For swimming long distances without tiring the backstroke might be the most effective manner to propel through the water. The basic backstroke is a far more effective way to move around the water than sculling, but it also is a more complex set of motions. Sculling is a continuous and tiring motion with the basic backstroke provide swimmer with a powerful and restful motion. Once a backstroke has been established inertia will help to carry the swimmer through the water.
The basic backstroke motion propels swimmers through the water at considerable speed and incorporates a stride that allows for moment of rest. Some exhausted swimmers have been able to rely on the basic backstroke motion when fatigue prevented them from using any other stroke.
The basic or elementary backstroke position starts with a back float. With finger extended swimmers should bring their hands to their shoulders. Arms should them extend out in a position that looks resemble a crucifix position. With arms at shoulder level, swimmers should them pull their arms to their side to push the water and propel their bodies.
The motion can be perfected by remembering to slide thumbs all the way to the shoulders in the beginning of a rotation. Hands and arms should be just under the surface of the water and pulls should be long and powerful. Swimmers should stop and glide after each stroke and remember to keep their hips up. The ease of this motion makes it ideal for long distances. Once mastered as swimmer could easily swim for miles with minimal effort. The key is to build up endurance and confidence prior to attempting a long distance swim.
In an 25-meter pool eight lengths equals 1/8 of a mile. For a swimmer to reach the mile mark it means going 64 lengths.