How To Swim In A Pool

Choosing the Right Pool

When it comes to swimming, choosing the right pool is essential for a great experience. Here are some factors to consider:

Consider the size and depth of the pool

The size and depth of a pool can greatly impact your swimming experience. If you’re a beginner swimmer or have children who are just starting out, it’s important to choose a pool with shallow water that allows for easy practice and learning. On the other hand, if you’re an experienced swimmer looking for more challenge or training opportunities, pools with deeper water will be more suitable.

Check the water temperature

Water temperature plays a crucial role in comfort while swimming. Some individuals prefer warmer water, especially during colder months or if they easily get cold. Others may enjoy cooler temperatures on hot summer days. Before diving into any pool, make sure to check its temperature so that you can adjust accordingly.

Ensure the pool is clean and well-maintained

Nobody wants to swim in dirty or poorly maintained pools as they can pose health risks and affect overall enjoyment. When selecting a pool, pay attention to cleanliness indicators such as clear water and absence of debris floating around. Additionally, public pools should regularly test their chlorine levels to ensure proper sanitation.

Essential Swimming Gear

To fully enjoy your swimming experience and stay safe in the water, there are certain gear items every swimmer should have:

  • Swimsuit: A comfortable swimsuit designed specifically for swimming allows ease of movement without causing discomfort.
  • Goggles: Goggles protect your eyes from chlorine irritation while improving underwater visibility.
  • Swim cap (optional): Wearing a swim cap keeps hair away from your face while reducing drag in competitive settings.
  • Swim fins (optional): Swim fins provide added propulsion during training sessions by increasing leg strength.
  • Kickboard (optional): Kickboards assist swimmers in isolating their leg movements and focusing on improving their kicking technique.

Getting Started

Before diving into the pool, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some basic steps:

Entering the pool safely

When entering the pool, always do so in a safe manner. Walk carefully down any steps or use a ladder if available. Avoid jumping or diving headfirst unless you are confident of the water depth and have been trained in proper diving techniques.

Adjusting to the water temperature

Once you’re in the water, take a moment to adjust to its temperature. This is especially important if it’s significantly different from your body temperature as sudden exposure can be uncomfortable. Gradually submerge yourself while acclimating your body to avoid cold shocks or discomfort.

Familiarizing yourself with the pool layout

Each swimming pool may have its own unique layout and design features such as lanes, markers, or designated areas for different activities like lap swimming or recreational play. Take a few moments before starting your swim session to observe these details and understand how they relate to your planned activities.

Finding a comfortable depth

Swimming pools come in various depths depending on their intended purpose. If you’re still building confidence as a beginner swimmer, stick within shallower areas where you can touch the bottom comfortably while practicing new skills. Advanced swimmers may prefer deeper sections that allow them more room for dives and other advanced maneuvers.

Basic Swimming Techniques

Learning basic swimming techniques lays an essential foundation for becoming an efficient swimmer capable of enjoying all that swimming has to offer:


Floating is one of the first skills every swimmer should master:

  1. Face-down float: Lie face down with arms extended forward; relax your body completely while keeping your head aligned with your spine.
  2. Back float: Gently lean back onto floating position; keep legs extended straight while using small sculling motions (side-to-side hand movements) for balance.


Proper kicking techniques are crucial for efficient propulsion in the water. Here are two important kicks to practice:

  1. Flutter kick: Keep your legs straight and toes pointed; alternate kicking up and down from the hips.
  2. Breaststroke kick: Begin with your legs together, then simultaneously bend knees outwards and bring heels towards your buttocks before extending them forcefully outward again.

Arm movements

Coordinating arm movements with proper breathing technique enhances swimming efficiency across different strokes:

  1. Freestyle stroke: Reach one arm forward while pushing against the water with the other; perform an alternating windmill-like motion while keeping body rotation minimal.
  2. Breaststroke: Start with both hands extended forward, pull arms toward chest while bending elbows outward, push arms back until they’re fully extended again.
  3. Backstroke: Extend one arm at a time overhead after each entry into the water; complete full circles backward through shoulder rotation combined with flutter kicks.
  4. Butterfly stroke: Coordinate simultaneous arm movement by lifting both arms out of the water and bringing them forward in a circular motion over head followed by powerful downward push as if diving underwater.

Breathing Techniques

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Proper breathing techniques ensure that swimmers can sustain their efforts without compromising oxygen intake or comfort:

Breathing while floating

While floating on either face-down or back positions, control your breaths by taking deep inhales through your mouth or nose followed by relaxed exhales to release stale air.

Breathing while swimming

Each swimming style requires specific breathing patterns that complement its unique characteristics:

  1. Freestyle stroke breathing: Rotate head sideways during recovery phase (when pulling one hand above water); take quick breaths just enough to replenish oxygen without interrupting rhythm.
  2. Breaststroke breathing: Lift head slightly above surface during recovery phase (pulling hands toward chest); breathe in while pulling arms forward, exhale during arm extension.
  3. Backstroke breathing: Keep face and mouth out of the water throughout; coordinate inhalation with shoulder rotation while one arm recovers above the water.
  4. Butterfly stroke breathing: Inhale quickly through mouth as both arms exit water simultaneously for recovery phase; exhale forcefully into the water during powerful downward push.

Building Endurance and Stamina

Building endurance and stamina is key to maximizing your swimming potential. Here are some effective strategies:

Gradually increasing swimming distance

Start with a comfortable distance that you can complete without feeling too exhausted, then gradually increase it over time. By consistently challenging yourself to swim longer distances, your endurance will improve steadily.

Incorporating interval training

Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity swimming (e.g., sprinting) and low-intensity recovery or rest periods (e.g., slow-paced laps). This type of training helps build cardiovascular fitness and overall stamina.

Trying different swimming strokes

Exploring different swimming strokes not only adds variety to your workouts but also engages various muscle groups differently, leading to a more well-rounded physical conditioning.

Using swimming aids for resistance training

Swimming aids such as pool noodles or resistance bands can add an extra challenge by creating additional resistance against your movements. Incorporating these aids into specific exercises allows you to target specific muscle groups more effectively.

Safety Tips

Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in any aquatic activities:

Swimming with a buddy

Whenever possible, swim with at least one other person nearby who can provide assistance if needed. Having someone watching out for each other greatly enhances safety levels.

Knowing your limits

Understand your own skill level and never attempt maneuvers beyond what you’re capable of doing safely. Pushing boundaries is important for improvement but must be done progressively under appropriate supervision or instruction.

Being aware of pool rules and regulations

Different pools may have specific rules and guidelines to ensure safety. Familiarize yourself with these regulations before swimming to avoid any potential accidents or conflicts.

Understanding basic water rescue techniques

It’s essential to learn some basic water rescue techniques, even if you’re a strong swimmer. Knowing how to help others in distress can make a significant difference in emergency situations.

Pool Etiquette

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Practicing good pool etiquette contributes to a positive experience for everyone:

Sharing lanes with other swimmers

When sharing lanes, it’s important to communicate effectively with other swimmers about your intended direction and speed. Be courteous and allow faster swimmers to pass when necessary.

Being mindful of others’ space

Respect the personal space of fellow swimmers by maintaining an appropriate distance between each other while swimming. Avoid splashing excessively or interfering with others’ strokes.

Following proper lane etiquette

When swimming laps, stay on one side of the lane unless passing someone slower than you. Return back along the same side after reaching the end of the lane without crossing into another swimmer’s path.

Showering before entering the pool

Taking a quick shower helps remove any excess dirt, oils, or lotions from your body that could contaminate the pool water.

Pool Maintenance and Hygiene

To ensure cleanliness and hygiene for all users:

  1. Showering before entering: Rinse off sweat, lotions, oils etc., as they can contribute towards poor water quality.
  2. Using pool cleaning products: Regularly apply appropriate chemicals (chlorine or bromine) based on recommended levels; test regularly.
  3. Properly disposing waste: Use designated trash bins around pools for garbage disposal; never dispose of anything directly into the water.
  4. Reporting maintenance issues: If you notice any maintenance problems such as broken equipment or cloudy water conditions immediately report them to the pool management for prompt resolution.


Swimming is a wonderful physical activity that offers numerous benefits. By following these guidelines and practicing regularly, you can develop essential swimming skills, ensure safety in and around the pool, and make the most out of your swimming experience. So dive in with confidence, enjoy the water, and keep improving!


Q: Can I swim alone if I’m a beginner?

A: It’s generally recommended to have adult supervision when starting as a beginner swimmer or if you’re unsure about your own abilities. This ensures someone is available to assist or provide help if needed.

Q: What are some common mistakes beginners make while learning how to swim?

A: Some common mistakes include holding their breath instead of exhaling underwater (which affects buoyancy), keeping their head too high during freestyle strokes (causing drag), or using excessive force while kicking (resulting in wasted energy).

Q: Are swimming lessons necessary for adults?

A: While not mandatory, swimming lessons can greatly benefit adults who want to improve their technique, build confidence in deeper waters, or learn more advanced strokes.

Q: How often should I clean my backyard pool?

A: Regular maintenance routines vary depending on usage frequency and weather conditions but generally include daily skimming debris from water surface; weekly cleaning of walls/floor with vacuum heads; testing chemical levels at least twice per week; shock treatments as required after heavy rainfalls etc.; proper winterization procedures when closing down pools for colder months.

Q: Can I wear board shorts instead of swimsuits for swimming?

A : Board shorts may hinder mobility due to extra fabric weight when wet compared to purpose-designed swimsuits which are made from lighter materials that offer less resistance against water flow.


Glossary of Terms Related to Swimming in a Pool:

  1. Instructor: A trained professional who provides guidance and instruction on swimming techniques and safety measures.
  2. Diving board: A raised platform used for jumping into the pool, usually found in deep water areas.
  3. Deep water: The area of the pool where the depth is significant enough to prevent standing or touching the bottom.
  4. Competitive swimmers: Individuals who engage in swimming as a sport, participating in races and competitions.
  5. Entries: Different ways to enter the pool such as diving, jumping, or entering gradually through shallow areas.
  6. Pool chemicals: Substances added to maintain water quality and hygiene, such as chlorine or bromine.
  7. Pool floor: The bottom surface of the pool that can be made from materials like concrete or tiles.
  8. Private pools: Pools owned by individuals or organizations for personal use rather than public access.
  9. Pool safety: Measures taken to ensure a safe environment for swimmers, including proper supervision and adherence to rules and regulations.
    10.Water level:The height at which water fills up in the pool; it should be maintained within recommended levels for optimal usage and safety.

11.Physical activities:Any exercises or movements performed while swimming that engage various muscle groups and promote physical fitness.

12.Head underwater:A technique where one submerges their head completely beneath the water’s surface while maintaining breath control.

13.Swim lessons:A structured program designed to teach individuals how to swim using progressive learning methods.

14.Starting position:The initial posture adopted before beginning a swim stroke or race.

15.Adolescent swimming school:A specialized program catering specifically towards teenagers’ needs when learning how to swim.

16.Age survival skills:Certain essential skills taught at an early age that help children stay safe around bodies of water independently.

17.Algae blooms:The rapid growth of algae in pools due to imbalances in chemicals, sunlight exposure, or inadequate maintenance.

18.Chemicals to water:Adding substances like chlorine or bromine to the pool water in recommended quantities for disinfection and maintaining proper chemical levels.

19.ISR’s Self-Rescue:A specialized swimming technique that focuses on teaching infants and young children how to independently float and swim towards safety when submerged in water.

20.Kids safe:Refers to measures taken specifically for the safety of children around pools, including barriers, supervision, and educational programs.

21.Oregon State University:An academic institution offering research-based knowledge related to swimming education and pool management practices.

22.Proper usage:The correct application of techniques, equipment, and rules associated with swimming in a pool.

23.Water wings:Floating devices worn on the upper arms that help individuals stay buoyant while learning how to swim.

24.Cold water:Pools with lower temperature ranges than average which may require additional precautions such as acclimatization before entering.

25.Basic swimming skills:Fundamental abilities required for effective movement through the water such as floating, kicking, arm strokes etc.

26.Safety skill:A specific technique or action intended to ensure personal safety while engaging in aquatic activities.

27.Horizontal position:The body position where one lies parallel to the surface of the water with face down during certain types of strokes or exercises.

28.Recreation Center – Indoor Pool:A facility equipped with an indoor pool within a recreational complex that offers various amenities like fitness classes and sports activities.

29.Pool Swim:An activity involving continuous laps swum across a designated distance or time period within a pool setting.

30.AdultsChelsea Recreation Center – Indoor Pool:Specific information about an indoor pool located at Chelsea Recreation Center catering primarily towards adults’ needs.

31.Flushing Meadows Aquatic Center Pool:A public aquatic center featuring multiple pools suitable for different age groups and purposes located at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in New York.

32.POOL NOTES:Important information or reminders related to pool usage, safety guidelines, maintenance schedules etc.

33.Pool skimmer:A device used to remove debris from the water’s surface by creating a suction force that draws in leaves, insects, and other floating objects.

34.Pool visitors:Individuals who use public or private pools for recreational purposes but do not own or manage them directly.

35.Robotic pool vacuums:Automated devices designed to clean the bottom and sides of pools by collecting dirt and debris through a built-in filtration system.

36.16 year-round swimming pools:Pools accessible throughout the entire year regardless of seasonal changes; they remain open during all seasons.

37.Above-ground pools:Swimming pools constructed above ground level using frameworks or support structures instead of being dug into the ground.

38.Above-Ground Swimming Pool:A specific type of pool that is installed above ground level rather than being sunken into the earth.

39.AdultsGertrude Ederle Recreation Center – Indoor Pool:Detailed information regarding an indoor pool located at Gertrude Ederle Recreation Center catering primarily towards adults’ needs.

40.Algae from pool surfaces:The process of removing algae growth from various surfaces within a pool such as walls, floors, or tiles due to inadequate chemical balance or lack of maintenance practices.

41.Bromine level:The measurement indicating the concentration of bromine present in the water; it acts as an alternative sanitizer to chlorine for maintaining hygiene levels in swimming pools.

42.Calcium levels:The measure determining calcium hardness in water which affects its overall balance and can impact equipment longevity if too high or low.

43.Basic-level swimming:Fundamental proficiency required for safe movement through water including basic strokes (such as freestyle) along with proper breathing techniques.

44.Body straight:A body position where one maintains a straight alignment while swimming without excessive arching or bending.

45.Body position:The overall posture and alignment of the body during swimming that affects efficiency, speed, and technique.

46.Upper body:Refers to the portion of the body above the waistline, including arms, shoulders, chest etc., which plays a crucial role in propulsion and stability while swimming.

47.Alcohol around water bodies: The consumption of alcohol near pools or other bodies of water is discouraged due to its potential negative impact on judgment and coordination.

48.Activity history:A record maintained by some swim centers or facilities documenting an individual’s past activities such as swim lessons attended or achievements earned.

49.Jumping entry:A method of entering a pool where an individual jumps into the water from an elevated platform or surface.

50.Gradual entry:A technique used when entering shallow areas slowly by walking down steps or sloping surfaces instead of jumping directly into deeper sections.

51.Shallow depth:The area in a pool where the water is not deep enough for full submersion but allows individuals to stand with their heads above water.

52.Certified swim instructor:An instructor who has received official recognition for meeting specific training requirements related to teaching swimming skills and safety measures.

53.Swim instructors:Individuals who are trained specifically to teach others how to swim using proper techniques and safety precautions.

54.Basic movements:The fundamental actions involved in swimming such as kicking legs, arm strokes etc., forming building blocks for more advanced techniques.

55.Proper supervision:Maintaining constant observation over swimmers’ activities within a pool area with appropriate knowledge and experience necessary for ensuring their safety.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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