There may be many reasons why you prefer swimming as your favorite form of exercise. It provides a full body workout without impacting the joints and bones. It can be an excellent form of exercise for those who suffer from reduced mobility. The water can also provide a stimulating boost to the mood. The fact is that you need access to a large enough body of water to swim and this may be easier said than done in a world that’s being affected by a pandemic. For this reason, there’s been renewed interest in backyard swimming, but how long of a pool do you need to swim laps? To help you make an appropriate decision, we’ve put together this article.
Commercial Sized Pools
Of course, it would be great if everyone was able to install a commercial sized swimming pool in their backyard, but if you consider an Olympic sized pool is typically 164 feet, the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim. Even the smaller sized competitive pools are generally 45 feet and while this may be small enough to fit into a large backyard, a competitive pool for private use may not be completely practical.
To offer something that was cheaper and would fit more easily in the average backyard than a commercial sized pool, lap pools came onto the market in the 1970’s. The average lap pool is composed of a single lane that extends about 45 feet or more in length. The 45 feet allows a swimmer to perform about 10 to 15 strokes before reaching the end of the pool. It will also allow them to reach top swimming speed before having to stop and go back the other way. Lap pools can be a great alternative for someone who truly depends on their swimming workout.
Swim spas can fit into an even smaller space than a lap pool. Swim spas typically range in length from about 12 to 19 feet and generate a strong enough current to swim against where the swimmer never actually reaches the end of the tank. This often leads swim spas to be described as a water treadmill or perpetual swimming pool. The smaller volume of water also allows swim spas to operate during the colder winter months. For someone who lives in a colder climate and is looking for the ability to swim laps all year round, a swim spa might be the ideal choice.
If you already have a swimming pool, but it’s too short to be able to swim laps comfortably, you might want to look into getting a swim tether. Think of it as a type of leash that will hold a swimmer in position as they practice their swimming stroke. One end of the tether is wrapped around the swimmer’s midsection while the other end is attached to the end of the pool or some other immobile object. A swim tether will prevent the swimmer from reaching the end of the tank. It could almost be considered a low tech swim spa. That being said, they can also be used in a swim spa to provide counterbalance for an extremely strong swimmer.
Maintaining Your Stroke Rate
Stroke rate refers to the number of strokes you make in a minute. When you first start swimming, you’ll have a relatively high stroke rate. However, as you get tired your stroke rate will decrease. Many competitive swimmers strive to maintain a steady stroke rate to help them improve their standings in competition. It also helps the average swimmer’s workout by enforcing maximum muscle use even when tired. To maintain a consistent stroke rate, you might consider using a swimming metronome.
To learn more about swimming laps at home, download a free buyer’s guide today.