Learning how to glide when swimming is an important element of learning how to swim, how to relax in the water and how to float.
Gliding in aquatic terms is the concept of floating through the water, either at the surface or underwater, without assistance or movement from the arms or legs. It usually begins with a forceful push from the poolside or solid edge in order to generate some propulsion.
A streamlined body shape is important for a glide to gain and maintain some distance.
Key factors that are essential to learning how to glide when swimming as well as glide as part of the four basic swimming stroke, are included in The Complete Beginners Guide To Swimming and can be downloaded from here.
Your personal 'body shape' is not relevant here. We are not talking about how short, tall, fat or thin you are. Any body shape can glide through the water. It is a matter of what position you have your arms and legs in as you glide.
Your hands and feet must be together to give a pointed streamlined shape so that the water moves easily around you as your body cuts through it. If your hands and feet are apart your body shape will be creating resistance and your movement will be little, if anything.
The thought of gliding through the water can be a scary one for a beginner learning to swim. That wobbly and unbalanced feeling as you move through the water unaided and without using your arms and legs, can be a very strange one.
Therefore it is important to start slowly. As you get used to the feeling of gliding you can push away harder and glide further. The more you repeat this, the more you getting used to how your body behaves in the water and this will then help to relax your body and mind. Click here for more on how to relax when swimming.
Those of us that are not natural floaters will begin to discover the point at which we sink, as our glide begins to slow. We can also learn how fast we sink, which in reality is actually very slow no matter how heavy we are.
As our glide slows and we begin to sink, we can apply some basic movements to help maintain the glide and prevent us sinking.
Combine your relaxed glide through the water with some gentle but effective arm and leg movements and you will soon discover that you float and remain at the surface as you swim.