Five Seasons Family Sports Club Blog

5 Swimming Tips for Newbies

Posted by Five Seasons Family Sports Club on 8/10/17 9:00 AM

Swimming is one of the best exercises in existence, and it's also an important skill to learn for the sake of your personal safety. If you're brand new to swimming and you want to get started off on the right foot, below are five tips that will help you shorten your learning curve. 

1. Get a Feel for the Water

Water is not our natural habitat, so it's only normal to feel a little awkward when you're first learning how to move around in it. As a swimming newbie, one of the best first steps you can take is to simply begin developing a feel for the water. It's not necessary to try to figure out how to float right off the bat – just wade around in the shallow end and get used to how your body feels when it's moving through the water. Gently move your arms and hands around, and get a feel for the type of pressure and resistance that the water provides. One of the best ways to do this is through a simple movement known as "sculling," which is basically waving your hands back and forth in the water in a "figure-8" type motion. As the water moves against your palms, you can start to feel how your hands can basically become like paddles. The best environment to do this is in a supervised swimming pool

2. Wear Goggles

Learning how to swim is a lot easier when you have goggles; otherwise, you'll constantly have to deal with water getting into your eyes. Investing in a good pair of swimming goggles will actually help you become more relaxed in the water, because you'll be able to keep your eyes open even when your face is submerged. 

3. Learn How to Blow Bubbles

One of the most fundamental skills you can develop when you're learning how to swim is to be able to freely exhale into the water by blowing bubbles. When you're first starting out, every natural human instinct will tell you to hold your breath when your face is in the water, but when you're learning the freestyle stroke (one of the most basic and popular types of swimming strokes), you actually exhale while your face is submerged, and inhale when you turn your head above the water to breathe. Try breathing exercises in the shallow end of the pool by putting your face into the water and then simply acting like you're sighing or humming. Don't "blast" the water out of your nose or mouth; just create a long, consistent stream of bubbles. By developing the habit of exhaling into the water, you will lay a solid foundation for good breathing technique. 

4. Break Down Your Stroke Technique Into Manageable Components

If you try to go from zero to a full freestyle stroke right off the bat, you're going to get frustrated. From timing your arm movements to turning your head to kicking your legs, there are quite a few things that have to come together in order for you to pull it off. The best way to approach it is to break down the stroke into various components, and practice each one independently at first until you get really comfortable with them. For example, you could simply practice kicking your legs while keeping your arms extended straight in front of you, with one hand on top of the other. You can even practice some of these elements on dry land, (e.g., arm recovery technique). Work on refining the technique of each component separately, and then when you're ready, you can start putting it all together in the water. 

5. Be patient with yourself.

As it is when you're learning any new skill, swimming might seem a difficult at first, and you may feel a little awkward or "out of place." Just keep in mind that this is all a part of the process, and that it's going to feel unnatural at first until you get better at it. Just be patient with yourself, keep practicing, and after a while, it will be second nature! 

One of the best (and safest) ways to learn how to swim is with the help of a qualified swimming instructor. At Five Seasons Family Sports Club, we offer a wide range of individual and group swimming lessons, taught by highly experienced swimming instructors, that can help you feel right at home in the water. Learn more about the excellent swimming programs we offer by visiting this link.

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Topics: Fitness, Aquatics

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