Swimming’s Related To Math?

[[B1- Math Project]]


  1. DPS is one of the major ways in which swimming is related to math. DPS = Distance Per Stroke. A ratio, to put it to the least, that calculates a swimmer’s efficiency. SR is also important which is stroke rate.For example:
  • Distance = 100 meters
  • Time = 1-minute (60 seconds)
  • Strokes (cycle) = 52

DPS = Distance divided by the number of strokes for the distance =100 meters / 52 cycles = 1.92 meters/cycle
SR =Time (in seconds) divided by the number of cycles =60 sec / 52 cycles = 1.15 seconds/cycle

In order to swim efficiently, there has to be a good balance between both DPS and SR because even if you do swim 100 meters in 20 cycles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the swimmer is swimming fast; they just stroke less to finish the distance.

2.    Freestyle Stroke – Arm movement -

  •  Basically, your arms are rotating the entire time. While one arm is under water pushing or pulling water, the other is recovering. In the starting position, the arm goes slightly under water while the palm of the hand is turned at a 45 degree angle with the thumb side of the palm towards the bottom. This form is used to catch enough water to pull forward and go further at a faster rate. The pull is in a semicircle formation with the swimmer’s elbow. Physics also ties into swimming! The push movement increases speed throughout the pull push phase until the hand is moving at its greatest speed shortly before the end of the push. To make it simple, you’re just pushing all the water out of the way so you can get by and move through it in a shorter amount of time. (Velocity=dist/time) The more water you end up pushing with the push-pull movement of your hands the further you will be able to swim in a shorter amount of time.

3.    Backstroke – Counting Strokes

  • Why yes, it’s that simple. In order to flip-turn correctly, the swimmer has to be aware of how many strokes he/she is able to take and then flip, turn and keep swimming the rest of the race. Simple math is necessary in everyday life, and swimming is no different. Technique, breath control, and the calming of our nerves aren’t the only things we have to think about as we swim. There are always flags near the ends of competition pools so that in a backstroke race, the swimmers can start counting the strokes they need before they have to flip-turn. (Just for reference, yes the flags are 5 yards from the end of the pool, however, that does not mean that each person counts exactly 5 strokes. It all depends on each person.)

3.   Butterfly – Symmetry


  • In butterfly both arms have to come out above the water and as you can see, in the picture above, they have to be symmetrical. There are many swimmers who have an arm that is stronger than the other which makes them lopsided fly swimmers; to swim more efficiently a symmetrical stroke is necessary for the pull to be equal on both sides to push away the same amount of water and get further.

Those are just a couple of ways in which swimming is related to Math (:

Now, remember that free-fall acceleration = -9.81 m/s^2.
Accidents occur in swimming/around pools as well.

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4 thoughts on “Swimming’s Related To Math?

  1. Ashley says:

    Hey Leslie. I am a swimmer in college and a math major. It is my senior year and I decided to do my senior sem on predicting future swim times. I am planning on using math to determine future swim times and I was wondering if u had any ideas on how I should make predictions.
    Thank u


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