and the legs perform a scissors kick. v.i. 2. to swim the sidestroke. [1750 60; SIDE1 +… …   Universalium

  • sidestroke — side•stroke [[t]ˈsaɪdˌstroʊk[/t]] n. v. stroked, strok•ing 1) spo a swimming stroke in which the body is turned sideways in the water, the hands pull alternately, and the legs perform a scissors kick 2) cvb spo to swim the sidestroke • Etymology …   From formal English to slang

  • sidestroke — noun Date: 1867 a swimming stroke which is executed on the side and in which the arms are swept in separate strokes towards the feet and downward and the legs do a scissors kick …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sidestroke — noun A swimming stroke swam on the swimmers side …   Wiktionary

  • sidestroke — Synonyms and related words: Australian crawl, aquaplaning, aquatics, backstroke, balneation, bathe, bathing, breaststroke, butterfly, crawl, diving, dog paddle, fin, fishtail, flapper, flipper, floating, natation, surfboarding, surfing, swim,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • sidestroke — n. swimming stroke in which a person swims on one side while performing alternating hand strokes and scissor kicks …   English contemporary dictionary

  • sidestroke — noun a swimming stroke similar to the breaststroke in which the swimmer lies on their side …   English new terms dictionary

  • sidestroke — /ˈsaɪdstroʊk/ (say suydstrohk) noun a swimming stroke in which the body is turned sideways in the water, the hands pulling alternately, and the legs performing a scissors kick. {side + stroke1} …   Australian English dictionary

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