Learning How your Body Floats
Part of getting comfortable with being in the water is learning how your body floats. This is something you need to practice and experiment with a lot so that you can know what it feels like under many different situations.
When you first start floating, it is easiest to learn to float face down because it makes you feel more in control. It also means you have to hold your breath, which is why you then need to move to floating face up. But for the purposes of getting used to your body’s buoyancy in water, face down is a good place to start.
Shoulders level with the water
You don’t want to be above the water falling down to start floating; you want to be in the water and let your body float up. So start with your shoulders at the surface of the water, put your face underwater, hold your breath, and relax. Your body will start floating upwards.
Arms below the surface of the water
If your arms or hands are above the surface of the water, they will push the rest of your body underwater. Hold them at a slight angle downward and they will actually help to push you up.
Legs can do whatever
Some people’s legs and butt float very easily and other people’s hindquarters sink like a rock. It all depends on your muscle density and fat percentage. When you are floating, your lungs are what are holding you up, like two fleshy inflatable pool toys inside your chest. The parts of your body that don’t fill up with air are nowhere near as important. As you relax they may float or sink, and either one is fine. If you try to force your legs and feet to the surface of the water, you will likely push your torso underwater, though.