LapSwimming Etiquette

By Heidi Kelchner |

Love to work out in the pool but hate the crowds? Learn these six rules, and lane-sharing will be a breeze.

  1. Find your pace. Faster swimmers tend to take the center lanes. Find a lane with people swimming your speed.
  1. Ask first. Before jumping into someone’s lane, ask to share it. Then wait for the person to resume and get to the other end so you’ll swim in opposite directions, not side-by-side.
  1. Swim in circles. If more than one swimmer is in the lane, ask if they’ll “circle swim” (swimming clockwise in a circle). Allow enough room in front and behind you to avoid crowding.
  1. Rest on the wall. On breaks between intervals stay close to the wall and out of the way so others can swim through. Never stop in the middle of the lane.
  1. Pass (and be passed) politely. Tap on the toes of the person in front you to tell them you’re about to pass. Wait until he or she gets to the wall and yields before swimming through. If you get tapped, reciprocate. 
  1. Socialize on dry land. Don’t waste a lane chatting up your friends.

This originally appeared in “” in the November 2008 issue of Experience Life.

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