swimming techniques for beginners

The Top Five Swimming Techniques for Beginners

The Top 5 Swimming Techniques for Beginners

Welcome back gang! The article I have for you this week is my top five favorite swimming techniques for beginners. These are basically my go to drills and techniques that I use when I am teaching and coaching a beginner swimmer on how they can improve!

Some of these techniques are for improving a part of your swimming, while others will show you general improvement in your entire stroke!

All five of these swimming techniques for beginners are my go-to teaching tools and I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Give them a read through and grab one for your next workout in the pool!

Number 1: Swimming with a Pair of Socks:

beginner swimming techniques

This technique works amazingly to correct poor kicking in the pool. Check out my earlier and most popular article on how to swim if you think you’re kick is having troubles because I give an excellent description of what makes a good and poor kick.

How to Swim: http://www.swimmingfearless.com/how-to-swim/ 

Now, I assure you I am not crazy. This is a exercise that I learned from another instructor at my local pool when we were talking one day about developing a fantastic kick and how to correct students when they are struggling. When students are just struggling to do a kick correctly, when techniques can you try to help them out?

Swimming with socks. Hmm, I figured lets give it a try.

And I was impressed. This absolutely works. I believe it helps because it makes the student more aware of their feet than if they were barefoot. It reminds the student to stretch out nice and long and to not lock their ankle.

In almost all cases, when I make students throw a pair of socks on, their ineffective kick becomes about two to three times better. They begin to let their legs and feet do the natural “wavey” motion that a kick is supposed to be. Their kick just simply RELAXES which is exactly what you need to do most of the time!

Something about throwing a pair of socks over your feet when you hop into the pool seems to help students struggling with their kick. This is just one of my simple swimming techniques for beginners that seems to work miraculously.


Number 2: The Fingertip Drag:

swimming techniques for beginners

This is hands down my favorite front crawl arm drill for correcting improper arm placement in the pool.

A lot of times, swimmers will have poor arm technique and they can’t even pick where to start. They yank their arm out of the water ungracefully. Then their hand flops around like a goof as they bring it over their head. And finally, they practically empty the pool after they slap their hand down onto the surface of the water.

It’s not as simple as just telling the student to try this or to try that.


When I run into this problem with a beginner, my go to is to get them to try the Finger-Tip Drag Drill.

The student is going to swim their basic front crawl, but with one tiny caveat. They are going to force themselves to keep their fingertips in contact with the water surface of the pool as they recover their arms. That’s it.

By forcing your fingertips to remain in contact with the water, we are forcing your elbows to come high above your head during arm recovery. And better yet, you won’t be able to make a large splash since your hands are already making contact with the water!

Doing this drill forces your arm to move the way that we want it to for proper front crawl technique.

Give this a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed! This is one swimming technique for beginners that you will just keep coming back to again and again!


Number 3: The Swimming Somersault

beginner swimming techniques

This is a great technique for beginners to try out!

A lot of people just starting out swimming have a lot of troubles keeping their feet from sinking, doing basic floating, and overall just have a hard time staying balanced in the water.

And this is because of the simple reason that they have not learned how to control their core while they are in the water. So what do they need to try?

Solution: Try doing some somersaults in the water.

Go to the pool, stand up in waist to chest deep water and just practice somersaulting. Tuck your chin, and throw your legs backwards tilting your chest forward until you have completely rolled over your front! It’s fun, and it will teach you things about how your body moves in a subconscious, but very effective way!

Water will come into your nose a bit and you will really feel how much effort you need to put in to move your body the way you want it to. You’ll just “get” how to control your body in the pool a lot more after you’ve done a few somersaults!


Number 4: Sculling

swimming techniques for beginners

This is another amazing way to improve a student’s ability to have strong arm technique while swimming. And this holds true for not just front crawl, but any strokes you might be swimming in the pool! Although all of these are great swimming techniques for beginners, this is the one that you MUST try!

What you do is lie down in the pool, either on your front or on your back and use your hands and forearms to pull or push yourself around. If you are doing the sculling on your front, your hands will be above your head. If you are going the sculling on your back, your hands will be below your head.

And then you will move your hands and forearms in a figure-8 type of motion to move yourself in the direction that you want. If you are having troubles following my description, check out the photo that I’ve posted above!

This is a drill that is extremely effective in teaching a beginner swimmer how to properly move their hands and arms within the water. This drill will strengthen your ability to properly catch the water when your are doing a pull with your arms within a few minutes of trying it!


Number 5: Blowing Your Bubbles

Have you ever noticed yourself holding your breath while you are swimming?

Do you constantly find yourself out of breath at the end of every lap?

I would wager that if you’ve answered yes to my first question, then the answer to my second question is also a yes.

This is because holding your breath while you swim your lengths in the pool causes your body to respire quicker as well as generally speed up your entire cardiovascular system. If you hold your breath, the overall tension in your entire body will sky rocket and you are going to have a very hard time keeping your breath under control.

Is this really a “swimming technique for beginners?”

I think so. Reminding people to exhale underwater while they are swimming shows improvement in every part of a swimmers stroke as well as allowing them to keep their breathing under control.

So start doing it now! Exhale while you are swimming. Blow those bubbles!


And that’s five!

I hope you give every single one of these techniques a try. They are incredible effective teaching tools that I’ve used for teaching beginners!

Let me know how they work out for you! I’d love to hear what everyone has to say about them! Let me know which of my top swimming techniques for beginners you liked the best!

Till next week!


  1. I can’t wait to try the blowing bubbles technique. I often find myself holding my breath and just as you said I am very much out of breathe and can’t seem to get enough air when breathing to finish a lap before stopping. Of course, I am a senior citizen and not your typical beginner. Lol

    1. Author

      Very common Wanda! If you are really struggling with breathing, another great tip for you to try is to simply get comfortable doing backcrawl first. Becoming more proficient at swimming with your face out of the water will allow you to get a stronger kick and arms so that you can eventually transition to swimming with your face in the water!

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