› how do I float?

How Do I Float?

Learn to stay up as you swim

How do I float? Probably the most common question asked by beginners learning to swim.  Floating is not something that we are all able to do naturally, but we are all able to remain at the water surface as we swim.  

Take a look at some specific floating exercises to help discover how buoyant your body is and how to to keep it at the surface as you swim.  

Click for some basic floating exercises.  

If you are going to learn how to float, it is essential to grasp the following:

learning how to float when swimmingDo you float or do you sink?

By learning how to relax as we swim and incorporating some gliding techniques into our swimming strokes, we can prevent ourselves from sinking.  

To learn how to stay afloat as we swim, it is important to understand why we sink.  Click here to discover what makes our body sink.

Let's Be Clear...

Most of us refer to floating as something that we attempt do in a stationary, motionless position at the water surface.  In any given position in the water, some of us float and some of us sink.  It is a characteristic of our body and it is all down to our relative density.  To understand relative density and why the human body sinks, click here

Some Simple Floating Exercises

Click below to try out some simple exercises that help you stay afloat...

How Do I Float As I Swim? 

Take a rock for example.  A high density rock sinks like… well, like a rock.  If that rock was propelled across the surface of the water, it would stay there, bouncing along until it came to a stop.  Then it would sink.  

Those of us that sink, even slowly, are no different to our rock example.  A person with low body fat percentage who is lean and has a higher density, can remain at the water surface as they swim.  This is despite the fact their body naturally wants to sink

We need propulsion and momentum to remain at the water surface as we swim and for that we need a degree of swimming technique..

My ebook How To Float contains all the help and advice you need to prevent you from sinking as you swim. Download it by clicking Add To Cart below, or click here for more details

I Try To Swim But I Still Sink. Why?

It’s not all about having perfect swimming technique, although it will do the job.  People that swim with average to poor technique can still prevent themselves from sinking.  The essential elements of swimming without sinking include: 

All of which, when combined will help to give a smooth and energy efficient swimming stroke that remains at the water surface without sinking.  

Which Swimming Stroke Is Best To Prevent Me From Sinking?

Beginners learning to swim breaststroke will find floating easier than those learning to swim front crawl.

This is because the arm and leg movements of breaststroke are wider and therefore cover a larger surface area of water, making it easier to remain there.  The body position for breaststroke is angled so that the leg kick can occur slightly deeper under the water, favouring those of us that tend to sink.

Front crawl however is a more streamlined stroke and therefore has a longer and more narrow shape. This makes it more difficult, especially for the legs, to stay up near the surface as they kick. 

A relaxed and flowing front crawl leg kick is essential to keep the legs up near the surface. A faster, harder and more forceful kick will almost certainly result in the legs sinking quicker.

So next time you ask 'how do I float?', remember that floating is a characteristic of your body and your ability to float is dictated mostly by your body composition.  In short, some people float and some people do not.  Feel your way thought the water and don't fight it, and you might just stand a chance of staying at the surface as you move. 

How do I float? For answers to this and some simple exercises to help improve your swimming technique and boost your ability to prevent yourself from sinking, download How To Float.

Related Pages

Are You Learning How To Swim and Have A Problem With Floating?

Tell us and share your questions to help inspire and encourage others learning to swim...

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Why Does My Body Sink? 
I'm currently being taught how to swim by 3 amazing people. In my opinion, they're doing a great job. However, there is a problem. Why does my body sink? …

How To Glide Further Without Sinking? Not rated yet
I would like to know how to glide further without sinking? I can only glide a very short distance, maybe 2-3 body lengths before I start sinking. I am …

Can't Swim Because I Can't Float Not rated yet
I'm 13 years old and trying to learn how to swim. I can't swim because I can't float. How do I learn how to float and can you give me some advice for …

I Sink Like A Rock Not rated yet
I have tried to learn to swim a few times but I sink like a rock. I want to succeed this time so any help would be greatly appreciated. Your determination …

How To Float Or Tread Water Not rated yet
My daughter's boyfriend is going to the Navy. In 2 lessons he can manage a decent crawl stroke (hasn't mastered the breathing) but needs to know how to …

Not Able To Float Not rated yet
I have attended three classes. I was first taught to float. However much I try, I am not able to float. My Legs just don't come up and float. I was told …

Unable to Swim At The Surface Not rated yet
I just attended three classes of swimming and I am unable to swim at the surface when I kick my legs. I can breathe inside the water. But for kicking …

How To Float During Swimming Not rated yet
My body is still not floating on the water ? I have just begun to learn swimming. Do not be put off just because your body does not float. Your …

My Legs Sink When Swimming Not rated yet
Why do my legs sink when swimming? I am a 75-year old male who has gone back to swimming after 60+ years because arthritis doesn't allow me to do much …

Click here to write your own.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.