7 Beginner Swimming Tips for Snorkeling
Snorkeling is an incredible adventure everyone should get to experience one day! Because you need to be in the water to snorkel, you might be hesitant if you aren’t a strong swimmer. There are several useful things you can do to improve your swimming skills. Here are seven swimming tips you should remember for you next snorkeling trip!
Knowing How to Swim Will Improve Your Experience!
It is true that swimmers of all levels can enjoy snorkeling. However, knowing how to swim well will naturally make the experience a little better just because you have more mobility. The best way to picture this is riding a bike with training wheels versus riding a bike without. In both scenarios you are riding a bike, but without training wheels there is just naturally more that you are able to do.
Snorkeling when you are strong swimmer is like taking your training wheels off! You have more control over the situation, which will naturally make you feel more capable. Even better, you won’t be afraid of the water because you are confident in your swimming abilities. If you aren’t quite there yet, use the tips below to sharpen your skills.
Tip 1: Stretch Beforehand
The first thing you can do starts before you even get wet! What you want to do is stretch. Stretching your body will make your body more flexible. This offers you two primary benefits:
First, you’ll have an easier time moving around in the water. When your muscles are tight, your mobility is restricted. A good stretch beforehand will loosen your body up, making movement in the water much easier. Second, it allows your body to expend less effort to actually swim. When you’re limber, blood and oxygen flow easier throughout the body. It also relaxes your body, putting you into a better mental state. This all helps to reduce the overall strain imposed by swimming.
Tip 2: Acclimate to the Water
Once you’ve gotten a good stretch, you should also spend a few minutes getting adjusted to the water. Especially if you are completely dry, your body will naturally feel some shock as you enter the much-colder water. If you’ve ever tried to swim right after jumping into cold water, then you know how frantic and rushed it can feel. Instead of struggling with something that is working against you, meet the water halfway by letting your body acclimate to it.
Tip 3: Steady Your Breathing
The next thing you should do is steady the rhythm of your breathing. This is particularly helpful when you’re trying to acclimate to the water, because steady breathing will promote relaxation within your body. You should aim to keep your breathing slow and steady during the entire time that you snorkel, meaning that you shouldn’t be forcefully swimming unless it is necessary.
Tip 4: Let Yourself Float
Now you need to let your body do what it naturally wants to in the water – float. You need to breathe to survive, meaning that your body will have empty space and air to make you buoyant. Floating is much easier to do once you’re relaxed with steady breathing, because it requires you to stay fairly still. Simply put your face into the water, and let the rest of your body slowly curl up to float on the surface.
Tip 5: Loosen Up Your Ankles
Once you’re finally in a floating position optimal for snorkeling, you’ll need to make sure that your ankles are nice and loose. This is really important when you are wearing fins, because locking your ankles will make it much harder to propel yourself. When you tighten your ankles, you are actively making them work against the water. On the other hand, loosening them will let them glide with the water instead.
Tip 6: Move With Your Legs
When it does come time for you to move around in the water, you’ll want to make sure that all of your motion is coming from your legs. Contrary to what you may think, you actually don’t want to use your arms much at all! Snorkeling is supposed to be a leisurely experience, mainly filled with you floating most of the time. You don’t want to overexert yourself by flailing your arms around. Instead, using your legs for gradual swimming is much easier, natural, and more effective because your fins are literally designed for it!
Tip 7: Push From Your Core
The last tip you can use it to take advantage of your core. Many people don’t actively use their core because it is not a natural muscle to flex. If you want to use your core muscles, all you have to actually do is think about pushing with the core of your stomach. This will make a brain-muscle connection in your body, allowing you to actively use your core muscles. You definitely want this because you using your core and rotating your hips to turn is much easier than trying to perform a comical maneuver with your arms!
Putting Your New Skills to the Test!
Whether your swimming level is on par with Michael Phelps or resembles a paddling dog, you can still have a great time snorkeling! However, knowing how to swim well can definitely add to your experience. Some great tips to use include stretching, adjusting to the water, and steadying your breathing. You can also let yourself float, loosen up your ankles, and anytime you want to swim around, use the power of your legs. Don’t forget about focusing your core and hips to help you turn!
Even if you give your best effort, there’s a chance that you might never be a strong swimmer. Especially if you don’t swim often, you may not see a good reason for improving at it. Fortunately, there’s a way to get the best of both worlds without needing to be a great swimmer. Kai Kanani’s snorkeling tours are guided by snorkel experts that will help swimmers of all skill levels have a great time! Check out the tours we offer to see what’s in store for your next Maui vacation!