Getting My Feet Up Off The Pool Floor

Last year it was my New Year's resolution to learn to swim, I did have a fear of water and gained a bit of confidence when I went Aqua Aerobics. I'm just worried that when I do learn with floats I won't be able to get my feet off the floor. I'm fed up of excuses I've got a burning desire to swim. Please help!


Well done for getting in the water and having a go at aqua aerobics. That is no mean feat when you have a fear of water. Aqua aerobics is great for getting used to the water and discovering a bit about how your body moves and behaves in the water. However it doesn’t teach you about floating, holding your breath and all the important stuff when it comes to learning how to swim.

As for getting your feet off the floor, believe it or not, that is not the scary part. The scary part is working out how to get them back down and safely onto the pool floor again. Once you can do this, you will feel a little more confident about lifting your feet up and trying some swimming.

Like most adult beginners you will most probably be wondering about floating and how you float. This is all down to your body shape and composition. You will find that either you float easily or you do not float at all. Some people are good floaters and some are not so. But, even the bad floaters can learn to swim.

If you are a poor floater, keep in mind that the human body does not sink like a stone. You will sink very slowly and gently, which allows for some time to add arm pulls and leg kicks to help keep your body at or near the water surface.

Your first exercise to try out is holding the pool side, or better still a trusty friends hands, and lift your feet up off the floor. Then try bending your knees forwards under your body and placing your feet back down on the floor again. You can do this with the security of holding something or someone and this will help massively with regaining a standing position again.

You can then progress, when you’re ready, to holding the poolside, and then letting go just as you stand up. You will have to use your arms and hands to pull down through the water to help to stand again. Doing it near the pool side will give you the added security of grabbing it if you need to.

For a clear diagram and explanation of how to regain a staring position click here.

An absolute must for you to learn is holding your breath and putting your face in the water. Use some goggles as this makes it a little easier. Once again practice this whilst holding the poolside, breathing out into the water, lifting your face out taking another breath and then repeating the exercise. The more you do this the more it will become second nature and your fears will gradually disappear.

Once you have have become confident with these two key elements of learning to swim, the rest is just a matter of what to do with your arms and legs, which is the easy part!

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Oct 22, 2015
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Practice Makes Perfect
by: Mina, London

I started my swimming lessons four weeks ago and believe me, I don't think there is someone scared of water like me. I even had nightmare in the night of my first lesson! The only thing I discovered is really important (never rash to learn quickly), take your time and in every lesson you learn something new and get rid of your fear without even noticing that. I am on my fourth lesson and still cannot swim properly but I know I can do it. I just need time. We have to be brave and always say 'yes, I can do it!'.

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