How Long of a Pool Do You Need to Swim Laps

Swimming is a popular form of exercise for several reasons. It’s great for those with mobility issues. It also works well for those who cannot perform high-impact exercises. Some people just find the water refreshing and stimulating while others enjoy the full-body workout. No matter your reason for liking swimming, the undeniable fact is that you have to have access to a large enough body of water to do your laps. Since the pandemic has resulted in the closure of many gyms and community centers, there’s a lot of interest in custom swimming pool installation. But size becomes a problem, especially for those who live in compact urban areas. How long of a pool do you need to swim laps? In this article, we’ll attempt to tackle that question and provide some ideas for enabling swimming workouts at home.

How Long of a Pool Do You Need to Swim Laps?

The limiting factor for swimming laps is to be able to get in enough strokes before you have to turn around and go back the other way. It’s hardly worth your while if you’re limited to two or three strokes before you have to turn around. Even though Olympic-sized swimming pools are generally 50 meters in length, there aren’t that many people who have the space or the budget to install something of that size. Similarly, there are 25 meters swimming pools that are still able to be used for competition, but they’re still likely too big for the average backyard.

Lap Pools

One way to estimate the ideal length of a pool used for swimming laps is to refer to lap pools. These long and narrow pools are designed with swimming in mind. And while there’s no correct size for a lap pool, they usually average around 40 feet or about 12 meters in length. This allows the swimmer to build up speed and get in a decent number of strokes before they hit the end of the pool. Depending on the swimmer’s height and the strength of their stroke they could expect to complete a half dozen to a dozen strokes before they have to turn around.

Swim Spas

For those who don’t even have the space for a lap pool, a swim spa may be a good alternative. Swim spa tanks are generally 14 to 20 feet (four to six meters) in length. They generate a powerful current using water jets, paddlewheels, or a propeller system. The swimmer swims against the current which is strong enough to hold them in place. This ensures the swimmer never reaches the end of the pool and never has to turn around. The result is a completely uninterrupted swim. Swim spas can also double as a hot tub. Many swim spa models have a second tank attached in which the water can be heated to temperatures matching that of a hot tub. Even a single-tank swim spa can be used as a hot tub by simply raising the water temperature. And because of the smaller volumes of water found in swim spas, the temperature can be maintained throughout the winter allowing for all-season use.

Swimming Tethers

If you already have a swimming pool that’s too small to actually swim laps in, you might want to try using a swimming tether to keep you in place while you practice your stroke. Swimming tethers usually consist of a belt that’s placed around the waist. The belt is attached to a tether of which the other end is attached to a stationary object outside the pool. You’re held in place as you swim, and you don’t have to worry about reaching the end of the pool.

To learn more about laps pools, swim spas and swimming tethers:

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