All those of us who are dedicated to the world of aquatic activities (swimming instructors , lifeguard certification online , aquatic rescue instructors , etc.), as well as those of you who are reading this blog, have heard this expression “I know how to swim, but my problem is that I don’t know how to breathe.

In the ARPA4 team we know that when a person makes this expression they DO NOT know how to swim, what they have are aquatic abilities to survive in the aquatic environment and it is evident that the more aquatic abilities, the less chance of suffering an aquatic accident, for this reason swimming is It has become a pillar in our physical education, since there are 200 times more chances of drowning than in a traffic accident .


The first thing is to understand that the human being is a terrestrial animal and therefore his way of moving, his body position, his way of breathing and his propulsion and balance levers are totally different from how he should move in the aquatic environment, to To make it more visual, I am going to present a comparative table where we are going to see the differences and a similarity that makes the crawl style the most efficient style for the human being in the water:

Looking at the table we can understand why it is complex to master swimming, it is a very different way of moving than we do on land and there is also a capacity that does not exist in our environment, flotation.

In the ARPA4 Swimming Instructor courses we teach our students and future instructors that in order to teach swimming you must first teach basic aquatic skills and once mastered progress progressively.

There are three important factors that must be understood to teach swimming: buoyancy, water resistance and learning stages.

We are going to briefly develop these factors and in future blogs we will explain each section in greater detail.


We can say that there are two kinds of flotation: dynamic flotation and static flotation . The first occurs during movement in the water, that is, while swimming, but it is also dynamic flotation when there is no movement and certain forces are applied, such as water polo players with leg movements or synchronized swimmers. Static floating occurs when there is no movement. In this article we will talk about static flotation.

According to Archimedes’ principle, two forces act on a body submerged in water: the force of gravity or weight and the force of buoyancy or thrust.

Therefore, the first thing we must understand is that knowing how to place the body in the water will favor our progress and make breathing more efficient.


The movement of the swimmer in the water is the result of various forces, the first being propulsion (locomotive action that seeks support in the water).

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The second is resistance to advance (reactions that slow down the swimmer by friction along the body and that are less than propulsive supports).

The third is lift , which is linked to the position of the body and the propulsive and non-propulsive segments. This third force is going to have an effect on the other two.

There are 3 types of resistance forces according to Councilman (1955) and confirmed by Millender:

  • Form Resistance (Front and Suction)
  • Wave Resistance
  • friction resistance


1) Adaptation to the environment, initiation: made up of the contents of familiarization, breathing, flotation and propulsion.

2) Basic skills (same in all sports): jumps, displacements, turns and throws and receptions.

3) Improvement, development of specific skills (sports initiation could be done to other water sports).

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