How to tread


Notice how the young woman in this video is constantly moving her arms and legs while still staying relaxed in the water.

Level: Intermediate

Treading water is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. However, in order to master this skill, one must a) keep the fingers glued tightly together at all times and b) learn to relax in the water.

How to tread:

1.) In the beginning, students should practice this skill in water that hits at about their shoulders or neck when standing. Tell students to try to keep their feet off the bottom. (Once students become more comfortable with treading, you can practice this skill with them in deeper water.)

2.) Students should immediately start moving their arms and legs once their feet lift up from the bottom of the body of water.

Arm movement:

Keeping the head above water while treading can be a challenge for new swimmers. If they keep at least their faces out of the water, they're doing a great job.

Keeping the head above water while treading can be a challenge for new swimmers. If they keep at least their faces out of the water, they’re doing a great job.

Students should start with their palms open and facing each other at about shoulder-width apart. The elbows should stay bent. Students should slowly bring the palms together in the water and, when there’s about an inch-wide space between the palms, flip the hands over so that the pinkies are up and the thumbs are down. The students should then keep this position as they push their hands back out to about shoulder-width apart. Once their hands reach shoulder-length apart, the student should then flip hands over so that the palms are facing each other once again. Slowly bring the palms back toward each other until they’re about one-inch apart. Repeat this process in a smooth, rhythmic motion. The arms should never stop moving.

Leg movement:
For now, instruct your student to flutter kick while treading. Many swimmers typically tread while doing egg-beater or breastroke kick (AKA “frog kick”), but I won’t write about these techniques until later. For now, flutter kick will suffice.

Remember:
– The arms and legs should never quit moving while treading, but this doesn’t mean the

Bodies should stay vertical while treading.

Bodies should stay vertical while treading.

movements have to be fast. Treading should be smooth and rhythmic – the whole idea is to conserve energy.
-Be sure students keep their bodies in a vertical position. They shouldn’t be leaning forward or back when practicing this skill. (Doing so causes them to move forward.) If treading correctly, students should remain in one spot, with their heads above water.
– Practicing the arm movement out-of-water first might help students gain a better understanding of the technique.
– Make sure your students are moving their arms side to side, not up and down.
– Be sure the student keeps breathing. The key to treading water is relaxing.

COMING SOON: Jumping into deep water

 

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