How to Dog Paddle: 13 Steps
Learning how to dog paddle is often one of the earliest swimming techniques people learn, and for good reason. This simple, instinctive technique can provide a strong foundation for more advanced swim strokes and can be a lifesaver if you find yourself in deep water. Dog paddling is a gentle, straightforward method that makes beginners feel more comfortable in the water. So let’s dive into these 13 steps to help you become an expert at dog paddling.
1. Choose a safe environment: Whether it’s a shallow pool or a calm beach with no strong currents, make sure to practice your dog paddle in a safe environment with someone supervising you.
2. Get in the water: Enter the water slowly and adjust your body to the temperature and buoyancy.
3. Stand in waist-deep water: To begin practicing your dog paddle, stand somewhere where your feet can touch the ground.
4. Relax your entire body: Loosen up and take some deep breaths to help calm your nerves.
5. Begin dog paddling on the spot: While standing, start practicing the dog paddle motion by moving your hands through the water in small little scoops near your hips.
6. Kick your legs: Keep your legs straight and bend slightly at your knees. Using a gentle leg kick motion will help keep you afloat while practicing the dog paddle.
7. Drop down into deeper water slowly: As you become more comfortable with the hand and leg movements, slowly move into deeper water where you cannot touch the ground.
8. Maintain a horizontal position: Keep your head up and back straight while floating horizontally in the water.
9. Keep practicing hand movements: Continue making small forward scoops near your hips to keep yourself moving forward.
10. Coordinate hand and leg movements: Find a rhythm that works for you, focusing on coordinating both hand scoops and leg kicks simultaneously to propel yourself through the water.
11. Increase your pace: As you get more comfortable with the dog paddle, try increasing your speed in the water.
12. Practice breathing techniques: Learn to take quick breaths in the brief moments when your head is above water.
13. Build your endurance: Continuously practice dog paddling for longer distances and times to increase your swimming stamina.
By practicing these 13 steps diligently, you’ll master the art of dog paddling in no time. Remember, safety comes first, so always swim with a buddy and practice in a controlled environment before venturing into open water. And most importantly, have fun along the way!