Key Things to Know When you are Learning How to Swim

Key Things to Know When you are Learning How to Swim

Key Things to Know When you are Learning How to Swim

 Swimming - Ohio Fitness Garage


The bare necessities for starting a swim practice are a swim suit, a pair of goggles, and potentially a cap if you have longer hair you want to keep out of your face. There is more equipment, but it isn’t necessary to start a practice. The extra equipment consists of a kick board, fins, paddles, and pull buoy. 


The pool is generally divided into several lanes. Sometimes not all the lanes are open for lap swimming. Get to know the set-up before you enter the pool and ask the lifeguard on duty if you have any questions. Put yourself in a lane where you are comfortable. If you know you need to stop in the middle of the pool at times, place your self in a lane next to the wall. This way you can grab the wall and stop for a breather whenever you need one.

Sharing a Lane

When you share a lane with someone else, there are specific rules you have to follow. Before entering a lane with someone else, make sure you communicate with them on whether you are going to ¨split the lane¨ or ¨circle swim.¨  When you ¨split the lane¨ you both swim on one side of the lane. You keep to your side. Splitting the lane allows swimmers of significantly different levels to swim together without having to stop and pass the other. Circle swimming  is when you swim on the right side going down the pool and on the left side coming back. When you circle swim, you could continually run into one another depending on your differences in skill.

Basic Beginnings

            Treading Water: Being able to hold your head above water when you are in the deep end is an important skill. Move your hands back and forth at chest level and kick your legs like a frog. You should be able to keep your head above water, and with time, it will become easier.

            Blowing Bubbles: Being able to use both your nose and mouth in the water is important. This will enable you from taking water up your nose. Slowly dip your face into the water and exhale through your nose with a closed mouth. Repeat this as many times as you need to feel comfortable with water surrounding your face.

            How to float: Try lying on your back in the water without moving. Lift your chin away form your chest, press your hips towards the sky, and take deep breaths. Start to get comfortable feeling your body in a horizontal position in the water. Once you master this on your back, you can switch to your stomach.

            Kicking: After mastering floating on your back, start to kick your legs. Let the motion flow from your hip. Try to limit the bend in your knee and point your toes.

            Breathing: Once you master kicking on your back, try it on your stomach. Now, you are going to have to start breathing. Start kicking on your stomach while lifting your head to the front. As your head comes out of the water, practice taking deep breaths in a repetitive pattern.


There are four official strokes

There are four strokes in swimming: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle. Generally, freestyle is the most common stroke to learn first followed by breaststroke.

It is going to be messy

You might swallow a lot of water, when you kick you may feel like you aren’t going anywhere, and you may be tired after one length of the pool. Keep swimming. With each day of practice, it will get easier. Stay consistent.

Know your limits

Know your limits when in the water. Know how far you can swim and how much you are pushing yourself. This is especially important when you are swimming alone or you are in an ocean or lake. Know how much you can handle, and don’t shy away from sticking to what you know.



Written by Michelle Gean

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