5 Basic Swimming Skills Everybody Should Know

5 Basic Swimming Skills Everybody Should Know

Knowing how to effortlessly glide through the water is more difficult than you may think. Swimming takes lots of coordination and full-body strength, and you must learn how to move your arms and legs in tandem while also making time to take enough deep breaths.

You will also want to feel and look good as you swim. You can purchase swimwear for women by Eberjey for some delightful additions to your wardrobe. However, the most important thing about feeling good as you swim is knowing the exact techniques to keep yourself safe while in the water.

Here are some essential swimming skills you should know.

  • Breath Control

Breathing in the water is a skill that is often completely overlooked. Understanding breath control is the most important swimming skill you need to know to learn new things and enjoy your experience.

However, breath control can often be a difficult skill to learn, especially for novice swimmers. Water is quite literally everywhere, so accidentally inhaling water through the mouth and nose is a very common event to occur.

You must breathe out with your mouth and nose when your head is underwater. When you lift your head to the side, you can then take a deep breath before putting your face back under the water.

Breath control starts with easy exercises like taking a breath, submerging yourself, blowing some bubbles, and resurfacing to take another deep breath.

  • Floating

Before you work on how to kick or dive in the water, you should focus on the basic water skill that is learning to float. Human bodies are naturally buoyant in water so floating is a relatively easy thing to do and will keep you in a horizontal position.

Floating is essential as it keeps you afloat on the water’s surface. If you find yourself in an emergency or accidentally fall into a body of water, you can float on the surface until rescue arrives. This helps to preserve your energy especially if you do not have the raw strength to swim to safety.

Learning to float also gets you used to the idea of moving your body properly through the water. But knowing how to properly keep yourself afloat does require a bit of a technique. If you are unsure of where to start, you can get advice or lessons from a friend, coach, or relative.

  • Kicking

After you have become familiar with how to float in the water, the next logical step is to learn how to kick to give you propulsion.

Swimmers should focus on kicking from the hips rather than the knees to keep themselves afloat. The trick is to make small bubbles under the water’s surface rather than making humongous splashes.

Kicking is also a vital part of treading water, the process of staying in one specific place while keeping your head above the water.

When training, many coaches will encourage the use of flat flotation devices or kickboards made from plastic or foam. This means that the primary focus can be switched to practicing kicking techniques without the worry of falling under the water line!

  • Learning Strokes

Now we have discussed your leg movements, we also need to talk about your arm movements. The way you move your arms is vital in pulling your body through the water.

Each stroke uses different types of body positioning, movements, and techniques. You can teach yourself how to use any of these techniques but you will mostly benefit from lessons given by a qualified swimming instructor.

Common swimming strokes include:

  • Backstroke
  • Breaststroke
  • Butterfly stroke
  • Front crawl
  • Sidestroke
  • Diving

This is a necessary swimming skill – even if it begins outside of the water. This is one of the most technical swimming skills you will need to learn.

As a beginner, diving might only involve putting your hands together, moving them above your head, and then gently pushing your body forward towards the water until you simply fall in. You will enter the water headfirst.

As you develop this skill, you can experiment with jumping or can switch your focus to straightening your legs behind you as you smoothly enter the water.

Make sure to practice diving in a deep pool that also has a lifeguard on active duty.


These are the 5 basic swimming skills that everybody should know. Not only will these keep you safe in the water but they’ll also build your confidence if you ever find yourself in a tricky situation.