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How To Float

Tips, Tricks and Exercises

So you want to learn how to float as you swim because you always sink?  Before you scroll down and check out the exercises and tips on this page, there are a few factors that need to be understood about relative density and how your buoyancy. 

Click here to learn about buoyancy and why you sink.

All of the exercises listed below are designed to help discover your own level of buoyancy, if you are a natural sinker and if so, how fast or slow you actually sink.

Providing you have read the essential previous pages that explain how to relaxhow to glide and how to submerge, you can then use these exercises to help keep your body up and keep it moving. 

For a complete guide, including all of the above plus all of the exercises and tips below, download How To Float, the essential ebook. 

Exercise 1: Face Down Floating

 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 how slowly they sink and if there are any small movements that can slow down their rate of sinking or even help them back to the surface. 

Maybe perform a very slow breaststroke, feeling your way through the water. 

Exercise 2: Push and Glide

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.

Exercise 3: Push and Glide With Kicking

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.  

The leg kicks can be an alternating kick such the kick used in front crawl, or a simultaneous circular leg kick like the one used for breaststroke. 

Exercise 4: Supine Push and Glide

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 the legs and feet to be at or near the water surface too. 

As the glide begins to slow, use the hands by the sides in a sculling type action (using the wrists to help the hands push water towards the feet) under the water and a gentle leg kick to maintain the movement and momentum through the water. 

How To Float Tips and Tricks

Tip 1

When swimming face up on your front and your legs begin to sink, take a deep breath and put your face down in the water.  The act of putting your face into the water will, with some assistance from yourself encourage your legs to rise again.

How To Float

Myths, Tips and Tricks


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How To Float

Myths, Tips and Tricks


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Tip 2

When swimming breaststroke use a slightly downward arm pull action.  Although breaststroke arm pull is a circular action to help pull through the water, a downwards pull with help to pull the body upwards in the water.  This also assists us to breathe as the upper body rises. 

Tip 3

Slow down.  Swimming slower encourages relaxation, a gliding action and gives us time to breathe, all of which assist us in remaining at the water surface. 

Tip 4

Feel your way through the water, don’t fight your way through it.  Fight the water and it will usually win.  Feel you way through it and you will be doing your bit to help the water to support you. 

Correct Swimming Technique is the Key

Learning how to float as we swim is all about making our body as efficient as possible as we move through the water.  Our body has to cut its way through the water and correct swimming technique is essential for this to happen. 

The finer details of the techniques required for each of the swimming strokes can be found in The Swimming Strokes Book.  Click here to download your copy and fine tune your swimming technique.

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