Swimming is widely spread and it has actually always been around. There are archeological discoveries about swimming in the Stone Age.
Swimming can have many different purposes. There is recreational swimming, occupational swimming, swimming for your health, and, of course, competitive swimming. For any kind of swimming from that list, you can always use the many kinds of swimming styles.
Of course, recreational swimming is the most common type of swimming. Almost all people swim in order to relax and have fun. Although all of the styles are used, the ones that teach you to keep your head over the water are most common. The most suitable style for recreational swimming is the breast stroke. Of course this style isn't fast, in fact it is the slowest stroke of all the competitive styles, but along with keeping the head above water, it provides great stability for the swimmer. That is very important in recreational swimming. It takes more effort than all of the other styles but that can be a bonus for swimming exercises.
The butterfly style is used in competitive swimming eve though the basics for butterfly are very complex. It takes much time to master this style because one small mistake can ruin all of the hard work. Higher muscle strength is also needed for this style of swimming. Therefore, beginning swimmers don't use this style very often. And, this quality makes it very suitable for swimming exercises.
The front crawl is probably the most common style in competitive swimming but it can be used for different reasons. Different variations of the style are used in different human activities. That is why the basics for front crowl are included in most of the training programs. Many lifesaving techniques are based on the front crawl style.
One of the variations of the front crawl that makes it very efficient is called total immersion. The basic total immersion principals are very simple but they allow you to achieve a wonderful result. In these total immersion principles, hydrodynamics ideas are used. This approach gives you the ability to swim like a fish.
Of all the total immersion principles, the most important one is to keep a maximum body length. Therefore, a swimmer tries to keep one hand stretched forward while he is moving the other hand. This technique lowers the resistance of the water significantly. The total immersion principles don't increase the swimmer's speed but it allows for the rewarding of a smaller swimmer's efforts.
Because of its slower speed, this style of swimming isn't used in competitions very often, but many professional swimmers use this technique in their training program. This technique has its critics, of course, but it has proven to be an effective instrument in swimming.
Today, there are many schools were these very popular total immersion principles are taught. And, this technique makes the learning process go faster than with the regular method. Even the pretty simple total immersion principles will give you the ability to swim with an economical style.