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.
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).
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.
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.