Learning to swim

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  • Learning to swim
  • Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    stick with the lessons – it will eventually click into place. Have a look at Swim Smooth/total immersion/Art of Swimming Youtube clips, but main thing is stick with the lessons 🙂

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Aye oop Col

    You’re not on your own. A friend has recently started doing one to one swim coaching for adults. Apparently the recent surge in popularity for triathlons has shown a lot of adults they can run, and ride bikes fast, but aren’t half as good at swimming.

    She’s a fully qualified instructor specializing in total immersion swimming, has one of those endless pools at home, and would be worth looking up. She’s based in Rammy, so not too far

    Swimmingly

    stick_man
    Member

    It takes practice but you will get there. One of the main causes of not being able to breathe in is that you haven’t breathed out yet! So make sure you’re breathing out steadily under the water, not holding your breath.

    As said above, swim smooth is v useful

    Your coach is the best person to help though!

    Premier Icon huckleberryfatt
    Subscriber

    Total Immersion is great for adult learners. It’s all about balance, when you’ve got that sorted you don’t feel the need to kick like mad (using your big oxygen-hungry leg muscles) to stop yourself sinking.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. I’m breathing out fine under the water, although I feel better doing it in stages rather than one long exhale. I’m hoping it will click.

    Yea Binners, that’s my goal. At this stage it seems a long way off!!

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Hi all,

    In the midst of my current back issues, I have started taking swimming lessons. It’s a front crawl improvers course. My girlfriend signed up for it and I decided to go along. Had my first lesson last week. How bloody hard is it to learn to swim? Cannot breath in to save myself. I’m pretty comfortable breathing out under water but when I come up to breathe it’s just a gasp and I have to stop. I’m concerned that my second lesson tonight is going to be a disaster. Have been to the local pool twice in between to practice, with no improvement.

    Anyone got tips or had similar issues?

    Cheers
    Col

    Premier Icon Caher
    Subscriber

    My parents took us for lessons when I was 5 and the instructor said I’d never learn to swim – 2 years later I won the inter-county gala.
    Stick with it.

    I live near a pool so after a ride, a few 100 meters really get rid of the aches.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Apparently the recent surge in popularity for triathlons has shown a lot of adults they can run, and ride bikes fast, but aren’t half as good at swimming.

    I’ve done two triathlons swimming breast stroke with my head out the water!

    Premier Icon jimfrandisco
    Subscriber

    If anyone wants to pass on any tips for breathing out underwater then please share them – sounds like the simplest thing, but actually not nearly as easy/natural as it sounds….at least not to me!

    Premier Icon heebyjeeby
    Subscriber

    Reading with interest as I have a terminal fear of the water – I get the heebyjeebys you could say.
    A couple of years ago we holidayed in France and had a private pool. A couple of hours a day for a couple of weeks and I could just about get from one side to the other (approx. 5m’s!) without drowning….
    Should really get some lessons booked as sure I would love it and I know the satisfaction from conquering one of my all time fears would be amazing…still got the fear though

    bensales
    Member

    jimfrandisco – Member
    If anyone wants to pass on any tips for breathing out underwater then please share them – sounds like the simplest thing, but actually not nearly as easy/natural as it sounds….at least not to me!

    The trick that worked for me was “Bubble, bubble, breathe”. Two strokes with face down forcibly saying “bubble, bubble” into the water in time with two strokes, and the third stroke, roll and breathe in. Helped me crack bi-directional breathing too, as each third strokes alternate arms. After a while of practise this naturally became a continuous exhale with four strokes face down and breathe on fifth.

    StuF
    Member

    Biggest thing that helped me was to look at your hand as it comes out of the water, this forces your head into about the right position as you are trying to breath in.

    mogrim
    Member

    If anyone wants to pass on any tips for breathing out underwater then please share them – sounds like the simplest thing, but actually not nearly as easy/natural as it sounds….at least not to me!

    Make sure you’re not trying to go too fast – smooth and slow is a lot easier, gives you time to breathe out and you won’t run out of breath either.

    chrisa87
    Member

    jimfrandisco – Member
    If anyone wants to pass on any tips for breathing out underwater then please share them – sounds like the simplest thing, but actually not nearly as easy/natural as it sounds….at least not to me!

    Another tip is to do “sink-downs”. Allow yourself to sink down underwater in the deep end breathing out. Make sure your lungs are fully empty before you come back up.

    Stevet1
    Member

    Trying to teach my boy to swim as so far it’s been a struggle to get him to go to formal lessons. he seems to sink like a stone! He can float on his back okay but get him on his front and he starts of swimming but always ends up skinning. Is this something to do with body position? he holds his head very high. Other thing to note is he’s stick thin (like me!) so I’m wondering if he will have a harder time anyway as there’s less surface area of him.

    Premier Icon jimfrandisco
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    Thanks all for the breathing tips, will give them a try.

    marp
    Member

    Hi Colin, you aren’t alone! I learnt to swim properly about 4 years ago, having been previously scared of open water or being out of my depth… I went to beginner and improver classes to iron out my technique (as a wedding present for my wife!).

    I then moved to Oz 3 years ago and have been lucky to have a pool so swim most days and am now a confident swimmer with a pretty solid stroke for indoor and open water swimming (although open water swimming still gives me the willys a bit due to the whole shark thing).

    My tips would be look at swim smooth, has some great drills and tips for stroke length, feel and breathing. I found once I slowed my stroke a little and learned to glide through the water you have a little more time to breathe, and i wasn’t so tired so wasn’t gasping for air. I also changed from breathing every 3 strokes to 5 gave me more time to exhale and made the in breath easier. Also as mentioned above, do less kicking, i work with a pull buoy to get upper body technique right and don’t do any kicking, I focus on getting a good roll motion (preventing you popping up to breathe and stalling in the water).

    The greatest thing for me was having my wife watching and giving feedback, i’d tell her what i was trying to do and then she would tell me i was rubbish and should do it better…

    Just keep plodding away at it and it’ll come…

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    As above look up swim smooths bubble, bubble breath technique. My warm up starts with 100m of doing nothing but that and slowly.

    Breathing out is under-appreciated and is a major source of tiredness in (new) swimmers

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    marp – Member
    …I then moved to Oz 3 years ago and have been lucky to have a pool so swim most days…although open water swimming still gives me the willys a bit due to the whole shark thing…

    It’s not the sharks you have to worry about. It’s marine stingers and if you go north, crocs.

    Oh and don’t go skinny-dipping or the turtles will fix up your willy problem. 🙂 (There’s an apocryphal tale about some unfortunate who did that, it may or may not be true)

    marp
    Member

    It's wrote:

    Luckily i live in Syders so we don’t get crocs around these parts, but sharky enough (and we do get some bluebottles)….. I will take heed of the skinny dipping tips, don’t want to be enticing the local wildlife with my pasty english skin and dangly lure….

    thecaptain
    Member

    I’m a shit swimmer. Never really learnt growing up, naturally very strongly sinking legs and after several years regular weekly coached swims I’m still much quicker with a pull buoy than when I’m kicking! But the classes have got me to the stage where I can swim continuously for as long as I want and although I’m still laughably slow (compared to running and cycling) I’m no longer actually the slowest in the pool. It’s turned from being a bit of a waste of time into being a useful form of training that gives my legs a break from the battering of running and cycling. Plus, indoors in the UK climate…’nuff said.

    Um…that doesn’t answer the OP. Just keep working at it, there was never a magic aha! moment where it fell into place but little by little I got better. It may help a bit to focus more on turning sideways and looking behind rather than lifting the head up forwards to breathe. The latter strains the airway making it harder to breathe in. Also sinks the legs. Think about the contact of water on your head/ear.

    mogrim
    Member

    he starts of swimming but always ends up skinning. Is this something to do with body position? he holds his head very high. Other thing to note is he’s stick thin (like me!) so I’m wondering if he will have a harder time anyway as there’s less surface area of him.

    Stick thin means legs are proportionally heavier than someone with a bit more fat on them, add in a high head position and he’ll always have problems: the body will naturally pivot about the centre of gravity, somewhere around the hips, and as the legs drop in the water the drag grows and speed falls. Which means he’ll need to thrash harder to keep up with his mates…

    The solution is easy, in theory at least. Keep the head down, breathe sideways, and kick enough to keep his legs from sinking. In practice this is a lot harder, and I really would recommend lessons from a pro. There’s a world of difference between coaches, if he’s not getting on with his current class try another.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    Last night was much better than I thought. We practiced more sink downs which I’m almost getting. I’m keeping an arm up for security but I can now feel myself sinking! After that we slipped on the flippers and practiced on our sides and leading with our arm. For the first time I was able to breath out and in, and back in again. Pretty chuffed that I got it although having the flippers on helped with the momentum through the water.

    Thankfully there are no sharks in Manchester….

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