With the next summer Olympics scheduled to take place less than a year away, we thought that we would explore one of their lesser known sports. Now known as Artistic Swimming in the Olympic world, Synchronised Swimming has been part of the Summer Olympic games since 1984. And as one of the most visually pleasing, technical and coordinated areas of Swimming competitions, we are going to explore Synchro Swimming further within this article. Therefore, if you want to find out more about this artistic sport and how to get involved, then keep on reading.
What is Synchronised Swimming?
Synchronised Swimming is an artistic approach to swimming in which you can choose to compete in solo, duet and team events. For a solo competition a single swimmer would take to the pool and synchronise their swimming and movement in the water to the music. Similar to this a duet would see two swimmers not only coordinate their moves to the music but also make sure that they are both in synch so that they both are performing as one. For a team event you would often have to coordinate your routine with up to seven other swimmers and the music. As well as these events you can come across combination events where there can be up to ten swimmers taking part in the routine with segmented smaller groups within.
There are a few rules when it comes to taking part in competitive Synchronised Swimming and these are that you are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool which not only makes lifts even more impressive, but this is also a great display of strength and control. Along with this there are also rules regarding the appearance of the swimmers such as they are not allowed to wear makeup, jewellery or even goggles.
Groups would also be penalised and lose marks for having less than 8 swimmers in a routine although the minimum is four, this is because coordinating a routine with a lower number of participants is considered easier. And finally, swimmers can also lose marks for going over or under the allotted time given which could be between 2 ½ to 5 minutes depending on the type of event e.g. solo, duet or group.
Health Benefits of Synchronised Swimming
Now we have looked into what the sport actually entails and how it works in the competitive world, here we are going to explore the health benefits you can reap when taking part. As you are performing intricate tricks, jumps, lifts and moves while treading water, your body is getting a serious workout while you are having fun. Along with the physical effects of this type of swimming, it also positively effects your mental health too. Here are just a few ways in which Artistic Swimming can improve your well-being:
- Enhanced flexibility
- Increased aerobic capacity
- Improved stamina
- Higher endurance
- Better muscular strength
- Increases cognitive functions
- Great confidence builder
- Improves teamwork skills
- Enhances mental wellbeing
How to Get Involved with Artistic Swimming
Above we have explored the basics of Artistic Swimming and its health benefits, therefore within this part of the article we are going to discuss how you can get involved. Depending on how you want to progress with the sport there are a few avenues which can be looked into. If you just want to do this for fun, you could gather a group of friends together and plan out a routine to perform within the water together during public sessions.
However, if you are looking to pursue a competitive route with Artistic Swimming, you can speak to your local swimming baths and see if they have any courses or groups that meet regularly to practice. You can also speak to swimming coaches too in your local area to find out where you can train and what the requirements are with regards to experience and training.
Have You Tried Synchronised Swimming?
In this article we have explored all you need to know about synchronised swimming from the health benefits to getting involved. If we have inspired you to give this sport a go or you are already an avid synchro swimmer, then let us know over on our social media pages where we would love to know more about your experience. Don’t forget that you can also shop our outstanding range of high-quality swimwear and accessories from our online store – Sports Fitness.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury