How to move your arms when swimming. Beginners guide.

Danila Novikov
2x NCAA national winner
10x All-American
To be able to progress through the water a swimmer has to be able to create an impulse that will send the body forward. One of the ways to propel through the water is kick, check out the article where I explain how to kick in swimming. Another option that you have is to move your arms. The propulsion produced with the swimmer's arms is called the pull or the stroke. This article will teach you how to efficiently move your arms in the water and do one of the basic strokes in swimming called elementary breaststroke. Here is how it works:
In this article you'll learn
  • Swimming pull
  • Basic pull exercises
  • Timing of your breath
To start, find a place in the swimming pool where you can stand comfortably and perform our guide. Remember, the water is your friend. Don't try to fight it - it's not going to help. Make sure that you are in the safe depth of the swimming pool and you can stand up easily, breathe and start all over again. Never go too deep without being sure in your capabilities or without supervision of the professional.

We wrote this guide with you in mind, knowing how hard it is to learn something new: that's why all of our instructions are simple and easy to go through. Let's dive in!
Exercise 1: Learn to pull

  • 1
    Take a deep breath and start your swim with a float.
  • 2
    Separate your arms and push the water outwards with your hands and forearms. Pull all the way down until you reach your thighs.
  • 3
    Get your arms back
    Bring your palms together and recover your arms by sliding your hands forward in a straight line until they are fully extended and the hands remain close.
  • 4
    Take a little pause with your arms staying in front and then repeat the pull again. Do not try to start one pull right after another. Slow down and make sure you pause in between each pull.

After you get comfortable with the pull, you want to add the kick and try to implicate both arms and legs. Here is how you want to do that:
Exercise 2: Pull and kick

  • 1
    Float and start kicking
    Inhale and lean forward to start your float. Start kicking your legs rhythmically. Make sure you count your kicks and don't stop moving your legs at any time.
  • 2
    Add pull to it
    Perform the pull with your arms while moving your legs within the same rhythm.
  • 3
    Recover your arms
    Smoothly recover your arms and stop them in front. Keep on kicking while your hands resting right next to each other prior to the next pool. Take a 2 second pause before starting the next pull.
  • 4
    Stop, rest, repeat
    Stop your swim and emerge to take a breath to supply your muscles tissues with enough oxygen. Repeat everything all over again when you are ready.
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Learn How To Float Step-by-Step Guide| Danswim Blog
Want to become a better swimmer? Start by mastering the art of floating! This how to float step-by-step guide for beginner swimmers will provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to float with ease.
Which swimming stroke is best for beginners? | Danswim
If you are learning to swim and want to know which stroke is the best for beginners, this article is for you. We break down the four main swimming strokes and give tips on choosing the right one for you!
Learn more tips for a beginner swimmer by subscribing to our new articles each week. Download a free copy of the book Keep Calm And Float On if you want to overcome fear of water and learn to swim. Read my article where I explain the common mistakes beginners make when using their arms.

This beginner swimming stroke should be a good platform for your swimming journey. You can start learning the more advanced strokes from this basic swimming stroke. It will help you to build confidence in the water, so please make sure you get comfortable with it before you can move on. If you can't figure it out and need some help you can get one-on-one private swimming lessons in NYC with our swim schools. Swimming lessons for adults as well as swimming lessons for children are available all-year round in NYC. You can also request at home swim lessons with me.