Sports Direct Swimming FAQ's

Swimming FAQs

Make a splash for all of the right reasons, whether you’re in the pool for leisure, training or competition, with our guide to all things swimming.

How Do I Warm Up for a Swim?

Warming up before you swim is vital to ensure you get the most out of your session, ensuring your muscles are ready for the workout ahead.

Top 5 Stretches Before Getting in the Pool

I Know How to Swim - But What About Breathing Techniques?

There are two key aspects to master to become comfortable breathing in the swimming pool. These are keeping your face submerged in the water and finding a rhythm to your breathing.
Swimming with your face in the water, rather than with your head up, makes for an easier swim as there is less drag when the body is flat. Less drag means less resistance.
Of course, you then need to grasp breathing with your head in the water. The key is to begin to exhale, with your face in the water, as soon as you finish breathing in. This means, as soon as it’s time to breathe, your lungs are empty and ready for a refill.

Must-Haves for Your Swimming Bag

Kit yourself out for the pool, whether you’re inside, outside or even just pool side.
Our range of men’s swimwear, ladies swimwear and kids swimwear features shorts, jammers, swimsuits bikinis and sets. A multitude of technologies, fits and cuts, including chlorine resistance, lightweight constructions and UPF is brought to you from experts including Speedo, Slazenger and Nike.
Get pool side ready in style and with safety in our collection of pool shoes, including sliders and aqua shoes, from the likes of Hot Tuna, Gul and adidas.
Our specialist accessories and equipment will ensure you’re prepared for training sessions, recreational swimming or race days. A wide selection of googles, swimming caps, nose pegs and ear plugs from top brands and experts like Speedo will bring comfort and the determination to help you go even further.
Armbands and float vests for children have been crafted for the development of both swimming skills and water confidence.

Swimming Glossary


Swims that are performed at an easy to moderate pace and are longer in distance and duration


Swimming at an intense rate in which the body is unable to keep up with the muscles' demands for oxygen


A swimming stroke on the back in which a flutter kick is coordinated with alternating circular arm pulls


Beats per minute (heart rate)


Performed by a backward motion of the arms, plus both legs brought forward with the knees together, the feet are turned outward, and then pushed back with a glide

Dolphin Kick

A technique of the butterfly, where the legs and feet remain firmly together and the hips create a rolling motion to the lower half of the body


Distance per stroke


Or front crawl – sees a flutter kick alongside reaching forward with alternating strokes

Long Course

A competition held in a 50 metre pool


A race in which an individual or team swim all four swimming strokes - backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle


A swimming competition between two or more teams


Personal best – whether it be a specific stroke or a certain distance

Pull Buoy

Used to improve a swimmer's power, held between the thighs to float the hips and legs at the surface of the water

Short Course

A swimming pool 25 meters in length

Stroke Rate

Counting both arms, this is the rate of how many strokes a swimmer takes in a minute

Tumble Turn

An open turn used to reverse a swimmer’s direction