The Fit 50 – No.18 Tread water for 5 minutes

50 Fitness challenges to shake up your fitness journey.

How many can you do?

No.18 Tread water for 5 minutes

Maybe this will save your life someday. The ability to tread water comfortably comes easily to some and to others it is a huge effort.

I lie somewhere on the end of huge effort on the scale. I have many excuses lined up ready to go but the main one is I have heavy legs so… you know… I sink.

Not sure really is it a case of heavy legs or just poor technique but I struggle. A circular motion of the legs and arms seems to be the key.  The circular motion of the legs is called an eggbeater motion by some, the two legs rotating in different directions.

For it to count as treading the body must be vertical in the water, being horizontal is just floating I suppose. The head must be clear of the water. It is used as a test in many areas of the military along with lifeguard training.

David Goggins talks about his struggles with treading water in his book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’. Well worth a read. The Navy SEALS in America bring it to a new level of torture, of course. They must wear full equipment while they tread water and as you can imagine they don’t make it a pleasant experience.

My Experience – I had to perform a 5-minute tread water test a part of my swimming instructor training in PE college. It was not an easy 5-minutes, it felt a bit like doing a plank in water. Time moved very slowly.

Fun Fact – in 2013 Brett Archibald spent 29 hours treading water after falling overboard in the Indian Ocean and survived to tell the tale.

Elite Challenge – Padi Open water scuba diving test tread water for 10 minutes then swim 200m of any stroke

Alternate Test – Play a game of water polo, requires endless treading and swimming.

Fit Fifty Challenge – Tread water for 5 minutes

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