How do you learn how to swim without water or a pool? We are going to a waterpark but I don't know how to swim and I don't have a pool. I also don't have time to go to the pool or somewhere.

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    Simple answer: You don't. To actually swim, it takes time and effort in an actual pool. You can learn to mimic the motions, but that's about it. However, at a waterpark, its very likely that there are few places where you would have to actually swim.
    – JohnP
    Apr 28, 2016 at 4:03
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    The one thing that you can do in your own tub is to get comfortable putting your head underwater, assuming that you aren't already comfortable with such. Just to cover all bases, you might ensure that you have someone else in the room with you just in case you do something like panic and bang your head on the side of the tub.
    – Sean Duggan
    Apr 28, 2016 at 12:39
  • Agree. Learning the movements is very different from the experience of being in the water. You need to acclimate yourself, at least a little. Aug 12, 2016 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


There are sad photos of people during wartime and economic depressions taking swimming lessons on land, with swimsuits on, balanced on pieces of wood or the like. Unfortunately, you'll make little progress in this way. The main things to overcome are comfort in the water and then taking advantage of breath holding, balance, and floating for efficiency. There is nothing to replace practicing in water.

One thing you can do at home is to practice submerging your head in cool water and holding your breath for a few seconds, and then recovering after raising your head. If you do this with water that is warmer than the water park will be such as bath water, you may not trigger the same instincts and fears we are all born with.

If you are scared of water, you should only stay in areas of the park meant for novices. Kids slides and shallow pools with only gentle waves or currents. Breathing in water accidentally if you are not comfortable can become very dangerous for you and those around you, even after you leave the water. Read up on dry or secondary drowning.

  • The only time you should be holding your breath in swimming is during some parts of a flip turn, or in certain sprint events.
    – JohnP
    Apr 29, 2016 at 17:43
  • Actually, in this case what is needed is comfort for being splashed or submerged, hence recommending submerging for a short time, shorter certainly than is needed for fitness or competitive swimming. Apr 29, 2016 at 17:45
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    As per my comment above, it's not a bad idea to have someone else around to supervise. If you panic, perhaps due to water going into the nose, it's not difficult to strike your head on a tub and it doesn't take much water to drown, particularly if it's deep enough to get accommodated to submersion.
    – Sean Duggan
    Apr 29, 2016 at 18:09
  • Even if you are submerging to get used to it, you should be breathing out while under water, and raising the head to breath. Being splashed while breathing is an entirely separate skill and mentality.
    – JohnP
    Apr 29, 2016 at 20:50
  • JohnP, with all due respect, I have been at this a long time and have seen it help acclimation before, not that anything is a replacement for swimming. Since the asker is asking what they can do without a pool, however, it is better than nothing. May 1, 2016 at 2:20

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