Why Do It:
Tuck and Extend takes Back Balance one step further. It helps you develop ‘smart hands’ by having you scull in several different positions. It helps build your confidence for being able to maneuver and change positions in any depth of water. And, if you do enough of them, you get a great ab workout!
How To Do It:
1. Stand in the shallow end and bend so that the water is at about your armpits. Let your hands and arms float on the water
2. Lean back and imagine you are resting your lungs on the water. Let the water support your back and head, but you should be looking up and slightly forward. The knees should be slightly out of the water, and you want to form a ‘tabletop’ with your lower legs.
3. You will need to use your hands to support your body in this position. Imagine that you are using your palms to ‘spread peanut butter’on two big pieces of bread. Spread it in both directions, and keep the palms on the ‘bread.’ You want to apply constant pressure on the water with your palms. The pressure is down and side-to-side.
4. Experiment with how far back you lean and how you use your hands until you can balance on your own. Be patient! It may take many attempts before you find your balance.
5. Once you have found your balance point in a tuck position, keep sculling with your hands and gently extend your legs until you are flat on your back in the water.
6. Keep sculling and find your balance in this extended position, then gently draw up the knees and find your balance point in the tuck position.
7. Do several cycles of tuck and extend.
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
1. Keep the hand and arm movement steady and relaxed.
2. Keep your legs relaxed and move them slowly and gently from tuck to extend.
3. Once you’ve mastered this in the shallow end, try it in the deep end.