That’s it. You’ve decided you’re going to learn how to swim. Congrats on taking this on! The first thing we recommend you do is find a swim professional to support you in your learning! Second, it’s time to tackle those fundamental swim skills.
To learn how to hold your breath underwater, check out “How to Put Your Face in the Water.”
If you’ve already got that mastered, let’s get down to the next adult swim skill in our series: How to Float and Recover.
Floating in the water can be a roadblock for many people because of the sensation of losing control. This is why we stress this skill to our beginner adults. Mastery of an assisted front float and recovery grant you confidence so you can focus on more advanced skills!
Many people don’t realize it, but a horizontal body position is crucial to strong swimming. Think about it this way: The more straight across your body, the easier it will be to move through the water. Plus, you need to bring your legs up in order to displace the water and stay on top of it.
The first thing to do when heading to the pool to practice this skill is to check how long you can comfortably have your face submerged. In the shallow end, time how many seconds you can stay underwater. When you go to work on your float and recovery, aim to stay under for slightly less than this. Let’s say you can stay submerged for 15 seconds – then you would only practice floating for about 10 seconds. This way you’re not rushing back up for air and you can focus on a proper recovery rather than gasping for breath.
Now, here’s how to practice your front float.
1. Find a quiet spot in the shallow end of the pool. Grip the side with your fingers, but don’t hold on too tight!
2. Take a breath and bring your face down so that your ears are in the water. The back of your head doesn’t need to be submerged.
3. Now, relax. Release all the tension in your body so that your back, butt and legs float up. Only your fingers should maintain a little tension so that you can stay anchored at the side of the pool.
And to recover:
1. Stay relaxed and loose.
2. Bend your knees, let your bum sink and place your feet back on the bottom.
3. Lift your face out of the water. This should be the last part of you to move!
It might be hard to understand at first, but a controlled recovery is important for new swimmers to learn. It can be scary enough getting into the pool, let alone into a front float. Give yourself the benefit of knowing how to come out of this position without tipping or wobbling.
One other thing to remember is that everyone is going to float at different a different level. It’s not a big deal if you don’t float straight up to the surface of the water. This will vary depending on the composition of your body: the higher your muscle mass, the lower you’ll float and the higher your body fat, the more you’ll float. As long as you relax enough to let your feet come off the ground, you’re doing great!
Did you find this helpful? Or do you have any questions? Comment here or shoot us a line on Facebook! Thanks for following along and happy swimming!