How to Float Vertically in the Deep End of the Pool

Being able to float horizontally either on your back or front helps with your swimming.

Floating vertically, on the other hand, is one of those fun things to explore with no particular purpose behind it. Most people just like to see if they can do it.

Understanding the whys and hows of floating

The physics of how floating works doesn’t change, of course, whether you float horizontally or vertically.

What’s different is that in a head-up, feet down position the water doesn’t have as much surface area to push against, which means your body will be submerged more or less completely.

Whether or not you’ll be able to breathe in that position will depend on your buoyancy which in turn comes down to your very personal density as explained further above.

In a nutshell, the more fat you have the more buoyant you are. The following steps will work for most people unless they are very slim or very muscular like a bodybuilder on a no-fat diet.

If you are that kind of person you can still give it a go and will very likely find that your feet don’t sink all the way down to the bottom of the pool but instead stay suspended. However, your head will sink to just under the water surface.

How to get started floating vertically in water

Here’s how to best go into and stay in the vertical floating position:

  • Allow your legs to relax and sink down. With that relaxation will come a little bend of the knees – that’s fine.
  • Relax and spread your arms wide to each side for maximum surface area.
  • Take a big, deep breath to have maximum buoyancy and tilt your head back so your mouth and nose point upwards.
  • Stay calm and relaxed. Breathe gently in and out if you have enough buoyancy to keep your nose and mouth above the waterline.
  • If you sink too low, you might have to do a few gentle kicks with your legs to get just that bit above the water line to breathe. Don’t kick too hard because that will cause too much bobbing up and down.

Vertical Float Fallout

Here is an interesting step up from just floating. Ever had one of these deep-sea toy divers that could go up and down in water depending on pressure? Well, the vertical float fallout looks very similar. Only the up and down movement comes from changing the amount of air in your lungs.

Watch the video below to see how to align your whole body and breathe to move along a nice vertical axis. It’s great fun!

Your comments are welcome!

  1. I can float like that. Except my head is 100% above the water the whole time along with most of my neck, my hands are down at my sides like a pencil under the water or above, legs straight down or bent or cross legged not touching the bottom or moving (no treading) for hours while having full conversations with my friends hanging on rafts or the sides of the pool to hang with me. My friends think it is freaky, I thought it was just normal. Who knew?

    • I can do it too. Always have been able to. For hours. I nearly caused someone to drown because they thought the pool was shallow and I was standing up. I had to grab them and push them to the side of the pool.
      I actually find it very restful and relaxing floating vertically. If I float on my back I can fall asleep doing it. I usually cross my hands under my neck as a pillow which leaves my elbows put in case I bump into the side of the pool

  2. I can float vertical with my arms straight out my legs straight down I dont need to breathe out any air also I can float in deep water with my arms pointing up nobody else can do this contact me if you think we can make some money


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