Getting into synchronised swimming couldn’t be easier. Childen can be introduced to the sport as part of the Swim England Learn To Swim Pathway while there are also opportunities for adults to get involved to improve their fitness or simply to try something new. For more information on joining a synchronised swimming club go to Swim England’s Find a Club page.
You can begin learning the basic skills for synchronised swimming as part of swimming lessons – ask your swimming teacher about it. It is known as stages, or levels, 8-10 of the Swim England Aquatics Skills Framework.
The two most important skills that you need to learn are sculling and the eggbeater. These are vital to synchro:
- Sculls are the hand movements that propel the body and are the most essential part of synchronised swimming.
- Eggbeater is a form of treading water that allows you to remain stable above the water while leaving the hands free to perform strokes. Swimmers can also perform ‘boosts’, where they use their legs to propel themselves out of the water.
You can find out more about the essential skills for synchro here.
Facts about synchonised swimming
- The sport used to be known as ‘water ballet’
- It is incredibly strenuous and skillful. A test on all the Olympic sports before the London 2012 Olympic Games found that synchronised swimmers ranked second only to long distance runners in aerobic capacity!
- Competitors need strength and flexibility to perform twists and lifts as well as rhythm and flair to synchronise and interpret the music, which they listen to through underwater speakers.
- Swimmers commonly hold their breath underwater for around a minute, but sometimes between two and three minutes.
- Routines can be anything from two and a half minutes to five minutes long, depending on whether they perform alone or part of a team, but one rule applies to all routines
- No athletes are permitted to touch the bottom of the pool during a routine, even when lifting one another.