How do we stay afloat while swimming?

  • 9 Replies
  • 7679 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline The Scientist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 286
  • Its great to be me!
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« on: 05/07/2010 14:23:43 »
Please explain the technique as detailed as possible. Thank you.
The Scientist

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8859
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #1 on: 05/07/2010 19:44:34 »
People have (generally) an average density less than that of water.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

Offline The Scientist

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 286
  • Its great to be me!
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #2 on: 06/07/2010 09:52:16 »
People have (generally) an average density less than that of water.

But they do sink at times even when they are not carrying anything.

So what is the way to stay afloat then?

Thanks.
The Scientist

*

Offline syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3931
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #3 on: 06/07/2010 13:11:14 »
High density people (ie skinny ones) have the same problem as sharks with no swim bladder the best they can do is keep their lungs inflated as much as possible and keep moving forward so that their body acts like the aerofoil shape of an aircraft wing that keeps a plane in the air.
syhprum

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8859
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #4 on: 06/07/2010 19:50:03 »
I'm fairly skinny and I can swim. I keep my lungs at least partly inflated. Also, I guess I always swim "uphill" so I stay above water.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #5 on: 07/07/2010 05:30:15 »
I think everyone can float on their back in seawater. I'm not sure that applies in fresh water.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

*

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • 31662
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #6 on: 07/07/2010 08:03:42 »
Every time I try to float on my back my bottom and center sinks cause my back is not strong enough to arch it up enough...Now on the flip side...I can do the dead mans float face down just fine.. So whys that?
I have trouble floating at all unless I wear a waist floatation use fins and a kick board.... or pool bar bells. I can however once again swim face down for 15 ft or so.. but these days I cannot hold my breath to save my life! Is my weight what sinks the middele or the lack of arch and air power..?
I always thought it was soley to do with lung inflation as noted above..

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

*

Offline imatfaal

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 2787
  • rouge moderator
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #7 on: 07/07/2010 14:09:58 »
The density of a human body is damned close to that of water (within one percent) - so we tend to float very low in the water, especially if that water is fresh.  the problem many people find with 'just floating' is that they want their whole head and maybe even hands above water.  this represents far too much of our body to be supported by the displacement of water by the rest.  to float without kicking or treading water you must be willing to only have the very front of your face above water and not care if the occasional wave/ripple goes over you .  once you can overcome the mental barrier - it is an immensely relaxing position.  if you cannot manage this then just try making small movements with your hands (arms hanging loose - push down slide up) this should provide enough to keep head above water.  Matthew

ps writing this has made me want to swim in the sea so much - now looking for holiday
« Last Edit: 07/07/2010 14:12:09 by imatfaal »
There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about.  John Von Neumann

At the surface, we may appear as intellects, helpful people, friendly staff or protectors of the interwebs. Deep down inside, we're all trolls. CaptainPanic @ sf.n

*

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • 31662
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #8 on: 07/07/2010 15:51:29 »
Thank you Mathew I will have to practice.. you are right I do have a horrible fear of the water not as bad as some but still its there... I drowned once and was resuscitated and had two more near drownings which scared the holy soup right out of me.... so I do have exactly the worries you pointed out! Thank you...

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
How do we stay afloat while swimming?
« Reply #9 on: 07/07/2010 22:20:17 »
When I was a kid, I started snorkelling in the sea before I could swim properly! I used to float face down for ages.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.