Swimming sports are a collection of individual or team events where people compete by propelling their bodies through water in various ways. One of the most popular categories of Olympic sports, swimming races are based on specific styles with unique techniques and training routines that include butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle, and medley (combination of styles). While swimming is a general human activity done in a variety of pool types, competitive swimming is done in 50m long swimming pools comprised of multiple designated lanes for each swimmer to occupy. Swimming equipment is designed to minimize water friction and includes swimsuits, swimming caps, and goggles.

What muscles does swimming work?

Swimming is a sport that uses most of the muscles in the body, but the five most important muscles used in swimming are: the lats (middle back muscles), triceps, pecs (pectoral chest muscles), core muscles (abs), and the quads or quadriceps (front upper leg muscles).

How many laps is a mile of swimming?

To swim a mile, which is understood as 1650 yards for a swimmer, a swimmer must complete 33 laps in a 50 meter (164 foot) pool and 66 laps in a 25 meter (82 foot) pool. A lap for a swimmer refers to swimming a one-way length of the pool.

How long is an olympic swimming pool?

Olympic swimming pools have an overall length of 164 feet (50 m). Other pool competitions may be conducted on a ‘Short Course’ pool with a length of 82 feet (25 m)—half the size of the Olympic pool.

Swimming Guides
Browse through our curated Swimming Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Swimming. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
68’11” | 21 m
82’ | 25 m
25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool
2100.000
2500.000
5
3D
25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool
82’ | 25 m
164’ | 50 m
50m Ten Lane Olympic Pool
25000.000
5000.000
10
3D
50m Ten Lane Olympic Pool
Community Swimming Pools
40
3D
Community Swimming Pools
6’5” | 1.96 m
October 13, 1982
Ian Thorpe
196.000
1982.00
4200
3D
Ian Thorpe
5’5” | 1.65 m
August 28, 1971
Janet Evans
165.000
1971.00
1500
3D
Janet Evans
6’0” | 1.83 m
March 17, 1997
Katie Ledecky
183.000
1997.00
17000
3D
Katie Ledecky
6’0” | 1.83 m
February 10, 1950
Mark Spitz
183.000
1950.00
29000
3D
Mark Spitz
6’4” | 1.93 m
June 30, 1985
Michael Phelps
193.000
1985.00
110000
3D
Michael Phelps
1’10” | 56 cm
25” | 63.5 cm
Pool Ladders
56.000
63.500
4800
3D
Pool Ladders
Pool Lane Floor & Wall Details
0
3D
Pool Lane Floor & Wall Details
6’2” | 1.88 m
August 3, 1984
Ryan Lochte
188.000
1984.00
42000
3D
Ryan Lochte
15.75” | 40 cm
19.7” | 50 cm
19.7” | 50 cm
Swimming Starting Blocks
40.000
50.000
50.000
200
3D
Swimming Starting Blocks
Janet Evans
Scaled height comparison illustration of Janet Evans in relation to other swimmers

America's Janet Evans is the only female swimmer to collect back-to-back titles in Olympic and world championships. The retired American competitive swimmer specialized in distance freestyle events, winning four gold medals from the 1988 and 1993 Olympics. She also engaged in freestyle and individual medley and was a world champion and record holder of 400, 800, and 1,500-meter freestyle distances. In the Swimming World Magazine, Janet was named three times as the Female World Swimmer of the Year and has been admitted as an "Honor Swimmer" in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Janet Evans has a height of 5’5” (1.65 m).

Set of illustrations of Janet Evans in various swimming poses measured with overall height
America's Janet Evans is the only female swimmer to collect back-to-back titles in Olympic and world championships. The retired American competitive swimmer specialized in distance freestyle events, winning four gold medals from the 1988 and 1993 Olympics.

Janet Evans has a height of 5’5” (1.65 m).

Set of illustrations of Janet Evans in various swimming poses measured with overall height
Janet Evans
Height:
5’5” | 1.65 m
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Nationality: United States

Years Active: 1987-1996

Birthday
August 28, 1971

Drawings include:
Janet Evans standing, block, diving

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Ryan Lochte
Series of scaled illustrations comparing the height of Ryan Lochte with other related swimmers

Ryan Lochte is the second most decorated American competitive swimmer and in the international arena in medals. He is a twelve-time Olympic medalist, 200-meter individual medley record holder, 4*100-meter freestyle relay champion, and 4*200-meter freestyle record holder. Ryan has been a two-time American swimmer of the Year, Male Swimmer of the Year in SwimSwam Sammy Award, one-time World Swimmer of the Year, and three-time Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Swimmer of the Year.

He does freestyle and butterfly, but also specializes in backstroke and individual medley. He possesses ninety medals from international competitions spanning Pan Pacific Championships, Olympics, Pan American Games, and the World Championship.

Ryan Lochte has a height of 6’2” (1.88 m).

Series of elevation drawings of Ryan Lochte in swimming positions measured with overall height
Ryan Lochte is the second most decorated American competitive swimmer and in the international arena in medals. He is a twelve-time Olympic medalist, 200-meter individual medley record holder, 4*100-meter freestyle relay champion, and 4*200-meter freestyle record holder.

Ryan Lochte has a height of 6’2” (1.88 m).

Series of elevation drawings of Ryan Lochte in swimming positions measured with overall height
Ryan Lochte
Height:
6’2” | 1.88 m
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Nationality: United States

Years Active: 2004—

Birthday
August 3, 1984

Drawings include:
Ryan Lochte standing, side, swimming

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Pool Lane Floor & Wall Details

A Pool Lane Floor is the base of a pool usually made of vinyl, showing different markings. Wall Details are markings on the walls of a pool. All the markings are done according to Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) acceptable standards for competitions. The floor has details showing where the depth begins, the false start line is, half line is, and the starting block. Wall detail shows touch panel and backstroke flags. These details guide how athletes should act while in the pool or competing and also help officials govern a swimming competition.

Dimensioned plan drawing of the various pool markings used as guides in a swimming lane
A Pool Lane Floor is the base of a pool usually made of vinyl, showing different markings. Wall Details are markings on the walls of a pool. All the markings are done according to Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) acceptable standards for competitions.

Dimensioned plan drawing of the various pool markings used as guides in a swimming lane
Pool Lane Floor & Wall Details
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Floor:
Distance from Wall: 5’ | 1.5 m; or 6’5” | 2 m
End & Half Line Width: 3’ | 91 cm
Line Width: 12” | 30.5 cm
False Start Line Width: 1’8” | 50 cm

End Wall:
End Line Width: 1’8” | 50 cm
Touch Panel Width: 7’10” | 2.4 m
Touch Panel Height: 2’11” | 90 cm
Starting Block Height: 15.75” | 40 cm

Birthday

Drawings include:
Pool Lane Details elevation (wall), plan (pool floor)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

50m Ten Lane Olympic Swimming Pool

The 50m Ten Lane Olympic Swimming Pool may also be called “Long Course,” spotting movable bulkheads that can divide the pool into sections or be moved from one position to another, creating varying course lengths for competitors/competitions. These swimming pools replaced the 25m eight lane swimming pool in Olympic and World Championship Games, with impressive results as their large size and more lanes assisted swimmers in absorbing waves and reducing resistance. Besides, their increased depth reduced hydrodynamic drag for swimmers. The Aberdeen Aquatic Center is an example of a 50m ten lane Olympic swimming pool.

Set of section and plan drawings of a 50m 10-Lane Olympic Swimming Pool with measurements for lengths, widths, and depths
The 50m Ten Lane Olympic Swimming Pool may also be called “Long Course,” spotting movable bulkheads that can divide the pool into sections or be moved from one position to another, creating varying course lengths for competitors/competitions. These swimming pools replaced the 25m eight lane pools.

Set of section and plan drawings of a 50m 10-Lane Olympic Swimming Pool with measurements for lengths, widths, and depths
50m Ten Lane Olympic Swimming Pool
Height:
Width:
82’ | 25 m
Length:
164’ | 50 m
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Lane Width: 8’2” | 2.5 m
Depth: 6’7” | 2 m (minimum depth)
Backstroke Line: 16.5’ | 5 m
False Start Line: 49’2.5” | 15 m

Birthday

Drawings include:
50m Ten Lane Competitive Olympic Swimming Pool plan, section (long side), section (short side)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool
Plan and section drawings of a regulation 25m 8-lane swimming pool with dimensions for overall length, width, and depth

The 25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool may also be called “Short Course” if used in an Olympic game or World Championship Games. They are also the common pools in domestic competitions like summer swimming leagues, high schools, universities, recreational centers, and even huge backyards. Timing touch pads are incorporated in these pools for a sanctioned meet in meters and allowing swimmers to touch and turn. The 25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool was once used in international competition but scrapped and replaced with the 50m ten lane Olympic swimming pool. An example of a 25m eight lane swimming pool is the London Aquatic Center.

The 25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool may also be called “Short Course” if used in an Olympic game or World Championship Games. They are also the common pools in domestic competitions like summer swimming leagues, high schools, universities, recreational centers, and even huge backyards.

25m Eight Lane Swimming Pool
Height:
Width:
68’11” | 21 m
Length:
82’ | 25 m
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Lane Width: 8’2” | 2.5 m
Depth (Start): 4’5” | 1.35 m (minimum)
Depth (End): 3’3” | 1 m (minimum)
Backstroke Line: 16.5’ | 5 m
False Start Line: 49’2.5” | 15 m

Birthday

Drawings include:
24m Ten Lane Swimming Pool plan, section (long side), section (short side)

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Related Sports Collections
Sports