5 Steps to Start Swimming

It’s never too late to learn how to swim. While we highly recommend taking a few swimming lessons, here are 5 simple steps you can take on your own to get started.



Without breathing, even perfect technique won’t go far. Start by going beneath the water and exhaling completely. When you surface, take one calm breath and try again. Your goal is to be able to complete 10 rhythmic “bobs” comfortably.


A pool is different from any other environment you may be used to. Coughing on water or feeling off-balance are a perfectly normal and healthy part of the learning experience.


Although your legs may sink a bit, the ability to lie comfortably on your back or stomach in the water is a key skill. In order to float, your head must be in the correct position. On your back, your chin should be far up with the water touching your forehead or eyebrows. On your stomach, your chin should be down so that touches or nearly touches your chest. The next most significant tip is to avoid wiggling or tensing.


Once you feel comfortable floating, try a moving float (also called a glide). With your arms extended above your head, lie on your stomach with your head tucked down or lie on your back with your chin pointed up, and glide through the water. Again, being relaxed and avoiding sudden movements is key. Once you have this mastered, try adding arms.


As with any new skill, practice makes perfect. Spending as little time as 15 minutes a few times each week can be enough to make real progress. Be patient with yourself. As with any sport, or skill, repetition is key. Over time, there’ll be a notable improvement in your ability to swim.


Originally from PRO Pulse March-April 2012
By Shalia Figgins


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