Swimming is an ideal activity for people of all ages and skill levels. It’s also fairly easy to learn the basics required to enjoy some time in a swimming pool or any other body of water where swimming is possible. If you’re just getting started with swimming, here are five of the top skills required to safely and fully enjoy this activity.
Many beginners lift their heads out of the water entirely to breathe when swimming. Doing so actually slows you down, which can be a problem if one of your swimming-related goals is to increase your speed or make more coordinated movements. Even if you only plan to swim casually, proper breathing is still an important skill to learn. It involves:
• Breathing out through your mouth and nose when your face is completely in the water
• Lifting your head to one side or the other when you exhale
• Taking a full deep breath before putting your face back in the water
Tip: Start by practicing proper breathing while holding on to the edge of the pool or using a kickboard to move so you can focus more on the breathing process.
Sculling is a skill that keeps you from sinking as you move through the water. It’s a back-and-forth motion made with your hands. A good way to remember how to do it is to imagine you’re making a figure eight with your hands as you swim. Also with sculling, remember to:
• Keep your elbows relaxed
• Minimize shoulder movement
• Keep your palms slightly facing the direction you wish to swim in
• Apply pressure as you make the movements and swim
Improve your coordination as you continue to swim by getting a feel for how your arms and legs are moving. Also, focus on using the muscles in your abdominal area, lower back, and hips to propel yourself forward in the water as you swim. With your legs, let them naturally come up behind you to develop a more streamlined and coordinated flow. This also reduces drag from the water and boosts your efficiency.
Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and sidestroke are the most common swimming strokes. The breaststroke is what’s typically recommended as a beginner stroke. It does require a bit more coordination than a front crawl, but it’s also a gentler and more stable way to swim. Do this stroke by:
• Holding your head up while staying straight at the surface of the water
• Pulling your arms together so your hands nearly touch
• Bending your knees and lifting your feet into a frog-like position with your feet pointed outward when your hands get to your chest
• Pushing backward with your legs as you reach forward at the same time to get the surge needed to move through the water
You don’t necessarily need to know how to dive to swim. Still, it’s certainly a skill that can come in handy if you want to maximize your pool fun possibilities. Diving is done by reaching your hands above your head and gently tucking your body forward as you go headfirst into the water. Save diving for the last thing you learn, though, until you’re fully comfortable with swimming first.
If you’re ready to build a pool of your own so you can enjoy the benefits of swimming, reach out to the experienced professionals at San Diego Pools. We’re the San Diego swimming pool contractor homeowners have trusted for more than four decades. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786 to learn how we can create the perfect pool with just the right features for you and your family.