Movements in Swimming

If you are learning alone, begin in quiet, shallow water only deep

enough to float you; waist-high is sufficiently deep. Assume the first

position for swimming by throwing your body forward with arms extended

and palms of hands together, at the same time lifting your feet from the

bottom with a spring. This should bring your body out perfectly straight

in the water, feet together and arms ready for the first movement.

Now separate your hands, turn them palm outward, and swing your arms

around in a half-circle until they extend straight out from the sides,

pushing the water back with your hands. In the second movement bend your

elbows and bring them down with palms of hands together under your chin,

and at the same time draw your legs up under your body with knees and

feet still held close together. The third movement is to send your arms

shooting straight ahead, while your legs, separating, describe a

half-circle and your feet pushing against the water force you forward

and then come together again in the first position.

This is a point to be remembered: always thrust your hands forward, to

open the way, and your feet back, to push yourself through it, at the

_same time_. It is like a wire spring being freed at both ends at once,

each end springing away from the middle. When you push the spring

together, that is, when in taking the second movement you draw in your

hands and feet, do it slowly; then take the third movement--letting the

spring out--quickly, thrusting out your hands in front and your feet at

the back with a sudden movement, pushing your feet strongly against the

water and stretching yourself out as far as you can reach.

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