Why Does My Body Sink?
Discover why your body sinks and how to keep it up at the surface when you swim.... 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? I have tried floating on my back, but have had no success. I have been told by someone other than these three amazing people, that I am what is called “A Sinker." They said that no matter what I try I will sink to the bottom of the pool. I would just like to know;
1) Are there people that just can't float?
2) I was hoping that you could give tips on how to float, because I feel like the only real fear that I have of water is not being able to float.
This has to be one of the most common questions that I get asked, particularly by beginners.
Some Float and Some Sink
The short answer is yes, there are people that simply cannot float. But this should not put you off of learning to swim, nor should it be a source of fear as it will only hinder your progress.
Your ability to float is determined by your body composition. In other words if you are lean and muscular and have a low or even normal body fat percentage, you will more than likely sink. If you have a higher body fat percentage then you will more than likely float.
Sounds wrong that a heavier person should float and yet the lighter person sinks!
Heavy Muscles Sink
It is all down to relative density. Human muscle is denser and
therefore less buoyant than fat. Fat contains water and oil and is less dense and therefore floats well.
Also your upper body will float better and for longer because your lungs contain air which helps keep it up, whereas your legs will be there first part to sink.
Ok, hopefully now you have an understanding of some of the science behind a static human body in the water. Notice I say ‘static’ human body. It is very easy to judge your body’s ability to float or sink when it remains still in the water.
Floating stationary and remaining afloat as you swim are two different scenarios. Click here for more about understanding buoyancy and your own ability to float.
Use Momentum To Keep You Afloat
You are learning to swim and swimming requires movements through the water to generate propulsion and momentum. It is this propulsion and momentum that keeps a ‘sinker’ afloat on the surface of the water.
As you learn to swim you will become confident in all aspects of swimming and I don’t just mean swimming the four basic strokes. I mean learning even more basic stuff like gliding, stopping and standing up and changing direction whilst swimming.
All these elements will boost your confidence and your ability to keep yourself afloat. They will also eventually wipe out any fears you have of the water and your swimming will go from strength to strength.
Which Swimming Stroke Do You Need Help With?
Click on a stroke for more information
Our eBook How To Float
contains tips, tricks and exercises to help keep your body at the surface as you swim. Click the link below for more information.
Click on one for more information.