The backstroke, also sometimes called the back crawl or the upside-down freestyle, is one of the four swimming styles regulated by International Swimming Federation (FINA), and the only regulated style swum on the back. This has the advantage of easy breathing, but the disadvantage of swimmers not being able to see where they are going. It is also the only competition swimming style that has a different start. The swimming style is similar to an upside down front crawl. Both backstroke and front crawl are long-axis strokes. In Individual medley backstroke is the second style swum; in the team medley it is the first style swum.
Backstroke has a similar speed to butterfly. Race times for the butterfly are superior to those for the backstroke mostly because the former allows a racing start from poolside and the latter does not. In races beyond 200 meters, backstroke would actually be the faster of the two, though it mainly depends on the stamina of the swimmer as well as technique. The maximum swimming speed for backstroke is around 1.89 meter per second. Due to its position on the back, backstroke uses some different muscles in the upper body than other styles.