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How To Float in Water While Swimming For Beginners

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You’ll learn how to float in water in this article.

How To Float in Water

You will learn how to float in the water on your back. We recommend you use a lifejacket if it’s your first time stepping into the pool. Please practice in front of a lifeguard if you are a beginner swimmer. Safety should be our number one priority when learning to swim. 


Most of the time beginners have a hard time floating in water because they think their legs are sinking. You should know that it’s okay for the legs to sink a little bit because legs have heavier muscles and they are denser than your upper body. Keeping your legs up in the water takes some practice and more importantly, a proper technique. You will also learn the proper technique to keep your legs up in the water when floating, you will learn how to breathe when floating on your back & you will also learn how to keep your arms moving to help yourself float in water.

How To Float in Water Step 1: Breathing Technique

The first thing you should make sure of when you are floating on your back is to make sure you have lungs full of air! It is hard to stay up and float in water without your lungs full of air. Your lungs inside your chest act like air balloons that keep you up on the surface of the water. To practice, always take a super deep breath to fill your lungs with air and release. When you are floating, make sure you don’t release all the air from your lung else you will start sinking in the water. You should only release half air from your lungs and then breathe in to fill your lungs again with fresh air. You should do this step slowly as breathing in and out too fast may hyperventilate you. You need to keep the air in your lungs to stay up. 

Important points in Step 1: Breathing

Keep your lungs half full with air.

Be relaxed and comfortable.

You will sink if you breathe out all the air!

So in the first step, you have learned an important breathing technique that will help you stay afloat when floating in the water. You should practice the breathing technique regularly so that you get comfortable and relaxed when floating in the water. 

How To Float in Water Step 2: Kicking Technique

Now we will learn the proper kicking technique in this second step of how to float in water. The proper kicking technique when floating in water will help you keep your legs up in the water. Generally, it’s very difficult to keep your legs up without moving in the water. That’s because objects in motion stay in motion but when we are floating, we are steady and in the same position. If you are moving in the water, that momentum will raise your legs on the surface and keep them afloat. Kicking your feet lightly will keep them floating on the surface without exerting much effort or force. You don’t need to kick too hard to keep your legs from sinking in the water. All you have to do is flutter your feet very lightly to redirect water downwards to keep your feet and hips upwards. 

Keep kicking lightly to stay afloat!

If you want to move in the water then you should kick a little bit harder. This is good practice to learn backstroke kicks. You can use fins to help you with kicking in the beginning stage of your swimming journey. 

Important Points in Step 2: Kicking

Keep kicking your legs lightly without exerting much force.

Flutter your feet lightly to redirect the water downwards and to keep your feet and hips upwards.

How To Float in Water Step 3: Arm Movement

Like your feet, your arms should also flutter in the water. It looks like you are waving goodbye to your feet. Fluttering your arms is also done to redirect the water downwards and backward to keep you up on the surface.  Try to keep your hands below the surface of the water because the if you keep your hands too high above the surface of the water you will start sinking. You can also float by spreading your arms on your sides like a starfish. But we will prefer that you keep some momentum going with your hands and feet to stay afloat on the surface of the water. Always keep your hands closer to your body while fluttering for them to be more effective. Kick your feet very lightly and do the same with your hands. The momentum you are creating to paddle yourself backward will also keep you afloat in the water.

Important Points in Step 3: Arm Movement

Keep your arms close to your body.

Keep fluttering your arms to create momentum in the water.

How To Float in Water Step 4: Head Position

We will learn about the proper head position in this last part of how to float in water for beginners. Head is the key when you’re in the water. Your head is like a steering wheel of a vehicle. Wherever your head goes, your body follows. If you turn it to the left, your body will go to the left, if you turn your head to the right your body will go to the right. Similarly, if your head points down, your body will go down in the water. So when you are on your back, you should keep your chin elevated a little bit. You should tip your forehead back towards the water and if a little bit of water trickles down your forehead then that’s a good thing.

Your head pointed up like in the image above is more like a front quadrant body position in the water. Such a head position will balance our body in the water. The reason we have to point our head upward and a little backward is to counterbalance the weight that is affected by heavy leg muscles. When your chin is up that high you might feel upside down in the water but you should be relaxed because it is the feeling we are searching for. If you feel upside down, don’t lift your head out of the water! It will cause you to sink instantly.

Important Points in Step 4: Head Position

Keep your chin pointed up.

It is okay to feel upside down when you are floating on your back.

Four steps to remember when floating on your back.

Remember to practice regularly and if you don’t understand any step or if you are unable to swim, feel free to contact up on our email or WhatsApp number by going to this contact page.

Watch the following video to learn how to float in water for beginners.

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