Why Does Side Balance Matter?

July 1, 2018 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

In our swimming lessons, we focus on a lot of fundamental skills that we’ll build upon throughout the course of your kids’ swimming classes. One of these is what we call the side balance. Learn more about this important technique and how you can help your little swimmer master it. 

Why It’s Important  

The side balance is a crucial skill for building rotation that is fundamental in the freestyle and backstroke. This technique: 

  • Sets the swimmer up for effective breathing 
  • Helps your swimmer rotate their body, which will ultimately propel the freestyle and backstroke (and save their energy) 
  • Develops balance, breath control and a stable head position in your child 

How We Teach It  

Here’s the progression of how we help your swimmer develop this skill: 

  1. Your child will learn to master horizontal rollovers using nose bubbles 
  1. We move to balancing on the side while kicking 
  1. Next, we progress to a side balance while kicking and breathing 
  1. Finally, the child demonstrates side balance with a stable head and controlled breathing while rotating from one side to the other 

The main things we are looking for are proper alignment of the head, shoulder, and hip, before the child takes a breath, as well as during the breath. 

What You Can Do to Help 

If you’d like to know how to help your kiddo become a master swimmer, we love giving tips for you to practice at home. Here’s an exercise you can do with your child to help them get the hang of the side balance: 

  1. Have them lie on their side and make sure they line up their head, shoulder, and hips. They should extend their front arm in line with their body, with the palm down. Ask them to practice the breathing by rotating their head right and left, as if to say “no”. The top of the head should point directly at the wall the lead arm is pointed toward. 
  1. Do you have a full-length mirror? Practice the above alignment exercise standing in front of a mirror while pretending the mirror is the bottom of the pool. 

As you support your child on their swimming journey, you’ll see them master foundational skills like the side balance while improving and building other skills too. Keep encouraging your child to work on this skill, and help them at home, and they’ll continue to flourish. And as always, contact us if you’d like to learn more about our kids’ swimming classes.

Entry filed under: Children Swimming, Swim Tips and Tricks. Tags: , , .

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