Keep Your Head Above Water with These Treading Techniques
Happy (end of) August, Adult Lessons Swimmers!
Over the course of our previous deep water series, we've talked about a variety of techniques that will allow you to develop comfort and control when in a body of water in which your feet do not touch the bottom. This can include your backyard pool, a local lake, or the open ocean. Sans waves, all the skills apply seamlessly. However, on top of being able to use our float transitions around the surface, it IS helpful to have added knowledge on how to keep our heads afloat with the help of a ~little~ force. Although not as energetically favorable as floating or bobbing alone, treading water can be a valuable skill not only for survival, but also for building up strength in the water for learners!
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In an open body of water, there is not always going to be a ladder to guide us underwater or return us to the surface comfortably. Occasionally, we'll actually have to employ force to maintain surface height. Similar to the "jellyfish technique" in the bobbing post (linked above), a downward force must be applied to keep our head above water and give some level of initial control. The video highlights a few techniques for both arms and legs that can ensure some added power to your floating. As noted, some of the techniques will require more energy, some have purposes for support, and some for propulsion. The most important teaching point, however, is that you find a way to be the most efficient with any technique you choose.
Arms: Breaststroke, sculling figure 8s, etc.
Legs: Bicycle, breaststroke kick, "egg beater", etc.
Fact of the week: Water is a very... (wait for it)... fluid medium [*Ba dum tsss*], and thus its properties are somewhat unpredictable - waves crash, river currents run, etc. Sometimes, there are scenarios in which we are in the water without perfect conditions. The tranquility of a body of water is not always so, outside of perhaps an indoor pool. Any knowledge of treading water and using some level of force in the short-term will allow for immediate relief above the surface. Granted, as previously stated, treading water is much more energy-expensive due to the force required. However, with practice and bodily awareness, one can perfect the efficiency of the technique and build up strength, allowing for plenty of time without fatigue!
How do I move up? Attend as many of your classes as possible, communicate with your instructor on your struggles, goals, and where you're at in our curriculum. We also have many adults who purchase a gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness or LA Fitness while they are taking lessons so they can practice 2-3 times between classes.
Don't let deep water tread on your fun! It's the best time of the year to be learning how to swim as an adult!
The Sigma Team