Floating:

Why You Still Might Be Struggling and How to Overcome These Problems

While you have most likely seen the proper technique for floating on yourpersonalswimcoach.com: pushing off from the wall on your back with your head tilted back, you are reading this article because you’re still having problems executing the movement. While only experience will help you achieve this same level, certain important elements of floating form can generally be applied to all levels despite it.

It is firstly important to realize which way you are attempting to float (back or stomach), as both require different skill sets. Though they differ, both benefit from good breathing, dispersing body-weight, and staying relaxed.Breathing

Your breathing is crucial in boosting your buoyancy in any position, and knowing its details can help you make the most of its potential:

 

When breathing in, think of pushing the air down through your body towards your core, giving it an even dispersion throughout your body. See how long you can hold one breath with this in mind. If you are floating on your stomach in the pool, you will already be coming up to breathe anyway but, for the precision of your form and personal relaxation, make sure you come back to standing at the end of each breath before you take in another

You all have probably seen the water skeeter, a bug which runs over the water by spreading its body weight widely across a large surface area. For us the same technique works. Like all heavy objects afloat, spreading your weight across a larger surface (by assuming a star position in the water-right) will make floating less difficult and keep you comfortable. You could even try a torpedo position if it’s easy (below). In both cases keep your hands spread wide and flat on the water to create even more buoyancy

 Your comfort and ease in the water is also important, as nobody can float if they are panicked and agitated. When you lift your head to look at your instructor or breathe, your body will start to sink. This is due to your spine, which is connected to the base of your skull and will move opposite to it. When you lie flat with your head facing the ceiling your spine will lie at 180 degrees. Even raising your head temporarily can force your tail-bone to move down, and break your buoyancy in the water

Floating on Your Back:

The only two differences between floating on your back and stomach exist in your core and breathing form. Floating on your stomach is comparatively easy, as your rib structure keeps you from collapsing through the middle. On your back this is different, as hard bone in replaced instead by your core muscles. By actively strengthening the core at home (follow the article above) you can maintain a similarly strong floating position, but only with full lungs. Though some might be able to do so without, your developing control over your breath, mind, and core remains a crucial step in learning strokes despite floating ability

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