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FAQ
learn to swim (read all 9 entries…)
Doing better

I can do a width without too much trouble using a backstroke (still inhaling some water, but I’m not letting it stop me mid-width).

Front crawl’s still the doozy. If I keep just below the water, holding my breath, and just using my legs: I go fairly fast across… but I that pesky need for air is still stopping me mid-swim.

Breast-stroke’s a tad better. Managed to come up for air once or twice and actually get air into lungs.



Comments:

(This comment was deleted.)

Thanks

Yup, I find the breaststoke goes fine as long as I stay underwater… which means I can have a go at snorkling I guess.

Front crawl just isn’t going anywhere. I gag at the first intake of ‘air’; which I try at about the third or fourth stroke. It’s frustrating, as I don’t see any improvement at all. I know I should be bringing my shoulder much further back but I’m finding that concentrating on moving every part of my body in an entirely new way is difficult.

I’m kinda hoping that if I keep working on the backstroke that I’ll find the others easier as I become more comfortable and competent in the water.

(This comment was deleted.)

This may sound silly

Breath out before your head comes out of the water. This works with all strokes, except backstroke cuz your head isn’t under the water.

Alot of people breath out when they take there head out of the water but this justs wastes time while you should be breathing in.

Hope that makes sense.

The underwater breathing out is going okay. I think it’s the timing for the breathing in; I seem to be opening my mouth when it’s still a fraction underwater and effectively using the inside of my cheek as a giant spoon for getting a load of water into my lungs.

keep going

I’m also currently learning to swim. Backstroke really is the easiest as far as you don’t concentrate on your “stroke” as getting the damn thing right is rather difficult (well, I can’t really do it). The crawl is not that bad, but hard. And it took me 6 months to be able to swim 50m.

What you need to do is: keep straight (try to do it just with your arms, say 8 lenghts), have a powerful stroke underneath yourself (arm a little bent), straighten your arm when lifting out of the water and SLOWLY move it over to allow you arm to relax. Breathing is the hardest thing: try breathing on every stroke switching sides or only to one side to learn it. Lack of stamina makes you stop, so make a few lenghts using only your legs (holding to that floating thing).

Breast stroke is still impossible, I get awfully tired and, really, it doesn’t look like breast stroke when I perform it.

Thanks for all the advice...

... very helpful and encouraging.

You mean to do 8 entire lenghts without using my legs at all? I’m finding at the moment that the speed my legs put into my movement is the main thing keeping me on the surface of the water?

forgot to say

As my teacher said, in crawl your leags are only to keep the balance. Although it is possible to do it only using arms as it is, you start by taking a floathing thingy between your leags (it’s a smaller one than the square ones, just ask and they should give it to you) so it’s rather easy to stay on the surface. This exercise is for the balance and it was very difficult for me at first to keep myself straight. But later it really helps to learn a more powerful stroak as it is what should benefit your movement by 70%.

As my teacher said, my problem with breathing was that I turned my head. You don’t really have to do that, you turn yourself to one side so that your ear is under water. It’s also connected to moving your arm too fast over the water. When done right, you shpuld have plenty of time to breath in.

And I would really advise to split the whole thing into parts: do excersises for your arms and balance, then for your leags, for your breathing and then try to put it all together. It’s also important to always keep one arm in front of yourself. What I did wrong and still sometimes do is that I start the movement with my 2nd arm too early. You lose your balance. You can even try to put your both hands together and only then start a 2nd stroke. Actually, don’t be shy to use the floathing thingy, it really helps when you can’t breath in properly as it keeps you on the surface.


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