The Lifestyle Lane: Swimming Etiquette

06 May 2019
Lap Swimmer

Jumping back in the pool after a long break? Has the swimming etiquette changed in public pools? Here are a few tips from our regular lap swimmers to keep you onside with other swimmers.

Allow Space

Don't swim on top of someone, so when they push off the wall allow 5 - 10 seconds before pushing off the wall yourself, especially if there are only two of you in the lane.


When swimming butterfly and passing someone in your lane, it is best to switch to single arm butterfly (with left arm) so you don't knock them out. This happened to Cate Campbell when Michael Phelps crashed into her during a competition warm up, so it can happen to the best of us!


Many pools will have diving restrictions so look out for no diving signs, especially in the shallow end.

Don't Stop

Try not to stop mid-lap. It can cause a traffic jam.

Exiting the pool

When exiting the pool to the side, wait for the swimming traffic to pass before switching lanes.

Lane Ropes

Don't sit on the lane ropes. This is generally a rule at most pools - they can break.

Lane Speed

Work out what speed you plan to swim each lap at, then jump in the fast, medium or slow lane (which we like to call the lifestyle lane!). Some pools will specify actual speed per lap.

Road rules

When swimming, stick to the left-hand side of the black line and swim in a clockwise direction. That way you will avoid a head crash mid-lane.


Touching People's Toes

If you are swimming faster than the person in front of you, you can try to overtake them or slow until you get to the end of the lap. People don't like if you keep touching their toes. If you notice someone is always swimming on your toes, let them pass at the end of the lap.

Waiting on the wall

Move to the side of the lane so others can keep swimming when you need a rest.


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