What is buoyancy?
As you float, your weight presses down into the water; the water presses back, pushing you up.
you get into the pool, your body displaces a volume of water (the "hole"
in the water that your body fits into). As long as the water your body
displaces weighs more than you do, you float.
You weigh less than the water you're in, because your lungs are full of air, like a balloon, and like a balloon, the air in your lungs lifts you to the surface naturally.
Why don't we float alike?
Everyone floats in the water at their own natural level.
Different factors contribute to how high — or low — in the water you float.
First, your body type has a lot to do with your buoyancy. Fat floats, as
you've probably heard, while your bones and muscles, denser than fat, are
not as willing to float.
Second, the density of the water is a factor. Saltier water weighs more per unit of volume, so you will float higher in saltier water (the Red Sea, for instance) than you would in fresh water.
there is a curious phenomenon of apparently greater buoyancy —
for some people — in deep water.
“Feeling buoyancy in water is all about 'presence' in one's
“The pool bottom is closer in the shallow end and farther away
at the deep end.
“When this distraction is not there in the deep end due to the fact that we can't use the bottom there, people often feel more buoyant in the deep: their awareness is all at the surface rather than part of their awareness being at the bottom, as in the shallow.”
you CAN control is how relaxed you are. Tense muscles often keep your body
a bit lower in the water, since many people breathe more shallowly and rapidly
when tense (hence less air in the lungs for floating).
Again, we each have our natural level of buoyancy. And then, there are those few who don't float at all (far fewer than people realize).
But no matter how low in the water you float or glide or swim, it has nothing to do with ultimately learning to swim. Period. You'll adjust your stroke, roll your face out a bit more to get your air, and swim.
Test your buoyancy
You'll need a pool, treading water skills for the deep end, a buddy and as always, a lifeguard.