(Closed) Swimmers… questions from a newbie!

posted 9 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
369 posts
Helper bee

I would try a YMCA or a park district to see if they offer swimming classes. I am like you and can float but cannot swim. I would love to learn and I am planning on taking classes soon.

Post # 4
65 posts
Worker bee

I haven’t done any lessons so I can’t offer knowledge there – but I just wanted to mention I can’t really swim either! So, you’re not alone! Like you, I can float, and do the frog thing (underwater only), but that’s about it.

My guy is planning on taking me to the pool at the gym, and teaching me there, where I won’t be embarassed in front of a bunch of people. (Like the tons of kids in the apartment complex pool!).

Maybe you could try something like that! Doubles as quality time with your man

Post # 5
133 posts
Blushing bee

I learned to swim as a kid through group classes at the local community center. However, although I could get from one end of the pool to the other, my form was bad and I was exhausted after one lap.

I took one on one lessons at a gym with a private instructor and my stoke technique is so.much.better. I bought six sessions for $250, so I think your local rec center is ripping you off. Maybe you could call around to private gyms in your area that have pools? Sometimes they will let non-members come in and take lessons.

Probably the biggest reason why you’re tired after one lap is because your body position is wrong. Do you feel like your legs are sinking? If so, you are probably kicking a lot to keep your legs up and tiring yourself out. If you go to YouTube, you can find some videos of proper (modern) freestyle technique where you are keeping your head down and rotating your body from side to side. Also, there is a company called Total Immersion that has weekend freestyle workshops at different locations around the country and they sell books and videos as well.

Post # 6
999 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2010 - Mr. P's Grandparents’ Ranch

Actually on my first year at Collage had to cover my nose and didn’t float at all; then I started going 3 times a week, on a year I was competing for my collage team ( Not the best of the swimmers) but after two years I got lots of medals and stuff.

So I’m a true believer that you can learn at ANY age, and be good at it 🙂

Post # 7
425 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I learned to swim as a kid.  My parents sent me to swim classes my whole childhood. I then began to compete in syncro swimming and competitive speed swimming.  It did take a long time to get good at it.  Lots of practice!  

I would say a one on one lesson will be the best rout. I know its costly but totally worth it!  Its a great sport to know and can be a wonderful workout as well.  It hard to say how long it would take to really learn and get to be a strong swimmer.  Its different person to person. 

Good Luck! 

Post # 8
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I am a swimmer. Love love love swimming. Been doing it since I was little.

As for learning, for the most part you can teach yourself. Just because you can’t do traditional strokes doesn’t mean you can’t swim laps. I would start by going to lane swim at your community pool, grabbing a flutter board, and holding it out in front of you while you flutter kick (up and down motion from your hips, like you’re walking with cement legs — lock your knees and point your feet and kick). If you feel comfortable after a while you can try to add in arms: one at a time, move your arms basically in a circle (let go of the flutter board with one hand, pull it through under the water, out of the water, and over until you grab the board again, then repeat with the other arm).

If you don’t feel comfortable teaching yourself, you could sign up for adult swim lessons at the local YMCA, or some such. Unfortunately, they may not be affordable. 

If you are trying to lose weight swimming, though, it’s going to be difficult. Swimming is good exercise and keeps you toned, but it’s especially hard for women to lose weight doing it because it’s a cold environment, and you float in the water so there’s minimal resistance. 

Post # 10
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I learned to swim very young…and it’s one of my favorite things to do.  The local high school had lessons every summer.  I’m not sure who organized them, but I don’t think it’s uncommon for high school pools to be used this way in the summer.  My Mom was not really a swimmer, so she took adult swim classes at the same place (if I remember they were not held during the same time, so you don’t have to feel self-conscious learning with a bunch of 5 year olds).

Post # 12
473 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Spring I just wanted to pass on some encouragement! I grew up swimming, and on a swim team, so am a strong swimmer. My parents have a lake place, and its a bit nerve weacking to me to think about their poor swimming skills If something were to happen with the boat!

Swimming is great low impact cardio. When I was a lifeguard we even had a group of pregnant women who would swim laps for exercise. I think you will consider whatever money you spend to be a very good investment in the long run. Good luck!

Post # 14
410 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

You could also try and talk to the lifegaurds at the public pool.  They may know/be able to give you lessons for some extra cash.  I also agree that you can teach yourself if you cant find them at an affordable price.  The kick boards are a great way to keep your head up and still be in the water.  Also, if you cant get a board, jtry just holding onto the wall and kicking to get the kicks right. I work a summer camp right now and we are at the pool 3 times a week, and a lot of the time, playing in the pool, and just hanging out is even more of a workout than laps.  you dont realize you are working out.

Oh yeah, if you get ahold of a swim team, you may ask if you can just practice with them.  If they are a summer team, or they are preping for the school year they should have a regular practice in the summers.  Then you will be able to do laps with people who are also doing laps and they will be able to teach you too.  The swimteam I was on was for chilren 6 and up and all levels of knowledge!

Post # 15
584 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Hey Mrs. Spring,

I was a lifeguard/swimming instructor and I taught adult swim lessons and private swim lessons, so I have a few thoughts. First of all, don’t do the $110/hour private sessions… they’re a rip-off. You don’t need high-end ultra-expert advice (which they had *better* be offering at that price!) – you just need someone to walk you through the baby steps.

If I were you, I’d try to find someone who knows how to swim, and offer them a more reasonable fee to come work with you at the pool. The lifeguards probably cannot do it – most places have policies that employees can’t use the pool to run private swim lessons on the side. (And similar policies for members – don’t hand cash over on the pool deck.) But maybe if there’s a high school or college swim team near you, you can find someone with teaching experience?

Build your skills slowly… it’s all muscle memory, and if you try to do too much, your technique will be off and you’ll learn bad habits.

Good luck!

Post # 16
3331 posts
Sugar bee

Good for you for wanting to get into swimming.  I haven’t done it consistently for years, but I’ve been swimming my whole life.  I don’t actually remember ever learning–must have just been as a kid.  I swam in HS for a few years–backstoke and freestyle.

Starting with a kickboard will help you get the leg kicking down.  I think someone else made the point about how you want to try to keep your legs closer to the surface, as opposed to kicking with your toes pointed down to the bottom of the pool.  

I wonder if you could post a flyer or something at a local pool looking for a "coach" to help you get the basics down.  I know when I used to swim laps in college, I kidn of made friends with some of the other folks who swam when I did.  We all kinda helped each other tweak our technique and stuff.  You may be able to make friends and find some fellow swimmers to help you out.

All the best to you and let us know how it goes!!

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