- The best active swimsuits for women
- Here are the best active swimsuits you can buy:
- Cute Swimsuits You Can Actually Work Out In
- Ultimate Guide to the Best Training and Lap Swimming Suits for Men
- Briefs (aka “Speedos)
- Speedo PowerFLEX Swim Brief
- FINIS AquaTuff solid Swim Brief
- Arena Carbonite Swim Brief
- Nike Far Out Poly Brief
- Square-leg training suits
- Speedo Men’s Endurance Polyester Square Leg Suit
- TYR Sport Square Leg Training Suit
- Nike Men’s Team Poly Square Leg Suit
- Speedo Endurance Training Jammer
- Arena Polycarbonate II MaxLife Jammer
- FINIS Jammer training suit
- Drag suits
- Speedo Poly Mesh Drag Suit
- TYR Sport Men’s Poly Mesh Training Suit
- FINIS Drag suit
- The Best Athletic Swimsuits for Women, According to Swimmers and Coaches
- Your Guide to Choosing Competitive Swimwear
- 5 Essential Pieces Of Equipment For Lap Swimming
- 2. Goggles
- 3. Swim Cap
- 4. Kickboard
- 5. Fins
The best active swimsuits for women
While itty-bitty bikinis and strapless one-pieces look great, they aren't exactly the most practical swimsuits, especially when you to stay active at the beach or pool. In the past, finding an option that's not only stylish but also handles more than just lounging in the sun has been problematic.
Thankfully swim designers have started to tap into the athleisure market and are now producing flattering performance pieces that allow you to look chic and stay active. The latest swimwear features activewear technology compression fabrics, moisture-wicking materials, and UPF protection. New swimsuit designs will actually let you show off your athletic abilities.
Whether you are looking for a sleek rash guard to catch some waves in, a one-piece that won't budge as you swim laps, or even a bikini that stays in place while you partake in some beach volleyball, these swimwear options will ensure you never have to sit out on a seaside sweat session again.
Here are the best active swimsuits you can buy:
Updated on 08/23/2019 by Malarie Gokey: Updated prices and copy. Removed out-of-stock options. Added Patagonia testing.
Athleta is known for producing high-quality workout gear that is equal parts functional and stylish. The company also has a line of excellent active swimsuits that look as good as they feel whether you're swimming, playing beach volleyball, or turning cartwheels on the shore.
The swimsuits range from functional bikinis to tankinis and one-piece suits that offer more coverage. Around 85% of Athleta's new swimwear collection is made from sustainable materials recycled nylon. Many of the suits also have UPF sun protection, which protects the fabric from the sun's rays.
A few women on our team reviewed Athleta's swimwear, and we were impressed by the range of comfortable and attractive styles. The swimsuits fit true to size and fit comfortably without digging in or pinching. They also dry quickly so you're not stuck walking around in a soggy wet suit for hours after you leave the water.
Athleta's swimwear is perfect for water sports including swimming, surfing, and paddle-boarding, thanks to the stretchy, breathable fabric that moves with you.
In terms of price, Athleta's swimwear is in the middle: Bikini tops cost $49-$79, bottoms $49-$69, and one-pieces $98-$128. Athleta has a wide range of styles, colors, and patterns, so there should be a suitable option for everyone. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: UPF 50+, ultra-resilient fabric, supportive, breathable suit, moves with you, multiple colors and sizes to choose from, ecofriendly materials
Cons: A bit pricey
$108.00 from Athleta Patagonia
Patagonia new line of women's swimwear lives up to the brand's reputation for making excellent outdoor gear. The swimsuits range from rash guards and long-sleeved one-pieces to bikinis, tankinis, and board shorts.
Regardless of which style you choose, you're getting a high-quality suit that will stay in place while you're surfing, swimming, and doing other aquatic activities. My colleagues and I recently tried out Patagonia's new swimwear collection, and we loved it.
We were all impressed by how comfortable the suits were and how well they stayed in place. Women's swimsuits are often designed more for style than substance, so Patagonia's collection stood out as a great choice for women who to actually move around in the water in their swimsuits.
All the swimsuits are made of recycled nylon or polyester that has UPF sun protection and is non-slip. Patagonia also states that these suits are Fair Trade Certified-sewn, so you know you're buying eco-friendly, ethical swimwear.
The range of colors and patterns is limited, but the selection is unique. For example, my one-piece had parrots on it. Sizes run from XS to XL, so sizing is a bit limited, too. The other main downside here is price: The suits cost $120 to $180, depending on which one you choose. — Malarie Gokey
Pros: Attractive suits, stay in place when active, UPF sun protection, Fair Trade Certified, recycled materials, comfortable, good variety of styles
Cons: Expensive, limited colors and sizes
$179.00 from Backcountry $179.00 from Patagonia Sweaty Betty
One-pieces not your thing? Opt for Sweaty Betty's Offshore Training Bikini Top and Offshore Training Bikini Bottoms instead. This sleek and stylish bikini is made with chlorine-resistant fabric that will keep it looking brand new, no matter how many dips you take in the pool.
Both pieces feature UV protection 50+ to protect your skin and the fabric, as well as quick drying properties to help avoid chafing. The sporty top is fully lined and features thick crossover straps to keep it in place. It also has mesh paneling for extra breathability and removable pads.
The best part? The bottoms are reversible, so you're getting two suits for the price of one. Currently, 100% of reviewers on the Sweaty Betty's website recommend the bikini with one buyer saying, “Tried this for a run-swim-run workout. The structure and fit can handle the activity, and it's stylish enough to be your leisure suit too.”
A few shoppers did note the top can be tricky to get on and off because of its snug fit, but most said it's worth the struggle. Sizes on both pieces range from XS-XL.
If you're not sold on this bikini, Sweaty Betty has many more excellent styles for women who want to do more than lounge around at the beach.
Pros: Chlorine-resistant fabric, UPF 50+, fully lined, mesh paneling, reversible bottoms
Cons: Tricky to get top on and off
$130.00 from Sweaty Betty Speedo
There's a reason why Speedo has been a go-to source for professional swimmers for years. The brand makes high-quality, durable swimwear that offers both support and comfort.
Speedo's Pro LT Super Pro One-Piece is a compression swimsuit built for improved performance and faster recovery time. The quick-drying suit features wide straps for added support and durability, while the smooth and soft fabric is chlorine-resistant.
The one-piece is a best seller and has 4.6 5 stars on Speedo's website. It also has 650 reviews on Amazon.
One shopper named Ann said, “This may be my favorite suit for swimming laps.
The fit is snug, the straps are thick so they don't roll or shift and the bottom is cut so that it allows for free leg movement but doesn't ride up.
The fabric is relatively thick compared to some other suits which allow the suit to fit a comfortable glove, but it also means there is less stretch or “give” so it is less forgiving when it comes to sizing.”
A few reviewers did complain that the suit runs small, but others pointed out this is normal for competitive swimsuits. Just be sure to read the sizing chart first to determine which size is right for you. Many buyers recommend going up two sizes.
Speedo has lots of other great one-piece and two-piece swimsuits available, so if you don't love this one, you can check out many more on Dick's Sporting Goods' website.
Pros: Professional suit, compression fabric, chlorine-resistant, very supportive, durable
Cons: Runs small
$39.99 from Dick's Sporting Goods $39.99 from Amazon Land's End
Land's End has been synonymous with outdoor wear for decades, and it shows in the Swim Tee Rash Guard. The swim top may look a cover-up but the soft swim tee is built to go in the water with you.
Designed to wear over your swimsuit, the lightweight rash guard offers UPF 50 sun blocking and is made with extra stretch to allow you to move around during your water activities. It is also made with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfy when on land.
The rash guard has a 4.6-star rating on the Land's End's website with more than 600 reviews. One shopper named Janice is a fan saying, “This was my first swim tee and I love it. I was concerned that it would interfere with my lap swimming but it doesn't. It protects me from getting too much sun while I am in the water.”
You can choose from five colors, and the rash guard comes in a range of sizes including regular, plus, petite, long, and long plus. If you're looking for a swimsuit to wear under the rashguard, Land's End has lots of great swimsuits as well.
Pros: Affordable, lightweight, UPF 50, stretch so it moves with you, moisture-wicking
Cons: Still have to wear a swimsuit under it
$39.95 from Lands' End
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Features Insider Picks Guides Swimsuit Women
Cute Swimsuits You Can Actually Work Out In
From crushing laps to crashing waves, these stylish swimsuits will stay put.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Lively is known for their ultra-comfy bras, and their swim pieces are equally easy to wear all day long. This simple one-piece is streamlined enough for laps or an active day at the beach.
If you're getting into some surf or SUP action this summer, this stylish swimsuit is for you. Lululemon collaborated with pro surfer Malia Manuel on a special-edition collection that uses quick-drying, UV-protective fabrics made especially for waves.
(BTW, check out this surfer body workout to prep for the season.)
If you're looking for a bikini that can stand up to a proper water workout, this is it. Triathlete or not, you'll love the workout-wear look and feel of the full-coverage top and shorts-style bottoms.
Cute and practical, this one-piece is sure to turn heads and make it through whatever you have on your active agenda.
Roxy knows how to do swim that stands up to the action, and this bikini is no exception. With a sports bra- top and your choice of matching bottoms, you can go at our favorite activities while still getting some sun.
A budget option that looks a million bucks, this apricot-colored stylish swimsuit is an easy way to try out the sport swim trend without making a huge investment. Plus, its high level of coverage means you can work on perfecting your beach handstand without worrying about spilling out. (In case you need to be convinced, here are six reasons you should take your yoga practice outside.)
Looking for a serious training suit for triathlon training or swimming laps? This two-toned one-piece has streamlined silhouette that'll make you look (and feel) an Olympic swimmer.
This zip-up sporty bikini packs the coverage and support of a sports bra—but with an easy exit strategy. Buy the matching Solid & Striped bottoms or pair with any stylish swimsuit bottoms you already own.
This racerback top (with fun, lacing detail) is a great option for beach activities with a side of lap swimming, and you can pick a matching bottom suited to your coverage needs. The color—cargo horchata—just screams bach vaca.
Snag this long-sleeve one-piece stylish swimsuit (or any of Carve's designs) right from Amazon. (While you're at it, grab one of these top-rated leggings from Amazon too.)
A classic athletic swimsuit with a fresh styling update, this pool- and ocean-friendly color-blocked one-piece can stand up to the toughest workouts.
Because they're from Sweaty Betty, you know this printed swim top and reversible bottoms (cool, right?) will stand up to sweaty workouts in the water and on dry land. (Related: The Best Sports Bras for EVERY Shape)
Zip up this leather-accented suit when you hit the water or play catch, then show some extra skin while lounging with a post-workout poolside cocktail.
With its wide waistband and straps, this suit from Reese Witherspoon's line Draper James will stay put if your game of beach volleyball gets serious. And thanks to creative color blocking, you'll look cute from every angle in pics.
Whether you'll actually be riding waves or just want to give off a surfer vibe, consider this suit from Une Piece, a company that specializes in one-pieces. It's designed to be both sturdy and flattering.
SPANX's new swim top doubles as a sports bra that you can wear for dryland workouts. It's non-shaping but still designed to flatter, with a back-smoothing pannel and added support. The bra-suit hybrid is intended for medium-impact workouts for A or B cups or low-impact workouts for C or D cups.
If you gravitate toward high-waisted bikinis but need a one-piece that you can work out in, go with one that features a belt or panel that sits high on the waist, this retro-inspired suit.
Not sure whether you'll be active or end up lounging on your next trip? Pack a functional suit that doesn't scream 'performance,' this bronze set from Reebok.
Ultimate Guide to the Best Training and Lap Swimming Suits for Men
Looking for a new suit to crush your laps with? Here’s your guide to the best men’s training and lap swimming suits.
The swim-suit is one of the core pieces of swim equipment you need when hitting the pool. Combined with your favorite pair of swim goggles and towel, your training suit is part of the swimmer’s “uniform.”
Although its primary function is simple (cover up your you-know-what’s), the type of swimsuit you end up choosing depends on a variety of things.
In this complete guide to training suits for swimming we are going to look at the four types of training suits, including briefs (“Speedos”), square-leg training suits, jammers, and drag suits.
We will take a look at fabric composition, cut, level of resistance, style options, as well as list our top picks for each kind of training and lap swimming suit.
And here we go:
Briefs (aka “Speedos)
When non-swimmers think of the suits we wear, this is what they have in mind. The swim brief—more commonly known as the “Speedo”—is the most common suit swimmers wear in practice and during lap swimming. They provide a high range of freedom, are cheap, and because they are almost always made of polyester, last a long time.
Speedo PowerFLEX Swim Brief
Of course we would have to lead off the list of best swim briefs with Speedo’s offering. Their most popular training brief, PowerFLEX is made of recycled nylon and 22% XTRA LIFE lycra.
The result is a suit that is resilient to the harsh chemicals in the pool while also providing a comfortable fit. Available in sizes 30-40, the PowerFLEX brief comes in about half a dozen different colors.
FINIS AquaTuff solid Swim Brief
FINIS is one of my fav swim gear companies. Their brief is simple (what’s there to complicate?), form-fitting, and holds up well against long bouts of training in chlorinated water.
Arena Carbonite Swim Brief
Mostly polyester, and build with their MaxLife fabric, Arena’s Carbonite briefs are resistant to chlorine and sunlight. They are available with a range of different colored patterns on the hips.
Nike Far Out Poly Brief
Spicing things up when it comes to patterns and colors is Nike’s brief offering. While Nike isn’t traditionally known as a powerhouse when it comes to producing high-end swim gear, the few things they do manufacture stand out. The Far Out poly brief is made of 92% polyester and 8% Spandex.
Square-leg training suits
The square-leg cut gives slightly more coverage than the briefs, but still provides a good degree of mobility. While they provide the same coverage as some of the drag suits that we will cover later, they are “faster” in the water because of their snug fit.
Speedo Men’s Endurance Polyester Square Leg Suit
Made of long-lasting polyester, Speedo’s square-leg cut training suit also features 50+ UV protection, a drawstring on the inside of the suit, dries quickly and has a comfortable, body-hugging cut.
TYR Sport Square Leg Training Suit
The TYR Sport square leg training suit is one of the most popular at my local pools. I have gone through a few of these suits myself, and generally them for their comfort and durability. The suits are made of 80% polyester, 20% spandex. While not as resilient as some of the other suits (mine began to fade badly after around three months of daily use), these suits fit well.
Nike Men’s Team Poly Square Leg Suit
Another offering from Nike, this one a two-toned square-leg cut that is clean, comfortable and good to go for some epic training.
I love the clean lines on this suit, the slightly thicker waist band (the material that holds the drawstring is often the first to go when it comes to degradation), and the suit is made of 100% polyester, giving the suit maximum life in those chlorine-infested waters.
Jammers are a relatively new addition to the line-up of training suits for the dudes. For the first decades of the sport it was all about the brief and the square-leg cut.
Jammers are great for a variety of reasons, not the least of which it will get you used to training with this type of suit (racing suits are almost all exclusively jammers), they are a little more modest, and can be an easy intro suit for people new to the sport that are uncomfortable going straight for the more revealing Speedo brief.
Speedo Endurance Training Jammer
Made of polyester, this jammer is designed to be comfortable, fast-drying, and durable against both chlorine and sunlight.
Due to the slight compression and tighter fit, Speedo recommends that you size up with this particular suit. This suit comes in a wide variety of sizes (Amazon carries them up to a 42” waist) and colors.
Arena Polycarbonate II MaxLife Jammer
The Arena Polycarbonate II jammers give you the racing suit look with a training suit. Made of two kinds of polyester, they are durable. Just how durable? According to Arena, you can expect to get about 300 uses a set of these bad boys. They come in six different color combos, giving you plenty of style options.
FINIS Jammer training suit
The FINIS jammer is a simple, no-frills training suit. Made of 100% polyester, this suit also includes a compression element in the upper leg area, generating a comfortable fit.
These suits are designed specifically to create extra resistance in the water. They are typically made of water absorbent material that will make it a little more challenging for you to pull yourself across the water. The extra drag can be achieved with pockets (as is the case with FINIS’ drag suit), or with polyester mesh that catches water, making the suit feel heavier.
When training with drag suits, it’s important to remember the effect that they have on your stroke. The goal is to add enough resistance to challenge you, but not so much that it changes your stroke tempo and stroke rate. (Check out this guide for more information and research on when it is best to train with a drag suit in the water.)
Speedo Poly Mesh Drag Suit
This is one of the most popular drag suits around, with high level athletes backstroke world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy swearing by it in swim practice.
The suit has an interior lining for support, a drawstring to help keep it snugly around your waist, and a loose fit to increase drag and resistance in the water, helping to make you a stronger swimmer in the pool. The Speedo poly mesh suit is also available in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
TYR Sport Men’s Poly Mesh Training Suit
Made in California, TYR’s mesh drag suit is made of 100% polyester and features a comfortable fit. The suit has a drawstring on the inside and an inner layer that is more form-fitting that helps keep everything where it should be.
FINIS Drag suit
Looking to add some serious resistance to your swim training? The FINIS drag suit has got you covered, with a series of drag cups around the waist that will catch and ball up the water as you swim. Just slide it on over your regular suit (works for both men and women) and ramp up the resistance.
The Best Athletic Swimsuits for Women, According to Swimmers and Coaches
Swimming laps in a string bikini meant for lounging on the beach would basically be jogging in jeans and a sweater. Technically you could do it, but you’d be much more comfortable in a swimsuit specifically designed for exercise.
“For training, the most important factor is fit,” says Hailey Hewitt, a coach for the Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics swim team. “If a suit is too tight, it can jeopardize your ability to swim with proper technique and full range of motion.
If it is too big, the suit can slow you down and have a similar effect.”
A properly fitting suit is also important to prevent painful chafing, according to Christine Frietchen, a two-time Ironman triathlete and former president of the Brooklyn Tri Club. “Chafing happens when fabric rubs your skin repeatedly as you move,” she says.
“So for training and racing, you need a suit that’s tight, so it won’t move around and rub your skin.
” Frietchen generally suggests looking for suits with narrow-set straps or straps that crisscross in the back “so they don’t move around or impede shoulder rotation,” and with backsides that offer “enough coverage that it’s not going to ride up.
” Below, she and six other experts (including swimmers, coaches, and swimwear buyers) share their picks for the best training and racing women’s suits (including some that are fashionable enough to hang poolside in).
Swimmers love this minimal style for a durable everyday training suit. “The TYR Cutoutfits are a go-to for training because of the design and fit of their straps,” according to Hewitt, who says her top swimmers wear TYR.
“They are comfortable and allow you to train without worrying about your suit getting in the way.” This suit is also a favorite of Kasia Sawicz, an assistant coach of the Chelsea Piers Masters Swim Team, who s its thin, flexible straps.
“When the straps are too constricting, it affects your overall swim,” she says.
Nike Swim Polyester Cut-Out Tank Swimsuit
the TYR suit, the streamlined design of this Nike cutout style allows serious swimmers to focus on their stroke — not their suit.
“It is not only comfortable, but very durable,” says Julie Stupp, a 2012 Olympic trials finalist swimmer and in-house product reviewer for SwimOutlet.
“The Nike Cut-Out also has thin straps that don’t dig into your shoulders and back. These suits will last through hours and hours of training.”
Speedo Women’s Turnz Printed One Back One Piece Swimsuit
“Speedo is the iconic swimming brand for a reason,” according to Stupp. “Their suits fit impeccably and they always have the best designs.
” Kristina Parsons, another assistant coach of the Chelsea Piers team, says she often chooses Speedo “because the fit is consistent; I know what I’m getting and [that] it will work before I get in the water.
” Elaina Cuoci, senior manager of the aquatics category at SwimOutlet, agrees that Speedo is “an iconic brand” and says that this printed training suit combines a “best-selling back style fit with an on-trend conversational print.” The cheery lemon pattern offers a just-kitschy-enough departure from your standard solid suit.
TYR Women’s Perseus Diamondfit Swimsuit
TYR fans needn’t ditch their preferred brand to get in on the print action, according to Frietchen, who s this abstract-patterned suit.
“The rear coverage is generous, and these suits last me a good year of swimming [as many as] 9,000 or 10,000 yards per week before they start to stretch out,” she says. A suit’s durability is often proportionate to its polyester content, explains Cuoci.
“The more polyester content a suit has the longer it will last in the water.” Most suits are a blend of polyester and spandex, but this one boasts 94 percent polyester (which is more than many).
Nike Women’s Geo Shock Water Polo Suit
bras, swimsuits for women with larger breasts are a little harder to find. Frietchen recommends looking for a suit designed for water polo, which are generally more supportive. “These have a higher neckline and a back zipper that can hold the ‘girls’ in place,” she explains. “I also think these suits look great and provide a bit more sun coverage.”
TYR Women’s Solid Mini Bikini Bottom
There’s nothing wrong with training in a two-piece bathing suit if that’s more your style, and lots of athletic brands offer bikinis that are just as supportive and durable as their one-pieces.
“There are so many different brands today that have expanded their swim lines to include fashionable bikinis that are also great for training,” says Stupp.
“TYR always has bright colors, fun designs, and very flattering cuts.”
Stupp pointed us to Arena — and its two-piece training suits in particular — as an example of another brand with tons of options for women. “I love that they have triangle, bandeau, and crop tops, as well as boy short, bikini, and tie bottoms,” she says. “Their suits fit super-well.”
Athleta Aqualuxe Bra-Sized Bikini Top Athleta Aqualuxe High Rise Bottom
For two-pieces that are very supportive and provide plenty of coverage, Athleta suits come highly recommended by Frietchen.
“Mine is great for pool laps or casual open-water swimming on vacation, then hanging on the beach afterwards,” she says.
With lots of color and print options to choose from, Athleta’s bathing suits are an appealing option because they’ll look (and perform) just as good whether your perfecting your freestyle or relaxing poolside on a non-training day.
Sweaty Betty Dolphin Swimsuit
If you’re looking for better-looking alternatives to traditional athletic suits that still perform well, Sweaty Betty suits generally “fit well, and they’re a little bit more comfortable and more flattering,” according to Alison Kreideweis, co-founder and coach at the Empire Tri Club. She says this style is supportive and stays put while you’re moving through the water — and she’s noticed it is more resilient to chemicals chlorine, which can quickly eat away at other suits. “I don’t have to replace my suit every month; I can get a full season of training it.”
Another one of Kreideweis’s top picks, this suit comes from a line founded by competitive swimmer (and former backstroke world-record holder) Leila Vaziri, who once coached for Empire Tri Club.
“She designed these to be more of a fashion suit for competitive athletes,” says Kreideweis, who’s a fan of this “cool-looking” style with mesh panels.
“They’re supportive, so even though they look they’re a little bit of a nicer suit, they’re not going to fall off of you if you’re swimming laps.”
Jolyn Women’s Tie-Back Jackson 4 One-Piece Swimsuit
Also designed with swimmers’ bodies in mind, Jolyn suits are a top choice of collegiate athletes and lifeguards, according to Frietchen. “Those with more of a swimmer’s build — wide back [and] shoulders, narrow hips — swear by Jolyn suits,” she says.
Parsons is a fan, too: “Jolyn is my new favorite, and most of what I wear now.” She loves that the brand makes two-piece styles for training, as well as swimsuits with adjustable tie backs for a customized fit.
Sawicz also s Jolyn, but prefers its fixed back styles this one.
Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 Comfort Strap Kneeskin
If you’re planning to compete in a race or swim meet, you’ll want to look into buying a racing suit. “It’s much tighter, and covers more of your body to compress the muscles during a race, to help you glide through the water effortlessly,” explains Stupp.
But these tend to be more expensive than training suits, so it’s important to find one that works for you. This Speedo model is Parsons’s race suit of choice. “For most of my competitive swim career, I have worn a Speedo LZR to race.
They fit my body type, and have always worked for me.”
Finis Female Fuse Race John
Racing suits were once pricey styles only worn by elite athletes, but Cuoci says “there has been a growing segment of midrange suits that are good for racing but also comfortable for training.
” This suit by Finis is one that bridges the racing-training gap, making it ideal for amateur swimmers who want to try out racing. “[Finis] has actually become my preferred brand for racing suits,” says Sawicz.
“I have two of their tech suits — each is a different model — and love them both. The price is affordable as well.”
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Your Guide to Choosing Competitive Swimwear
Competitive or fitness swimmers often need advice on selecting, sizing, and fitting swimwear.
While appearance may not be as compelling an issue in competitive swimwear as it is in fashion swimwear, it's fit and functionality are still just as important, if not more important.
Odds are you have had some unanswered questions and concerns when choosing swimwear. Here are some tips on shopping for and fitting competitive or fitness style swimwear.
In the swimwear market, much of the advice and many of the consumer guides for swimsuits focus solely upon recreational swimwear.
With a minimal amount of effort, women can quickly find hundreds of tips for selecting, sizing, and fitting fashion swimwear to their unique body figure; such information can easily be obtained by conducting an online search or picking up any fashion magazine in early spring.
Competitive, fitness, or serious swimmers often need similar advice on selecting, sizing, and fitting competitive swimwear, but have a considerable amount of trouble locating it.
The world of swimwear fashion advice and swimwear tips has largely left serious swimmers to their own devices when choosing a swimsuit.
While the appearance of a swimsuit may not be as compelling an issue in competitive swimwear as it is in fashion swimwear, its fit and functionality are still just as important, if not more important.
Whether you have been swimming competitively for years or have just taken up lap swimming as a means of acquiring greater overall fitness, odds are you have had some unanswered questions and concerns when choosing a competitive swimsuit for your serious swimming pursuits. Below is a guide to shopping for and fitting a swimsuit designed for serious competitive swimming.
Competitive swimsuits can run upwards of several hundred dollars, based upon the brand name and model of the swimwear. While this figure may be the price range of some swimmers, it is still important for every serious swimmer to purchase a quality piece of swimwear.
Competitive swimwear is designed for different reasons and purposes than fashion swimwear, and these differences should be evident in the design and fabric of the swimsuit. Here are some general tips for selecting the best quality swimsuit product for your money.
- Swimwear Brand NamesSwimwear brand names may be more important than you think. The fact that brands such as Speedo and Jantzen have stayed on the market for several decades testifies to the quality of the swimwear they produce. However, newer brands Tyr Swimwear have made a serious entry into the market. Before purchasing a swimsuit, be sure to do a little research on the brand you are leaning toward. Read some information about the company and see what past customers have had to say about the swimwear. A little consumer research can go a long way toward ensuring a quality, long-lasting swimsuit.
- Swimwear FunctionKeep in mind the reason you are buying the swimsuit when browsing through stores. If you are selecting swimwear for casual lap swimming, speed facilitation may be less of a factor for you than swimsuit longevity. You may be able to cut some costs by looking at brand-name swimwear designed without the latest innovations. If speed facilitation is your major requirement, be sure to compare brands and research product claims before purchasing. The advertising claims of the swimwear manufacturer may be more fancy words and big names than actual swimwear innovations.
- Swimwear SourcesDo not assume that you need to buy brand-name swimsuits from a high-end sports store or directly from the manufacturer. Many second-run fashion stores carry brand-name swimwear that did not sell initially due to unpopular cut or color. If swimwear functionality and longevity are more important to you than appearance, these stores may provide better, more cost-effective swimsuit options for you.
- Swimwear MaterialsPay attention to swimwear fabric. Purchasing an expensive, brand-name swimsuit and quickly losing it to chlorine degradation and fraying would be very unfortunate. Well-made competitive swimwear should contain high-quality materials and competitive workout swimwear should be treated for chlorine resistance. While no treatment can result in complete chlorine resistance, some sort of chlorine treatment can greatly lengthen the swimwear's life. If you are unsure of the chlorine resistance of a particular swimsuit, feel free to ask the salesperson or call the manufacturer regarding this important concern.
With all of these thoughts in mind, you should now be ready to shop for and buy competitive swimwear. Once you acquire that swimsuit, feel free to dive in and swim to your heart's content, knowing that you purchased competitive swimwear at the best value and with the best fit.
Now that you have some ideas on how to buy a swimsuit, how do you make sure the swimsuit you buy fits?
In opposition to fashion swimwear, in which appearance and style take a higher priority, fit and comfort level should be two of the most important factors when choosing competitive or “serious” swimwear.
You will ly be spending a great amount of time in your swimsuit, as well as requiring strenuous motions of your body when wearing the swimsuit.
Because of these facts, it is essential that you acquire a good, comfortable fit.
- TorsoThe torso portion of your swimwear should lie perfectly flat on your body without gathering at the seams or pulling from any of the straps or openings. The higher spandex content of competitive swimsuits generally allows for a flat fit, but it is important to make sure the swimsuit is not too tight. Be sure that you can move comfortably in your swimsuit without any stretching from the leg openings or neck.
- LegsTo correctly size the leg openings of a competitive swimsuit, be sure that the elastic straps are not puckering or digging into your legs. If the elastic is digging into your legs, you may want to try a larger size. Also, remember to check the back of the suit to ensure it is offering adequate coverage. If you require more coverage than is offered in a swimsuit, try a different style rather than a different size.
- Shoulder StrapsThe straps of the swimsuit should lie comfortably on your shoulders, without digging in or falling down. Most competitive swimsuits will not use tie straps; however, if you are interested in a suit with tie straps, be sure to move around a bit in the dressing room to check that the straps remain tied. Also, rotate your shoulders a couple of times to determine if the straps will remain comfortable and in place in all arm positions. Lap swimming requires a great deal of movement in the arms, and you do not want uncomfortable or insecure straps slowing you down.
- Chest/BustThe bust of the swimsuit should provide an adequate amount of coverage and support without flattening the breasts entirely. Look for a swimsuit with adjustable straps so that you will feel contained and secure in the bust portion. Also, be sure to lift your arms in the dressing room to determine if the swimsuit provides adequate coverage in the bust. An accidental flashing at a public swimming pool would be a very unfortunate occurrence.
- Full Body SwimsuitsA final note about bodysuits: Many swimmers have chosen to wear the ever more popular, full body swimsuits in order to enhance and facilitate their speed in the water. These swimsuits are designed to create the most aerodynamic texture possible in the water and have become an athlete favorite at the Olympic games. Due to the increased amount of fabric and the innovations employed in this fabric, these swimsuits are often quite expensive. If you are investigating a bodysuit, do not be taken in by flashy phrases and idle promises.While fractions of a second may impact the outcome of a highly competitive race, they will ly not affect your time or conditioning at the local gym or pool. If you do decide to purchase a bodysuit, keep the above fitting factors in mind. Be sure that the fit of the suit is not so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes you any pain. You definitely will want any pain you feel after a swimming workout to come from tired muscles, not from a too tight swimsuit.
With all of these thoughts in mind, you should now be ready to shop for and buy a competitive swimsuit. Once you acquire that swimsuit, feel free to dive in and swim to your heart’s content, knowing that you purchased a competitive swimsuit at the best value and with the best fit.
5 Essential Pieces Of Equipment For Lap Swimming
Swimming is a form of exercise that anyone can do, and it also has some of the greatest health benefits. It’s an activity that works many different muscle groups and carries very little risk for injury. Swimming is also a very technical sport; the more efficient you are with your form the easier it becomes.
For many people, just getting down the basics of lap swimming can go a very long way. Aside from focusing on proper technique, there are several important pieces of equipment that can make all the difference in your swimming workout.
Here are five accessories you should consider purchasing and have on hand the next time you hit the pool to swim laps.
You might think wearing a swimsuit goes without saying, but the type of suit you wear for swimming laps can have a great impact on your workout. Women’s fashion bathing suits tend to be too loose and can irritate the skin or cause a wardrobe malfunction while swimming laps.
A good training suit for women should be one piece and form fitting with thinner straps that won’t rub on the shoulders. Men should avoid baggy swim trunks that add unnecessary weight and drag.
Jammers and training suits (also known as drag suits) are the preferred type of suit for swimming laps.
Whereas most people didn’t find them necessary only few decades ago, goggles are now are now commonplace in the sport of swimming.
Goggles help protect your eyes from the chemicals used to keep pool water balanced and give you a clear view under the water, making it easier to see the wall as well as steering clear from other swimmers who might be sharing the lane. A good pair of goggles should fit your eye sockets comfortably and not be too bulky.
The lenses should be hard plastic material that is “anti-fog” plastic. And in some cases where there’s an outdoor pool and sunny weather, you might consider goggles with reflective lenses that provide UV projection.
3. Swim Cap
If you have long hair, you know how unruly it gets in the pool. Even if you tie your hair into a ponytail it can still end up in your face or in your mouth. Swim caps not only help hold your hair back, they also protect your hair from the damaging effects of pool water.
And for this reason many people (men & women) prefer to wear a cap during swim workouts, regardless of how long their hair is. Most swim caps are either made from silicone or latex material. Silicone caps have a soft, rubbery feel to them and typically last longer than other types of caps.
Latex caps have a tighter elasticity to them and are a tad thinner than silicone, and they are also usually a bit cheaper in price.
Contrary to what many believe, swimming is a leg driven activity. The stronger and more efficient your legs are, the better your entire stroke will be. There are a number of drills and exercises you can do to strengthen your legs for swimming, but a kickboard is one of the best tools you can have.
When choosing a kickboard, there’s really no rocket science to it. They come in a number of different shapes, sizes and foam densities.
The biggest thing to pay attention to is the length of the board; you want to make sure the board doesn’t feel uncomfortably long as you grip the edges and rest your arms on it.
Fins are another great piece of equipment to always have in the swim bag. If used properly, fins can help further strengthen your kick as you focus on the leg driven technique of your stroke.
As you get more comfortable with fins, they can also be used for speed workouts, streamline kicking and underwater drills. Be sure to purchase a fin that is intended for the sport of swimming, not scuba diving.
Swimming fins are shorter in length and are made of all rubber material, so they are more flexible and have less stress on your ankles when you kick.