Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Beginner Fitness Tips
A Trainer Gets Brutally Honest About Why You Aren't Seeing Results
Arm Exercises
Get Strong and Toned Arms With This Fun Push-Up Variation

5 Things: Swimming Don'ts

5 Things: Swimming Don'ts

I think I'm part fish because I really enjoy swimming. I love how free and lightweight my body feels, and I love the resistance the water puts on my muscles as I move. It's also great to get your heart pumping without sweating a drop. If you've been thinking about getting into swimming or have been hitting the pool for a while, keep these no nos in mind.

  1. Don't do laps with ankle or wrists weights — I know this sounds like common sense, but I've seen folks try this in the pool. The added weight coupled with the water's resistance can put immense stress on your muscles and joints.
  2. If you're a beginner, don't overdo it. Just because you can run for 30 minutes straight, doesn't mean you can swim for the same amount of time. Set realistic goals and gradually build up your endurance. Here is a great swim plan for beginners, which will help you pace yourself.
  3. Don't be concerned with speed. Moving slowly still works your muscles. As your body becomes stronger with practice, you'll be able to increase your pace.

What else should you keep in mind? To find out


  1. Don't increase your weekly distance by more than 10 percent as compared to the previous week. Runners also follow this 10 percent rule, so if you want to know how to gradually increase your mileage each week, check this chart.
  2. Don't rule out the need for an instructor just because you already learned how to swim when you were five-years-old. Make an appointment with a trainer or coach so they can watch you swim. They'll be able to give you tips on how to tweak your technique so you can swim efficiently and without the risk of injury.
  3. Source

ella1978 ella1978 8 years
Pool ettiquite is so tricky. It's also very difficult when sharing a lane to find someone who swims at the same pace. I'm hoping to get back in the pool soon. The only gym that has a pool is over a half hour away. Now that I do weekday morning workouts, getting to the pool in the am is impossible. I have to do weekends, but my weekends have been crazy! I do miss the pool. I have a buoy, it's pink and white! It takes some getting used to though! At first I could not get my balance! It's really fun to use though. Anyways, viva swimming!
ziggy101 ziggy101 8 years
the pool I use has a lot of children sometimes and with them a hot instructor who is there virtually almost mornings, afternoon and evening ! Yea, I try to avoid the kids most of the times, and am enjoying my backstroke a lot staring at the sky and killing the heat...
zabrow zabrow 8 years
allytta - definitely if you can get in a lane by yourself or with someone you know, that's the easiest & best plan. tapping someone's foot is etiquette for a crowded lane when you're coming up behind someone & swimming much faster than them so that you can go around them. just relaying what the etiquette was during my years of competitive swimming, but at a less crowded pool you probably wouldn't have that problem or have to worry about someone passing you up/passing someone else up.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
zabrow, ettiquete of tapping someone in the middle of their work out? i'm a kind of person who really gets into stuff and if you do that to me you'd sooo get kicked in the head or something cause you'd startle me :D when swimming i try and get my own lane or share it with a friend or a person i know, otherwise i tlak to others swimmers in the lane if it's ok for me to join in. i'd never even dream of getting in just like that and tapping someone to move over/interupt their swim.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
I just had a question. What about the water gloves and flippers? Do those add any form of resistance? I know the flippers help me move faster through the water, and the gloves help proved a stronger pull? I see people at the pool more with the gloves than the flippers.
hyzenthlay20 hyzenthlay20 8 years
Fit, I just want to point out that you do sweat when swimming, you just can't feel it because you're already wet. It is very important to remember that you are sweating and need to rehydrate throughout your swim session!
zabrow zabrow 8 years
Soniabonya - that is so rude! especially since there was an open lane. you don't necessarily have to wait for the acknowledgement of the other swimmers to join a lane, but if you do join a lane, it's usually best to wait on the wall for a little bit until you're sure the other person has seen you (so they don't slam into you) & then start circle swimming on the right hand side of the lane. as far as picking a lane for your speed, that might not be possible. so if you come up on someone slower than you, etiquette is that you tap their foot & they pull over to the lane line & wait for you to pass (or vice versa). reading this post & talking about this stuff makes me miss swimming so much!!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Soniabonya, that is so rude of her!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
ah, how i miss being in the pool! stupid month of April. grrr. i love using the buoys and kick boards. the gym i swim at doesn't have them though, so i went out and bought my own. swimming is a great workout, but Fit, maybe you can do a post about lap swimming etiquette? or etiquette in general for people working out jogging, swimming, cycling etc.? My pool as 3 lanes. Last time i was doing laps, i was in one by myself, while another person was in the lane over, going slowly, the third empty. I'm in the middle of a sprint and next thing i know i nearly collide into this woman of an older age who decides to come into my lane and JOG!! Mind you there is another lane completely open and the person swimming slowly was still in their lane. I kept swimming but had to avoid her on each leg because she jogged right in the damn middle of my lane! And though I tried to politely tell her to try to stay out of my way, she didn't. I ended up kicking her in one of my breast strokes (not on purpose though). Finally she went to the empty lane. I always thought that one should pick a lane that matches their own speed and wait for acknowledgement from one of the swimmers to join the lane. Am I wrong to assume this?
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
ooooh good tips you two thanks!!
bellacu bellacu 8 years
Re: #1-- In terms of adding resistance, you can just use your own body weight. If you're looking to increase the resistance on your arms, put a pull buoy between your thighs and just use your arms. Use a kickboard and just kick to work on your legs. It's good to mix up the parts of the body you're working on, as well as swimming laps.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
I'd like to add one.... Don't forget to stay hydrated! As a former competitive swimmer and a coach I can't tell you how often people forget to bring water to their work outs, or think because they don't feel sweaty/hot they don't need it.
Secondary Drowning Signs and Symptoms in Children
Summer Pool Hacks
Pool Drain Entrapment Safety
Bikini Inspiration From Latina Bloggers
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds