How To Circle Swim: Pro Tips Guide


Circle swimming is exactly what first comes to your mind – swimming in circles. In the US, it is done counterclockwise: people swim on the right side of the lane. Swimmers are supposed to go down the pool on one side of the lane and come back on the other side.

Even though having a whole lane to yourself has its benefits, there will be days when you will have to share it with other swimmers. Knowing how to circle swim is what will come in handy when this happens. In this article, we are going to show you everything you need to know about swimming circles so you avoid crowded pools.

Circle Swimming Guide

Choose the Appropriate Lane

You should take a minute to survey the pool before you get in. Look for ‘’fast’’, ‘’medium’’, and ‘’slow’’ lanes. Choose a lane with swimmers who swim as fast as you do. A swimming circle is much easier when no one is passing you every other lap. Also, choosing the appropriate swimsuit will make a difference.

Be aware of the fact that not everyone swims counterclockwise. If a swimmer is asking you to do the Australian circle swim, they are thinking about swimming clockwise. In such a case, you should always swim on the left side of the lane. It is just like driving in countries where people drive on the left side of the road.

Talk to Other Swimmers

If the lane you chose already has more than one person in it, let them know that you are going to circle swim before you enter the pool. It is polite and friendly to let your lane mates know what you are about to do, even if there is only one person present.

Simply dangle your feet or your fins for some time in the water before you jump in to make sure everyone else notices your presence. Also, learning about the pool-sharing etiquette will make your swim stress-free.

Make a Pause at the Wall

When it comes to circle swimming, stopping in the middle of the pool is not the best idea. It is actually much safer and easier to swim with your eyes closed and stop at the wall. If you stop in the middle, you can end up in a collision, making it difficult for other swimmers to perform their tasks.

Pay attention to swimmers who are behind you when you make a pause at the wall. Make enough space in the middle of the lane for those who will continue swimming by positioning themselves at the corner. If you are using earplugs, be more careful about your surroundings.

Turn Quickly

Turns can be the most dangerous and intimidating part of a swimming circle, especially if the pool is very crowded. To avoid potential problems, turn in the middle of the lane. Make sure it is quick, so other swimmers don’t think you are going to rest.

Also, make controlled movements so you don’t hit anyone behind you. Be extra careful if you are using swim paddles or a monofin, especially if there are older people in the pool. When it comes to turning, you can do it in different ways, so choose the one you feel most comfortable with. Flip-turns are more advanced, but open-turns can be the best option if you are still not proficient at them.

Always Communicate with Other Swimmers


Being passed and passing other people is inevitable in circle swimming. If possible, it is safest to follow the local swimming etiquette. Also, communicating with other swimmers in your lane can improve everyone’s swimming experience.

Being flexible will help in case many people are doing different things. If adjusting to other swimmers means adding a few seconds to your rests, do not hesitate to do it. A few extra seconds will not ruin your entire season but can prevent problems in the lane. Use this time period to adjust your goggles or choose the appropriate song using your swimming headphones.

Swim in Appropriate Intervals

Make some space between you and the other people in the lane. When swimming circle, wait for at least 10 seconds before you follow the person in front of you, creating a ‘’ten-second interval’’. This will create space between you, assuming all swimmers in your lane swim at about the same speed. Creating some space will make it easier to turn without trouble. But, a 5-second interval may be more appropriate if there are a lot of swimmers in the lane (6 people in a smaller pool can cause interference problems).

However, sometimes you will end up in a lane with swimmers who swim at different speeds. If you happen to be doing sprints, or you are swimming much faster than your lane mates, it is better to wait for 20 to 30 seconds before you swim after them. On the other hand, if you happen to be much slower than the other swimmers, push off as soon as they leave the wall, making the difference between you less noticeable. Doing this will prevent problems that may arise when swimming circle.

Globo Surf Overview

Circle swimming refers to swimming in circles and it can be very beneficial, especially in crowded pools. There are certain rules you should follow when doing this swimming style, like swimming counterclockwise. But, keep in mind that not every country uses this model. For example, Australians swim clockwise, so make sure to communicate with your lane mates to avoid any problems.

If you swim counterclockwise, start on the right side of the lane and come back on the left. If you need to rest, do it at the corner, making space for those who are going to continue swimming. Make sure to make quick, controlled turns so you do not accidentally hurt anyone. Also, make some space between you and the other swimmers so everyone can move without restrictions. Following the proper lane-sharing etiquette leads to safe and comfortable swimming.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!