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How to Achieve Natural Buoyancy

Buoyancy levels vary from person to person. Learn which factors you can control and hone your buoyancy skills to achieve a constant depth in mid-water.


  • Step 1: Understand body type Understand that your body type strongly affects buoyancy. The size of your lungs in relation to the rest of your body controls how high in the water you will float. Fat floats more easily than bones and muscles, which are denser.
  • TIP: Realize you'll float higher in saltwater, which is denser than freshwater.
  • Step 2: Test your buoyancy Test your natural buoyancy. Put on your goggles or a mask and get into the deep end of the pool. Tilt your head back and take in a full breath. Most people are able to float at their eye level with their lungs full of air.
  • Step 3: Practice breathing Practice taking in a full breath to float and a letting out a full breath to sink. Then breathe out, little by little, slowly sinking, until you can maintain a constant depth, or are neutral, in mid-water.
  • Step 4: Breathe regularly Breathe normally and regularly. Avoid breathing in too deeply, which makes buoyancy control more difficult.
  • Step 5: Don't move Don't move your arms and legs in the water if you want to achieve natural buoyancy. Fold your arms over your chest and cross your legs at the ankles if you can't resist the urge to move them.
  • Step 6: Relax Relax your muscles. Breathing becomes more shallow and rapid when muscles are tensed, keeping you lower in the water. A relaxed state of mind is also very helpful in achieving buoyancy control. With practice, you'll master the art of natural buoyancy.
  • FACT: Because of its extremely high salt content, it's virtually impossible to sink in the Dead Sea.

You Will Need

  • Swimming pool
  • Swimming goggles or a mask
  • Breathing techniques
  • Stillness
  • Muscle control

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