A few weeks ago I made my first successful attempt at treading water at the neighbourhood swimming pool. At the end of the lesson I asked my friendly instructor to allow me practice treading water and she obliged. Note that I had attempted treading water on numerous occasions using various techniques I had seen on Youtube at the pool only to find myself sinking fast to the bottom of the pool. This time, I did a few things different, thanks to instructions from my wise instructor. First, I had to look upawards. Second, I had to make sure my upper body was bent forward such that a line from my waist to my head made an angle of say thirty degrees to the vertical wall of the pool. Third, I had to constantly kick in a cycling motion, as if riding a bike. And finally, I had to rotate foreams in circles parallel to the surface of the water, palms open. Think of it as trying to wipe an imaginary table parallel to the water surface. On doing these four things simultaneously, I was able to keep my face above water for a good couple of seconds for the first time. Now that is hard core! But I was ecstatic afterwards. Now, having described my personal way of treading water, I’ll quickly go over the common ways I’ve found for treading water.
First, when treading water, it’s very helpful to move your arms in circles such that you effectively push the water downwards. By pushing the water downwards, the water pushes your body upwards in accordance with the law of conservation of momentum. Another helpful motion is the kick with the legs. There are a few types of kicks you can use to thread water.
First, using breast stroke kicks. Think of the regular breast stroke kicks, but you just do it downwards. It’s a fairly easy way to push the water downwards and hence your body upwards.
Second, flutter kicks. You can also use these to tread water. This generally requires more energy though, but for some people it just works.
Below is a nice video that shows using the aforementioned techniques.
Third, egg beater kick. This is basically the same as breast stroke kicks, but one leg at a time. Below is a video that demonstrates this.
So, how do you guys tread like to tread water? Feel free to leave comments.