If you are a novice, it is important to learn a few basic swimming techniques so you can feel safe in the water. If you master these basic techniques first, you will feel more at ease and relaxed when you tackle the popular swimming strokes. This article gives you an overview about those basic techniques.
Getting Comfortable in the Water
The first step for a novice is to be able to enter the water without being afraid and to be able to control breathing once being in the water. Overcoming Fear of Water – Part 1 covers a few progressive exercises to learn how to do this.
Learning How To Float
If you can’t swim, you might believe that in the water you would sink to the ground like a stone. However, this isn’t true. In fact it is very easy to float in the water as long as your lungs are filled with air. Overcoming Fear of Water – Part 2 demonstrates this.
Learning the Flutter Kick
The flutter kick is a simple yet effective swimming technique where your legs execute kind of a whipping motion. As a beginner you should learn to do this technique in a prone and in a supine position. You’ll be then able to use the flutter kick to tread water and to swim dog paddle. Later on, you’ll use this technique while swimming backstroke and the freestyle stroke.
How to Do the Starfish Float
The starfish float is a basic swimming technique where you float on your back with arms and legs spread apart. This article explains how to do the starfish float.
Learning the Breaststroke Kick
As a beginner, it is also important to know the breaststroke kick, even though it’s more difficult to learn than the flutter kick. Beginners can use the breaststroke kick to tread water and to swim elementary backstroke. Obviously the breaststroke kick is also used while swimming breaststroke.
Sculling water is another basic swimming technique. Basically you float in an upright position with your head above water and with your arms extended sideways at shoulder level.You use quick sweeping movements of your arms at the water surface to stay afloat. This technique is best used in combination with a kicking movement of the feet (see below).
Treading water allows you to stay afloat in the same spot while keeping your head above water and your body upright. It is a very useful technique when you need to orient yourself in the water or to observe something that happens around you on land.
Learning how to tread water is easy once you know how to flutter kick and how to scull water. Treading water is then simply a matter of being able to combine both swimming techniques.
Dog paddle or doggy paddle is another basic swimming technique. Basically you float in the water in a more or less horizontal position and keep your head above the water surface and look forward. You use a flutter kick and paddle forward and downwards with your arms. From above your movements look much alike those a dog would use while swimming.
Elementary backstroke is a basic swim stroke that you can learn quickly once you are able to float on your back. Elementary backstroke uses an inverted breaststroke kick and simple synchronous movements of the arms for propulsion.
I suggest you spend some time learning the basic swimming techniques listed above. Once you have those under your belt, you will be well prepared to tackle the most popular swimming strokes. Remember to always practice in a safe area with supervision by a life guard or experienced swimmer.
And don’t forget to take your time and enjoy the process!