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3 Tricks To Treading Water

July 22, 2014 0 Comments

Treading water is a technique all swimmers must master at some time or another. For many, this comes naturally. But for others, it takes more time and effort to develop this skill. Here are some treading water tips to help you stay afloat in the water and will help you master this technique in no time!


The first trick may surprise you, but it’s the most important factor in learning to tread water. You must be aware of your hands.

It is, as they say in the magic business, all in the wrist.  The key to treading water is “smart hands.” These are hands that are AWARE of the water. They are hands that know how to REST on the water. Hands that know how to move THROUGH the water at a steady pace (perfectly matching the resistance level of the water) without creating turbulence or bubbles.
Smart hands know how to work WITH the water rather than against.

A great way to learn the smart hands technique is to sit on a kickboard. The kickboard gives you the buoyancy to keep your mouth above the water, and helps you relax enough to focus on what your hands are doing.
Once you are feeling confident enough, you can ditch the kickboard and practice fluttering in the pool using your hands.


Sculling is another technique that involves the use of your hands and arms, which allows you to tread water with your arms.
To scull, keep your hands outstretched to the side and completely submerged. With your palms facing toward one another, move your hands towards one another until they are almost touching. When you’ve reached this point, turn your palms facing outward and move your hands back out to their original position. Try to keep your hands doing one fluid movement back and forth.
The advantage of sculling is that keeps your legs free which in turn allows you to use your legs and feet for other water treading techniques such as the flutter kick.


The Flutter Kick is the next step in mastering the art of treading water. The flutter kick is a useful leg movement for different swimming strokes, and for treading water. Basically, it is just an alternating kick with one leg and then the next, in short movements with your toes pointed toward the bottom of the pool.
There are various speeds that can be used when attempting the flutter kick. Each person is different, so you can find the speed that works best for you.
Now that you know the 3 most important tricks and techniques you can get started! You will be a pro when it comes to treading water in no time!
And I saved the best for last. The last key to treading water, is your secret weapon: a waterproof iPod! You can practice the techniques all day, but if you have music motivating you, you’re more likely to relax and focus which will allow you to master the techniques, which is the most important part of it all!

Tell Us!

What are some other techniques and tips you use for treading water? Tell us in the comment section below!

Ally Henley
Ally Henley

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