Hi! I'm Mark, creator of Swim Teach

Discover Why You Sink and How To Float Plus a Lesson Plan For Floating and Gliding.

Published 3 months ago • 1 min read

How do I float and why do I sink? It's a question commonly asked by beginners learning how to swim.

Hi, Mark here. Hope all is well with you.

This week, we are talking about why we sink. Scroll down and discover the science behind floating and sinking and how it may help you understand more and even help you stay afloat when you swim. Firstly, for swimming teachers, I have a lesson plan for teaching floating and gliding.

Teach Your Pupils How To Stay Afloat.

The 'floating and gliding' lesson plan below outlines some basic exercises that can be included as part of a complete swimming lesson. This plan is taken from my best-selling book where you will find lesson plans specifically for floating and confidence building, and you will also find plans written explicitly for adults. Click here for more details.

This lesson plan is taken from 101 Swimming Lesson Plans for Swimming Teachers.

Lesson plans that:

  • are adaptable to your students
  • save you planning time
  • ensure progress

Show me 101 Swimming Lesson Plans

Why Do We Sink? The Science Made Simple

First, Let's clarify one thing: Floating whilst stationary in one place and staying afloat whilst swimming are two completely different concepts.

Your ability to float is all down to your relative density. What does that mean? Take this example: a log floats and a rock sinks. The log floats because its density is low relative to the density of the water. But the rock sinks because its density is high relative to the density of the water.

How does this relate to the human body? Let's say that the log is fat and the rock is muscle. Okay, so there's more to the human body than fat and muscle. There are bones, organs, blood and stuff like that, and they all contribute to your overall density. To keep this simple, let's stick to fat and muscle.

People with a higher fat content will tend to float. Lean and muscular people will tend to sink naturally. If you naturally sink, it does not mean that you cannot swim!

Let's go back to our naturally sinking rock. Like you, it has a slightly streamlined shape, so if it's propelled across the water surface, it will remain at the surface for a short time before it sinks.

Create a streamlined shape as you propel yourself through the water; add some basic swimming technique, and you will remain at the water surface as you swim!

Click here to discover some easy exercises that will help keep you remain afloat as you swim.

That's it for now.

Happy swimming!



Swim Teach

ps - did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here.

Hi! I'm Mark, creator of Swim Teach

I've been teaching swimming for over 30 years and I built Swim Teach so that I can share all my knowledge, wisdom and experience from the thousands of swimming lessons I have had the pleasure of teaching. Take a look back through my previous newsletters and see what you missed.

Read more from Hi! I'm Mark, creator of Swim Teach

Do you think you've got your front crawl timing and coordination all wrong? There is a good chance it is actually okay. Confused? Read on. Hi, Mark here. I hope all is well with you. What Exactly Is 'Timing'? When we talk about timing, we usually refer to the number of leg kicks per arm pull cycle—that is, how many times our legs kick in the time it takes for our arms to complete one arm pull cycle. Which Timing Pattern Works For You? Some timing patterns will suit some swimmers better than...

2 days ago • 1 min read

How is your breaststroke timing and coordination? Download a free drill to help perfect it. Teachers - do your pupils make a mess of it? Scroll down to find my 'How To Teach Breaststroke' guide. Hi, Mark here. I hope all is well with you. This week, we are talking breaststroke timing, and I have a great printable timing drill for you to help you get things right. Breaststroke timing and coordination is a continuous alternating action where one propulsive phase takes over as one ends....

9 days ago • 2 min read

Teaching adults to swim is very different from teaching children. Whilst some of the methods are similar, the approach is completely different. Hi, Mark here. I hope all is well with you. This week, I am talking about adults learning to swim and how a swimming teacher can adjust their teaching style to help. I also have a new book dedicated to Teaching Adults How To Swim. Adults will arrive at the poolside in all shapes and sizes and with different confidence levels. However, one thing that...

9 days ago • 1 min read
Share this post