Monday, March 24, 2008

Floating In Swimming - Recovering From That Float

To learn floating in swimming is critical to people who are learning but you will only have confidence in doing so when you able to stand properly.

Floating In Swimming Should Not Be By Trial and Error

Although that it is something that most new swimmers learn by trial and error, some swim students give up altogether at this stage because they cannot get the hang of standing in the water form a float position and thus they loose all the confidence they have gained.

I apologize for anybody that is waiting for the Arms installation of the back stroke and I promise that I will start that next time but I need to fill in this gap.

Fortunately It's really simple to stand from a float, however it just takes practice like everything else.


So here it is "Recovering to a Standing Position from floating in swimming":

    Do the following all at the same time

  • lift your head
  • bend your knees towards the chest
  • press down on the water with your hands
  • Once you are in the squat position

  • push your hands towards your legs
  • rotate your body until your feet touch the bottom
Image of floating In Swimming and Recovering From That Float

It works for both a front and back float as you can see from the pictures.



I also found this nice video (below) that will help and there will be more on learning to float to come

There is a lot more advice in the comments below.

Enjoy
   Richard

49 comments:

  1. I have been learning swimming for about 8 lessons now and I am able to float and kick my legs in the freestyle and move forward. The scariest part for me is getting up from a float or a freestyle position. I keep trying to reach out for the edge of the pool or end up twisting in the water and am really fearful of hurting myself.

    I am going to try your technique out today. I am so excited, I hope this works and I can finally proceed with the actual swimming :)

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  2. Hello

    I just tried your standing up from floating and

    I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks so much its been 4 classes I was not able to do it

    Thank You

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  3. I learnt standing from the front float a week ago....i have not learnt the back float yet...i will try in my next lesson...thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exciting isn't it! let me know how you go with the back float recovery.

      Delete
    2. Hi Richard, I tried today and i think it worked a bit but not confident yet. I am too scared to stand from back float. But i am not giving up...will do it next time again. Generally I am happy in my learning curve...my lesson is only once per week..what is your opionion about this ? is it ok to learn once a week? Thanks.

      Delete
  4. However tentative and excellent Effort! There is no doubt that the more exposure to water you get the faster you will learn. But you need to go with whatever you are most comfortable. Just a thought: Have you tried the recovery in shallower water? Just till you get more confident. That way you can feel safer weather you manage to stand or not. In any case always remember there is no shame in being a learner no matter how fast or slow you do it.

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  5. even though I am learning swimming for 2 months I am not able to stand in water even though I am 5.30 feet and water levle 4 feet. I try to hold bar on wall of swimming pool because I am afraid I may go under water

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  6. G'day Pradip,

    If you are teaching your self or you have the help of a good natured friend then here are some hints. You need to do more practice in shallower water, 4 feet is too deep. Water so shallow that you can lay down in and still not be underwater is perfect. Start by feeling yourself float and when you can do that move to slightly deeper water (shallow enough so you feel safe) and again do your float. When you are comfortable doing that and your whole body is suspended in the water try to sit up without using you hands.

    When you can sit up without using your hands, go to slightly deeper water and try again using the same movement and this time use your hands as described in the article above. Don't worry if it is not smooth you have a lot of years of fear to overcome.

    Keep increasing the depth of the water tiny little bit by tiny little bit.

    If however you have a swimming instructor who you are paying to teaching you how to swim "Sack them"! Seriously as we say here in Australia it's time to give them "the flick" and go and find someone who knows how to teach. I hate to be harsh but a teacher who doesn't know how to get you to stand up in the water after 2 months is just ripping you off.

    Let me now how you go I am happy to help in any way I can.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am 57 years old and learning to swim ,now I have overcome fear of drowning with help of your tips,but problem is I immediately get tired after swimming few feets and need to stop and stand in water.

    I wish I could float on my belly or front float for few minutes ,say 5-7 minutes ,recover my breath and start swimming again .Is it possible for me? because I need to swim 25 meters which is essential condition of my swimming pool to certify that one is swimmer. Kindly advise

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am very pleased that you found my information helpful Pradip.

    I will be publishing more information on my blog about doing good torpedo in a few weeks and that should be something that you will find very useful. But in the mean time it sounds that you have more of a breathing problem than a floating problem.

    I suggest that you check out the breathing label in the side navigation of this blog and work you way through some of those posts. Hopefully that will fix your problem but if not get back to me and I will see what else I can offer.

    If ever you were able to post me a short video of you swimming No more than a minute or two I could be more helpful. That way I could see what you need to do to fix things up.

    Richard

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  9. hi ..thanks a lot. I learned floating a week ago but I was so afraid to learn next step because I had no idea how to stand in water. now I will try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Use swimming googles, put your head underwater and see that both your legs are coming together forward towards your chest while keeping both your hands straight then put down both hands and legs down together so legs will touch floor. First try in shallow water and then daily increase depth of water. Once you are comfortable learn cycling in water which is also called trending in water in American way.Learn Back float.
      Once you are confidident in floating,cycling in water and standing in water learn other techinique,

      Best wishes

      Delete
  10. Hi ...Thanks a lot...I am learning by my self with the help of some tips from a pal as well as tips from internet...though i managed to do front float in the 3rd session, i ccould not stand up without holding the wall...this is affecting my confidence....now i will try again with your tips...hope it works

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi...i tried to stand up yesterday from front float and i could do it !!!
    This is a very useful tip and a not so common one as well...i had asked so many people how they do it and to them it seemed to come naturally , i had also thought that maybe the pool with water till my shoulders is too deep and i should goto the toddlers pool but was embarassed to do so. My pal had suggested that i should open my mouth under water and that will make me come up, but that thought it self terrified me! Searching on the internet also had not given me so specific a solution.
    Cannot thank you enough for putting this up in ur blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very good. I learned standing in water with help of Mr Richard Roper instructions. Keep practising and gradually increase depth of water. Learn standing in water recovering from back float and my sincere advice to you never go in deep water unless you learn cyclying in water which is called trending in water in USA, because in my swimming pool(Goregaon Mumbai) there was tragic accident of drowning of small boy of 7 years who joined summer camp.

    Thanks to Mr Richard Roper blog.

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  13. Had my first near death experience because i could not get back up from a float. I am going to try this tonight and see how it works out.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Whenever you try something new you should always go with a friend. It helps remove the possibility of panic making the technique useless.

    By this I mean that when we panic we forget everything. If you have a friend stand by, that prospect is eliminated and you will be able to give the technique a proper trial.

    Richard

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  15. how to get into the horizontal position while in chest deep water of the pool? for shallow part i crouch and then bend forward but how for deeper part of the pool?confused...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day Expat,
      I'm sorry your confused. I think you are asking me how to get into a front float in chest deep water (i.e Horizontal position). If that is what you are asking and if as you say you can do it in shallow water then it is almost the the same for chest deep water. The only difference is you don't crouch down, you just push off the bottom with your feet.
      If your problem is that you are afraid to do that in chest deep water then you need to get 2 things:
      1) You need a friend who will stand with you when you try. You should always have friend with you when you are in the water anyways. For safety sake. Your friend does not have to know how to swim. They just need to be someone you can trust to help you stand up if you reach out to them. Get them to stand in front of you in the water so you can grab them if you need to. Then just lean forward and push towards your friend as you enter the water, by giving a little push with your feet and toes just before they leave the bottom of the pool. You can do this without a friend by pushing towards the edge of the pool and grabbing that, but a friend is better and safer.
      2) You need to do a calming exercise before you start. A couple of long, slow deep breaths, in through you nose and out through your mouth as slow as you can.

      Delete
  16. In back float i loose control on my head and then sink head wise...then i almost drown trying to hold sides and making me feel like not wanting to do backfloat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day Anonymous,
      What you are experiencing is very common for many adults new to swimming.
      The problem is that, possibly even without realizing it, you are trying to raise your feet by tilting your head back in the water. You have to resist doing this.
      Although it may feel quite unnatural, you have to tilt your head forward to raise your feet. Like in the picture above.
      I know that it seems wrong but there are many things that are the reverse of what we think they should be when we are in the water.
      If you look at the pictures on the blog post above you will see that just before you can stand up you have to tilt your head forward onto your chest. This also has the effect of raising your feet toward the surface of the water, before it starts to lower you in the water.
      So what you have to do to fix your head going back into the water is tilt you head forward like you are trying to put your chin onto your chest.
      Don't put you chin all the way on your chest, just lift it enough so that you can feel your feet start to rise to the surface of the water. Stop lifting your head the moment you toes get close to the surface of the water.
      Your feet do not have to reach the surface, they just need to get close enough so that you start to float.
      This may take quite a few tries, so you may want to get someone to help you by standing in the water with you and holding you up until you learn to tilt your chin to your chest instead of tilting it back into the water.
      Once you get used to tilting your head forward all you have to do to stand up, is follow the directions on the above post.
      I hope this helps. Let me know if I can help further.

      Delete
    2. Thats the normal case when i am on back float and i want to stand. But then how about i am doing back float and i get panic attack that time whats the best way to get up...pls help....i am comfortable now with front float and standing and freestyle...but i have same butterflies in my stomack after my coach started with back float

      Delete
    3. G'day Unknown,
      Learning to float on your back is a very scary thing for us humans. Floating on your back makes us feel out of control.
      The best way to learn to manage that fear is to learn how to control your float and your stand. Once you feel in control you will control your fear.
      Practice the method of standing in that I have described in the blog post above but have someone stand in the water with you helping you when you practice; until you gain your confidence.
      Your helper should read the post at this link -http://www.swimteaching.com/2008/11/swimming-lesson-ideas-teaching-back.html and you should look at the pictures and read the description above on how to recover. If you are still having trouble after you have done all that, get back to me and I will try to help further.

      Delete
    4. What if i am holding a kick board with my hands straight up then how do i get up

      Delete
    5. G'day Krisna,
      I recommend that you practice the recovery from a back float to standing without the kickboard first. Because once you have mastered standing without the board you will be much more relaxed.
      When you are confident and relaxed without the board, you can then practice with the kickboard and let go of it altogether when you have to stand up.
      Once you have mastered letting go of the kickboard to stand up, you can then progress to standing only using one hand. This allows the other hand to keep hold of the board as you stand.
      So it's a little more complex but once you are confident at each stage you will see that the principal is the same.

      Delete
    6. I m so excited i followed word to word n the result was so brillant...i became comfortable in first instinct from unfloat of back float.thank you so much . Now i feel good . Now new problem i have is kicking. I m able to kick with force back or front float. I dont know why? Please help me.

      Delete
    7. G'day again Krishna,
      I am very please I was able to help with you float.
      However I don't quite understand what you are asking me about your kicking. Do you mean that you are having problems kicking whilst doing a float?
      I have lots of advice on kicking in the blog. You can use the label in the side bar of blog (above and too the right) or copy and past this link: http://www.swimteaching.com/search/label/Kicking
      Because I'm not quite sure of the question you are asking any answer I give is just a guess. But most problems with kicking come form swimmers not having relaxed feet and ankles. This stops there feet from flip flopping in the water just like Flippers(swimming fins)do. The other possible problem is too much bend in your knees. A good kick requires flippy floppy feet and only a very little bend in your knees. There are picture and videos in link that I gave above.
      I hope this helps. let me know if I can help any more.

      Delete
    8. My bad...i meant while i swim front side i am able to kick but when i swim back side i am not able to kick .so i give very quick and small kicks to push myself faster.i will also check website .thank you so much .

      Delete
  17. Thank you so much i will try today after my swimming lessons in kids pool. Also pls can u help me to understand my do i feel so exhausted in just few seconds of bubble blowing while forward kicking with board

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day Anonymous,
      There are lots of reasons why you may be running out for breath too quickly. Have a look at all my articles on breathing at this link-http://www.swimteaching.com/search/label/Breathing or use the "Breathing" label on the right hand side of this blog and see if any of them help. If not get back to me and I try and help further.

      Delete
  18. What is frog style swimming in back float called? Please also can u teach me techniques to do it

    ReplyDelete
  19. G'day Again krishna,

    If you copy and past this link into your browser: http://www.swimteaching.com/2008/10/learn-to-swim-101-breatstroke-leg.html I think you might find the help you are looking for. If not let me know and I try to help further.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I m very sad today. My teacher told me to find another beginner class today. My back float kicking is very slow and sinking and also i at times dont complete the lap

    ReplyDelete
  21. G'day krishna,

    You are better of without such a stupid teacher. Take the opportunity to go and find somebody who knows what they are doing and talking about.
    Any Swim teacher or Coach that is so incompetent as to give up on a student, not only does not deserve your time, they do not deserve to call themselves a swim teacher. I have taught for over 20 years and I never, Ever gave up on a student and every single one of them left me a better swimmer than when they came to me. No student deserves to be told what you have been told.
    You have every right to learn as slowly as you want and get to the other end whenever you do. Somebody who says otherwise does not deserve the title of "Teacher". It sounds to me like this person is afraid that you are showing up their incompetence.
    krishna don't give up! Find another competent teacher and when you get swimming to the level that you like, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are better than your current so called teacher.
    And don't forget that I am here anytime you need me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou so much for ur kind words. I am gonna find new teacher after 3 months. Till then i keep reading ur website to get tips for my son

      Delete
  22. Hi Richard,
    Your posts are terrific and I was able to do pretty much good in 5 days of serious practice. Honestly, I started as a novice with a terrible fear of water and depth. Now I can swim freestyle and float on my back. I have a question for recovery when facing down in the water. Do we lift our head first or should our head just wait for the feet to touch the water. Can you please outline some clear steps for me. I'm confused and i struggle to stand up after a free style swim and really want to get it right and perfect not appearing awkward :D :D Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comments.
      Re Lifting your head: You should try lifting your head LAST when you recover from a front float. It is the reverse of a back float. It is better to wait until your feet are on the bottom of the pool before you lift your head completely.

      Many new swimmers feel a desperate need to lift their heads first and this usually sets up a chain of events that ends in a struggle to stand up.

      However you should not force your head down in the water either. Just let it come up naturally.

      Keeping your face in the water until the steps say otherwise the steps are as follows:
      1)Place both your hands above your head as you would in a torpedo position.
      2)Turn you hands so the palms face the bottom of the pool
      3)Start to push your hands downwards and then pull back(towards your feet) with your hands as you draw your knees to you chest.
      4)Lower your legs and put your feet on the bottom of the pool as your hands complete their pulling motion. Try not to wait until your hands have finished their pull before you lower your legs.
      5)Lift your head and stand up

      Take a look at the diagram and video above and compare it to the steps I have just outlined and you should be able to see what I mean.

      Hope this helps.
      Let me know if you need more help

      Delete
  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Mr. Richard,
    First of all...Hearty Thanks to you...this article...I happened to read today & is packed with great tips for swimming.
    I'm 43 years old...learning to swim , took few lessons...but still cannot swim front or back with lot of fear of water & not able to stand up. For me the swim instructor gave 2 pool noodles & a kick board to hold for front crawl...this is giving me back pain & the teacher says it is because I'm not completely horizontal & for me the fear of standing up from complete horizontal position is preventing me to go horizontal.
    Can you plz plz plz give step by steps to beginner swimmers to learn swimming.
    Thanks a million in advance

    ReplyDelete
  25. Question - the first thing I learned in my very first swim class was how to stand from a front float, and that really does improve water confidence. My question is, when wearing fins, how does one use this technique? There's some resistance from the fin. I tend (while snorkeling) to turn on my back and then go vertical from that position, but if I'm on my belly, horizontal, how do I gracefully go vertical? Thanks! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. G'day Anonymous,
    Yep the extra resistance in the fins can make it a bit harder to recover but the technique is basically the same; just slower and you have to use a a bigger or stronger (or Both) sweep with your arms.
    It would be best to master doing the recovery without fins first that way you are confident it works.
    When I say slower I mean that, with fins you should bend your knees and move your feet into position first and wait there for a moment so that you fins finish flexing and are fully level with the water bed. Then sweep your arms hard and long from front to back, lift your head, lower your feet to the water bed and stand up.
    There is a bit more practice involved but as long as you take you time to get it right and keep calm as you do it you should master it in no time.

    ReplyDelete
  27. No matter what I do, I am unable to lift myself up from back float position. But I have no problems on getting up if I am floating on my front. I am scared of water in general and have to call my instructor to lift me up. I am not sure how I breakdown the process and learn it piece by piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What if I change the wording from "press down on the water with your hands" to
      "Try pushing your hands towards your legs"
      Does that Help?

      Delete
    2. Hello Richard,

      Thank you so much for the quick response. I carefully read you mention lift your head and bend knees towards your chest. I think that is the trick to rotate the body along with some hand movement. Unfortunately, my instructor is actually a lifeguard in our pool but not a qualified instructor. He was just asking me to push my arms back and the body will rise up quickly but it didn't work. I think the approach you mention works equally well to get quickly to vertical position, only thing is the trust in self that needs to be build.

      I think I need a qualified instructor who has experience teaching people who are very scared.

      Delete
    3. I am glade you are starting to have success. Don't give up and you will be able to do it.

      I highly recommend a qualified instructor. However, to be honest, you don't need a qualified instructor to master this skill. You just need a someone who you can trust, is strong enough to lift you and and able to stand up safely in the water themselves. Have this person stand in the water with you so you feel safe.

      They have to stand behind you. In front of you or beside you is not safe. You can see how your helper has to stand from this post: http://www.swimteaching.com/2008/11/swimming-lesson-ideas-teaching-back.html (copy and past the link into your browser).

      As a Lifeguard myself I am trained not to get into the water unless I absolutely have to. And when I first started swim teaching we were taught to teach as much as we can out of the water. But that was a long time ago (Over 30 years ago), and we now know that the best way to teach a new swimmer is to be in the water with them. Standing up (recovering) from a float is very difficult to teach from out of the water. I admire you for doing as well as you have. Keep it up.

      Delete
    4. Oh by the way, I have modified the post a little after you feed back. Thanks for you help.

      Delete
  28. G'day Dsharma,
    Get Your instructor to read the blog post and then have him stand beside you as you practice it. That will give you the confidence to try the technique.

    Your fear is the only thing that will stop you from doing this recovery. So you need to have a way to overcome that fear. With your instructor beside you, you need have no fear.

    Take some soothing breaths before you try it. Have you instructor standing by. Think Safe thoughts. Trust your instructor.Follow the steps and you will succeed.

    In the unlikely event that your instructor needs more advice on your particular difficulty, contact me again.

    I will need to know precisely where you are having problems.

    ReplyDelete

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