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.
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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
Pool Floats - Rafts - Female (Plan)

Rafts are long, usually rectangular flotation devices for use in a pool. Rafts can be either inflatable or constructed out of a coated foam. Rafts typically feature an elevated head rest to promote comfortable relaxation in the pool. Rafts are good for tanning, as they allow the user to float completely flat and expose either their entire front or back for an even tan.

Plan drawings of women in various poses on pool floats labeled with length and width dimensions for typical pool rafts
Rafts are long, usually rectangular flotation devices for use in a pool. Rafts can be either inflatable or constructed out of a coated foam. Rafts typically feature an elevated head rest to promote comfortable relaxation in the pool. Rafts are good for tanning.

Plan drawings of women in various poses on pool floats labeled with length and width dimensions for typical pool rafts
Pool Floats - Rafts - Female (Plan)
Height:
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Raft Sizes (Varies):
Length:
70”-90” | 178-229 cm
Width:
26”-34” | 66-86 cm
Materials:
Vinyl, foam

Clothing Style
Swimwear

Drawings include:
Women Floating with Pool Rafts plan view

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Michael Phelps
Scaled height comparison illustration of Michael Phelps in relation to other swimmers

The retired American competitive swimmer Michael Phelps wasn't content with winning Olympic gold medals. He also broke several records, including securing eight first-place finishes in a single Olympic game and winning medals in a hundred and sixty-one countries. Micheal has also been a record holder in 200 meter-freestyle, 200-meter individual medley, 200 meter-butterfly, 100-meter butterfly, and 400-meter individual medley. Besides, he is an eight-time World Swimmer of The Year, eleven-time American Swimmer of the Year, and two-time Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Swimmer of the Year. He also has a collection of eighty-two medals from international competitions, including sixty-five gold medals (the highest), fourteen silver, and three bronze from the World Championship, Olympics, and Pan Pacific Championships.

Michael Phelps has a height of 6’4” (1.93 m).

Set of illustrations of Michael Phelps in various swimming poses measured with overall height
The retired American competitive swimmer Michael Phelps wasn't content with winning Olympic gold medals. He also broke several records, including securing eight first-place finishes in a single Olympic game and winning medals in a hundred and sixty-one countries.

Michael Phelps has a height of 6’4” (1.93 m).

Set of illustrations of Michael Phelps in various swimming poses measured with overall height
Michael Phelps
Height:
6’4” | 1.93 m
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Nationality: United States

Years Active: 2000-2016

Birthday
June 30, 1985

Drawings include:
Michael Phelps standing, side, swimming (top), swimming (side)

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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

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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)

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Mark Spitz
Height comparison diagram of Mark Spitz compared to other swimmers

Mark Spitz is a former American competitive swimmer who once dominated the sports in the 70s. He set thirty-five trials and unofficial world records. Mark is a nine-time Olympic champion and the first to set the record of winning seven gold medals in a single Olympic competition and the third currently to be holding nine Olympic gold medals. Mark has been named three times as World Swimmer of the Year and possesses eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles, thirty-one Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) titles, and five Pan American gold medals. His swimming achievements have granted him admission into five Halls of Fame.

Mark Spitz has a height of 6’0” (1.83 m).

Collection of drawings of Mark Spitz measured with overall height
Mark Spitz is a former American competitive swimmer who once dominated the sports in the 70s. He set thirty-five trials and unofficial world records. Mark is a nine-time Olympic champion and the first to set the record of winning seven gold medals in a single Olympic competition.

Mark Spitz has a height of 6’0” (1.83 m).

Collection of drawings of Mark Spitz measured with overall height
Mark Spitz
Height:
6’0” | 1.83 m
Width:
Length:
Depth:
Weight:
Area:

Nationality: United States

Years Active: 1965-1972

Birthday
February 10, 1950

Drawings include:
Mark Spitz standing, bending, diving

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