How do I float? The most common question you have asked yourself each time you've been to the swimming pool. That depressed feeling as you watch others around you swimming seemingly without effort. You are left desperately struggling to swim without sinking and feeling like an embarrassed failure.
Most of us refer to floating as something that we attempt do in a stationary 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. Click here to understand more about relative density.
Everyone's body shape and size are different and the following exercises will help you to learn how your body responds when it is in the water.
Whether you can do these exercises or not, they will give you an insight into how your body responds in the water. The more you practice, the more you will be able to control how your body behaves as you swim.
If you naturally sink, you will eventually be able to slow down your rate of sinking and keep yourself near the water surface as you swim.
All of the following exercises are explained along with more detail in my book 'How To Float'. Click here for more details.
Take a deep breath and submerge your face whilst bringing your legs up to the surface. Lay face down with arms and legs wide to cover as much surface area as possible. Lay there for as long as you can hold your breath and feel how your body behaves in this stationary position.
You will most probably find your legs slowly sinking first. See if there are any small movements that can slow down their rate of sinking or even help them back to the surface.
Try performing a very slow breaststroke, feeling your way through the water.
Take a deep breath and push away from the pool wall, face down. Ensure your body is in a stretched out, streamlined position. Glide as far as you can in one breath.
You may find you begin to sink as your momentum slows. See what small movements of the legs, feet and hands are able to keep you moving and afloat.
Feel your way through the water using a gentle breaststroke or front crawl action.
The same exercise as #2 with a push and glide from the poolside.
This time add leg kicks to help maintain the momentum and prevent sinking. Use a front crawl or breaststroke type leg kick.
Perform a push and glide from the poolside in a supine (face up) position. Ensure your head is looking upwards and chest and hips are high up near the water surface. This will help enable your legs and feet to be at or near the water surface too.
As the glide begins to slow, add a gentle leg kick and hand movement to keep the glide going.
I was recently asked 'why does my body sink when I swim?' Click here to read my response...
A lady having swimming lessons was worried because she was not able to float.
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