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Learn How To Swim 101 - How To Learn Torpedo

How To Learn Torpedo Step x Step

I can't believe I've not done this. I've somehow missed "how to learn torpedo" as a step in learning to swim. I was looking through my past post and discovered this vital link missing.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

Reading my sequence of posts you could be forgiven for thinking that I was of the opinion that you can learn how to swim without first learning to do torpedo. It's a vital step and without knowing how to do it you are going to struggle with so much in learning how to swim.

So this article is dedicated to learning how to do and how to teach torpedo.

Before I begin let me just say that you cannot learn to do a torpedo until you are comfortable with putting your face in the water.

Many an adult beginner wants to skip this step because of their fear and the desire for expedience but I need to tell you the you are winning over neither if you try.

Once you are comfortable with putting your face in the water(link) you are ready for the next step.

Learning How To Float

The next step is to learning how to float on your front. This too presents it own problem in that many people are afraid to learn to float on their front because the don't know how to recover to a standing position from a face down position. So before you start leaning the front float you should be familiar with how to recover from it.

I suppose that it could be argued that since the recovery is so important to the front float then surly that means that leaning how to recover is the next step. Although I see the argument, the issue is that front float and recover are so integral to each other that they cannot be separated enough to make them separate steps. Hence since this subject is about learning the torpedo it makes sense to talk about this in terms of the front float being first and the recovery from the front float is just part of the learning to do the front float.

Start in the shallowest water you can find and practice laying on you stomach and putting your face in and then getting up on your hands and knees. Once you can do that, progress to slightly deeper water.

Keep increasing the depth of water until you are coming to your feet and not your knees into a standing position. Keep in mind that the deeper you go the more you will need to use what you have learned about front float recovery.

Having Mastered Your Recovery

Once you have mastered a recovery from a front float to a standing position, it is time to do a modified torpedo.

In shallow water, from a standing position, gently lean forward until you are in a front float position and hold for the count of three.

Image of a swimmer laying prone face down in the water: a basic torpedo position
The Torpedo Position

You should feel yourself moving slightly forward.

Now bring your self to a standing position using what you have learned earlier about recovery. You have just done your first torpedo!

Repeat the process above until you are comfortable with it. When you are comfortable, move to slightly deeper water and do it again.

If you have been really fearful of swimming till now don't be afraid to get a friend involved to help you. But do try to do this yourself as much as possible.

It's Now Time To Start Your Kick.

As soon as you are comfortable with your new front float and recovery and your gentle forward movement in the new depth of water, it's time to star learning how to add a kick to complete the process.

As before, from a standing position, gently lean forward until you are in a front float position and hold for the count of three. You should feel yourself moving slightly forward.

Now do a short SLOW kick. Please don't do this fast you will create more problems than you solve.

Remember to keep your feet just under the surface of the water as you kick. Don't splash! Splashing Means your feet are leaving the water. If your feet are leaving the water then, for as long as they are out of the water then they are kicking air and the more air you kick the more propulsion you loose.

Filppy Floppy Feet

Remember also that your feet need to be filppy floppy or you will reduce your movement forward in the water.

Keep practicing with the slow, just under the water, flippy floppy feet, until you are making good progress in the water and then gradually increase you kicking speed.

By good progress I mean you are moving forward at a nice even steady pace. That is you should not be expecting to go fast but when you stand up you should find that you have covered a little more distance that the last time you tried. Each time you should be a little more comfortable covering the same distance.

When you can travel about 10 to 15 meters comfortably you have learned to do a proper torpedo and the doors are now open for you to learn how to swim freestyle(link), breaststroke(link) and even sidestroke (though I get a basic mastery of breaststroke first before you attempt that)


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