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How to Swim the Sidestroke

By Contributor

Swimming on your side is one of the most relaxing recreational strokes. Here's a step-by-step guide to doing it correctly.

Lie in the water on whichever side feels more comfortable. The lower side of your head is in the water, your legs are close together and extended, and your toes are pointed.

Holding your feet together, draw your heels up toward your seat as far up as comfortable.

Move your top leg forward and your bottom leg backward with your knees bent, so your lower legs resemble scissors opening up.

Snap your legs together in a scissor kick. When your legs meet they should be extended as in the starting position.

Extend your bottom arm ahead of you, palm down beneath the surface of the water. Your top arm lies alongside your top leg.

Sweep your bottom arm from its extended position down through the water. When it's pointed nearly straight down, bend your elbow and sweep your hand up to your chest.

Slide your top hand sideways through the water from your thigh to your chest. The force of your stroke is transferred from your bottom hand to your top hand.

Sweep your top arm back down to the starting position, pushing water down toward your feet, while extending your bottom arm forward again.

Synchronize the timing of your arms and legs so you're snapping your legs together at the same time your arms meet at your chest.

Glide at the end of each stroke.

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