Adult Floatation Devices While Learning to Swim

Senior woman in swimming pool using kickboard

Swimming is a fun activity that can help to strengthen your entire body, but if you are an adult who is just learning to swim you may feel nervous at the thought of going under, or maybe even into, the water. Numerous flotation devices exist that can help you to float and be comfortable within the water while you are learning the different strokes. Pull buoys, which allow your legs to float, and kickboards, which hold up your upper body, are effective at reducing anxiety while learning to swim.


Stand in the pool at the end of your lane with your back toward the wall. Place the kickboard on top of the water right in front of you. The kickboard should easily float in the water.

Position your hands about halfway up and on either side of the kickboard. Bend your knees and bring your feet to the wall to push off to start swimming your lap.

Keep your head elevated above the water while using the kickboard. Your body should be parallel to the floor of the pool, with the kickboard slightly in front of you. Do not rest your upper body on the kickboard.

Kick the flutter kick as you swim down the lane. Keep your glutes, core and upper leg engaged, toes pointed and knees slightly bent, and kick just the lower leg, from the knee down.

Pull Buoy

Get into the pool and position the pull buoy between your thighs. The higher up on your thighs you place the pull buoy, the more it will help your legs to float.

Squeeze your thighs together to hold the pull bouy in place while you are swimming. This movement will also help to strengthen your inner thighs, which can help with balance both in and out of the water.

Stand with your back against the wall. Bend your knees, bring your feet up to the wall and push off to start swimming your lap.

Keep your toes pointed as you are swimming, which will help to reduce the drag in the water and lessen the resistance.

Wiggle your legs while swimming to help you move in the water, but avoid kicking while using the pull buoy. Focus primarily on your upper body movement and your breathing.


If you are doing flip turns with a pull buoy, keep your toes pointed and your feet overlapped during the turn.


Swimming in a chlorinated pool can irritate your eyes. Protect your eyes with goggles.