Learning to float

The key to successful swimming is learning to float

      The benefits.
  • Promotes a streamlined position
  • Promotes efficiency
  • Establishes a good leg kick
  • Essential for water safety


Learn to swim –

It’s always best to start with firm foundations.  I’ve seen many a weak swimmer scramble from one side of the pool to the other thrashing their heads from side to side in an attempt to imitate the breathing technique.

So, what’s going wrong?

Floating holds the key.

Pencil Float


Learners need to learn how to float.

Floating in the water can happen in many shapes and orientations including front, back and mushroom.  A learner who is floating in the water unaided is relaxed and water buoyant.


Use of buoyancy aids.

Learners can gain confidence with floating with use of buoyancy aids initially.  On fronts, learners need to practice placing the face in the water whilst floating.  Imagine your body is a seesaw if your head is out of the water your feet will drop and create drag.  Learning to submerge the face can be done gradually.  Firstly, putting chin on the water surface and blowing bubbles, next submerging nose until eventually the whole face becomes submerged.

Once submerging the face in water try floating forwards in different shapes for example

Star float



mushroom float


Floating backwards


The trick is to push the tummy up towards the ceiling whilst placing chin on the chest.  Parents, it’s a good idea to stand behind your child whilst performing a backward float as this encourages the learner to look at the ceiling and not at the floor.

Feeling out of control?

Taller learners can feel nervous about regaining standing position after floating on the back.  The correct technique to regain standing position is to bring knees up to chest and lift head forward.  This technique will help gravity pull the learners feet to the floor.   Once again different shapes can be performed on the back.  Can learners do a backwards mushroom float?


Star float


Make it fun.

Now the learner is getting the hang of it make it fun with some games for example –

Counting how long the learner can float?

Calling out a shape for learners to make.

Doing a sequence of shapes.


Bespoke syllabus

Our bespoke learn to swim syllabus is designed with a focus on floating outcomes for the first couple of stages.  As a result our learners become very efficient swimmers!


Thank you for taking the time to read and we hope that you will join us soon. If your interested in finding out more information please fill in our contact form above and we will be happy to answer any questions.

Kind Regards

Liverpool Swimming Academy

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