Core aquatic skills are those basic swimming moves that will help you most during your time in the water. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced swimmer, these skills are essential to making your time in the water safer and more enjoyable.
By developing a strong foundation of core aquatic skills, you’ll find yourself gaining confidence in the water and enjoying all its health benefits more thoroughly.
In this article, we’ll talk about the 10 core aquatic skills you need to know and practice to make the most of your pool time and experience swimming as safely and easily as possible.
Below are the Core Aquatic Skills you Need to Know
One of the most important core aquatic skills is learning how to control your breathing. When you’re in the water, it’s easy to get panicked and start taking shallow breaths. But if you can control your breathing, it will help you stay calm and prevent you from getting fatigued.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Relax your body and take slow, deep breaths through your nose.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth.
- Keep your head above water as much as possible by tucking your chin in slightly so that it doesn’t dip below the surface when you breathe.
- Practice swimming without using any air by pulling yourself along with one arm while keeping the other arm outstretched underwater for balance.
- Breath every three strokes for maximum efficiency during long distances or during a long period of time.
The vertical kick is a fundamental skill for swimmers of all levels. Below are some tips on how to do the vertical kick, to perform a vertical kick, start by:
- Lying flat on your stomach in the water with your arms extended in front of you.
- Next, tuck your chin and curl your body up into a tight ball. Then, use your legs to push off (kicking) the bottom of the pool and propel yourself upward (get into a vertical position). As you rise out of the water, extend your arms overhead and reach for the sky.
- After you’ve fully risen out from the water, pull your arms back in front of you and prepare to use your legs to push off (kicking) the bottom of the pool again.
- Make sure that when doing this drill, your head remains facing down so that only your hands are reaching for the sky.
- Lastly, make sure not to hold your breath at any point during this exercise.
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The horizontal kick is a basic skill used in many swimming strokes. It is also known as the flutter kick. Below are some tips on how to do the horizontal kick, to perform the horizontal kick, start by:
- Lying on your stomach in the water with your arms at your sides and your legs extended behind you. Point your toes and keep your knees straight.
- Slowly bring your legs up and down, keeping them parallel to the surface of the water.
- Remember to keep kicking throughout the stroke, even when you are taking a breath. When you exhale, contract your abs to flatten your body by sinking just below the surface of the water.
- When inhaling, arch back and press off from the bottom to come up for air.
Achieving a perfect horizontal kick can be difficult for beginners because it requires some coordination between both arms and legs.
Kick timing is crucial so that one does not overtake or undercut another; if this happens, it will make breathing difficult or impossible.
The ability to control your body in the water is key to success in swimming. Good buoyancy allows you to move through the water with ease and gives you the power to make small adjustments in your body position.
It also helps you stay afloat and provides a foundation for other skills. Below are some tips on how to stay buoyant in the swimming pool, to develop good buoyancy, start by:
- Learning how to float on your back. You can also use floating devices like life jackets, swim rings, and arm floaties to practice buoyancy in the water.
- Then, work on kicking and sculling (using your hands) to move through the water.
- Remember that even if you’re doing this exercise on large water bodies, you should remember to use your arm as much as possible, to create more resistance.
- When trying any new technique or skill it’s important not to try too hard. Remember that there are many components of buoyancy, it’s not just about what’s happening with your head and legs.
Swimming with Fins
Wearing swim fins helps you move through the water more efficiently, so you can swim for longer periods of time without getting tired.
Swim fins also help you swim faster, which can be useful if you’re trying to get away from a dangerous situation or reach a destination quickly.
They also provide some protection for your feet and lower legs from things like rocks and other sharp objects. In addition, wearing fins can help you stay more afloat in the water and avoid sinking.
Achieving proper fin usage is not an easy task, as it takes a lot of time and practice to learn how to use them correctly. One way that this is done is by studying different styles of swimming, such as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly stroke, freestyle stroke, and sidestroke.
Treading water is a core aquatic skill that everyone should know. It is a great way to stay afloat and keep your head above water when you are in the pool or ocean.
Below are some tips on how to tread water:
- To tread water, you will need to use your legs and arms to move your body up and down in the water. You can also use a kickboard or floatation device to help you stay afloat.
- Try not to stand up with your whole body at once, as this could cause you to lose balance and fall into the water. Instead, take one arm out of the water at a time before standing on both feet.
Diving is a great way to get up close and personal with the underwater world. But before you dive in, there are a few things you should know. Below are some things you should know before diving into the water:
- Make sure you have practiced and mastered the diving skill very well before diving.
- Make sure you are fit to dive. You should be sure of your body fitness before diving into the water.
- Never hold your breath, breathe normally as you always do when you are on the land. Make sure not to hold your breath at any point during this exercise, to avoid casualty.
- Stay aware of where your friends are. In case of encountering any casualty while diving, being aware of where your friends are will help you sight them easily to signify to them your situation.
- Don’t over pressurize yourself. You should be relaxed when under the water and don’t move at a pace that will make you run out of breath.
- Always ascend slowly from every dive. Coming out of dive at a fast pace can lead to decompression sickness as nitrogen is forced into the bloodstream.
- If you feel strange after a dive, let others know as soon as possible.
- Don’t fly until at least 24 hours after a dive.
Pushing Off the Wall
When you’re in the pool, you need to be able to push off the wall in order to move forward. This is a fundamental skill that all swimmers need to know. Below are five tips to help you master this essential skill:
- Push your toes into the floor of the pool and spread your fingers out on the surface of the wall.
- Push off with one foot while you bring your other foot next to it.
- To get a better position for pushing off, bend your knees and slide down the wall until your feet touch or come close to touching below water level.
- Keep your knees bent so they don’t hit each other when they come up again after pushing off with one foot and sliding back down with another.
Using the Basic Swimming Strokes
The four basic strokes are the crawl, breaststroke, backstroke, and sidestroke. Each stroke has a different purpose and is used in different situations.
- The crawl is the fastest stroke and is used for freestyle swimming.
- Breaststroke is slower than the crawl but is more efficient and is often used in long-distance swimming.
- Backstroke is used when you want to swim on your back and is often used in competitive swimming.
- Sidestroke is another backstroke technique that allows for smoother movement through the water. When doing this stroke, be sure to keep your head out of the water.
Swimming is a great way to stay in shape and can be done year-round. However, it’s important to know how to swim properly underwater to avoid injury. Below are five tips for proper underwater swimming techniques:
- Start by floating on your back. This will help you get used to the sensation of being in the water and will also help you relax.
- Once you’re comfortable floating on your back, try kicking your legs slowly. Your arms should be at your side with your palms facing up. Kick out one leg at a time with each arm stroke. Continue until you feel like you need to take a break, then float on your back again for a few seconds before starting again.
- Practice breathing rhythmically through both your nose and mouth while moving through the water with small movements of both hands and feet simultaneously as though you were swimming breaststroke (but without actually doing so).
- Practice making big, sweeping strokes with your arms and kick all four limbs together.
- Lastly, practice the dog paddle. The dog paddle consists of two actions that alternate between left arm movement followed by the right arm movement, alternatively left leg movement followed by the right leg movement.
There are countless aquatic skills that you could learn, but these ten core skills are essential for anyone venturing into the water. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned swimmer, mastering these skills will help you stay safe and have more fun in the water.