Before learning any swim strokes, the very basic techniques are required for a start. Sculling water is probably one of the first few techniques that anyone new to swimming would learn. It uses horizontal movement of your arms in the water to keep your head above the water. Still quite confused of what I’m speaking of? This short video clip will enlighten you!



  1. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder level with your elbows slightly bent.
  2. Turn your palms 45 degrees to the front, bend your elbows further and move your arms to the front, where they’re close to the water surface.
  3. When your arms are midway to the front, turn your palms 45 degrees back and move your arms backwards, where they’re still close to the water surface (Note: Your elbows should not be straightened).
  4. Finally, your palms turn 45 degrees forward again and your arms move to the front again.

With the pressure of both your arms and palms angled at 45 degrees against the water, your body should be lifted up and maintained afloat.


As some beginners may not be so comfortable in the water, here are some methods that can help you to learn sculling.

  • Practice the arms and palms motion on dry land to provide a clearer picture of what it would feel like in the water.
  • Start at the shallow end of the pool and in a sitting position so that the water is at your shoulder level, then practice the motion.
  • With the aid of a water noodle, wrap it around your back and under your armpits and follow the previous method.
  • Once you can accomplish these, proceed without the aid of a water noodle and practice your sculling technique.
  • When your body is supported well by the sculling motion and you feel confident, venture to the deeper end of the pool.
  • Again, with the aid of the water noodle, practice your sculling technique. If you feel that you’re unable to maintain your head above the water, do not panic. Use your feet to flutter kick vertically upwards.
  • Only when you’re ready, remove the water noodle and start by doing short repetitions to build stamina and confidence.
Still unable to master sculling water? Perhaps a certified instructor is what you need! Visit to sign up for group or private lessons with Happy Fish!