tread water

Treading water

tread water

3. Treading water

Now that we can float, another survival skill is treading water. Not only can it be used for survival, but you can use it to catch your breath or to talk to someone. There are multiple kicks that can be used when treading water. They are the frog kick (breast stroke kick), flutter kick and egg beater kick.

You also use your arms in a sculling motion to assist your kick and keep your head above water. Watch the videos below to get an explanation of the kicks. Since you are probably going to be in shallow water while you learn to swim, I would recommend practicing treading water with just your arms. The best way to get into position is to start in a back float position.

Then slowly pull your knees into your chest and place your arm out to your sides. Pulling your knees to your chest will start to bring your head up and turn your body vertical. when you get close to vertical start sculling with your arms. Start gently and increase speed or pressure if you need to. The goal is to keep your mouth out of the water. You don’t need to have your neck or shoulder out of the water to breath. That’s just wasted energy.

Video 1: Sculling, Frog (breast sroke kick) and flutter kick

Video 2: Egg beater kick

 

photo credit: arctic warrior

 

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