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A simple way to get started with swimming

a simple way to get started with swimming

Learning to swim for the first time can feel overwhelming. There are so many things to learn! Each technique is complex and takes time to perfect. It can be frustrating getting going. Some people like to break a skill down and get one element perfect before moving on to the next. For example, when learning front crawl, they are happy to spend weeks just kicking before even starting to think about the arm action. Others though, prefer this method of getting going:

  1. Learn how to float. Swimming should be about driving you forward, not holding you up, so being able to float face down in the water without any effort is key to starting to swim
  2. Learn how to stand up again. It can be surprisingly difficult rotating from a face-down position to standing up, and it is not safe to be stuck face-down in the water! Learning to stand up again after floating is your next important skill
  3. Move your arms. In front crawl, the arms are the main driving force. You don’t need to follow a perfect pattern, just rotate your arms in a basic windmill action to get going. Relax your arms as you do so. You won’t go fast, but you will start moving.
  4. Learn to breathe. This is probably one of the most difficult parts of front crawl so be patient with your learning. If you have already learned to float and move your arms in a relaxed way, then breathing will be slightly easier than if you were consumed by trying to kick or pull hard as well. Just relax and log roll your body to breathe. Turn your head and shoulders towards the ceiling as if you were about to roll on to your back.
  5. Refine your stroke. Steps 1-4 should be enough to get moving, which in itself is really motivational. Once you’ve got moving in a relaxed way, you can start to tidy up and refine different parts bit by bit until you have developed a faster, powerful or more efficient stroke.

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