Swimming Terms

Terms of Use:


Distance Per Stoke - Lowest stroke count, most efficient stroke

Tempo- high stroke rate, no reach and no finish, on the stroke

Sprint- Full on race stroke, distance per stroke and a higher stroke rate

Underwater- swimming underwater for the full length of the pool

Hypoxic- breathing restricted swims

Over Kick- kick with 90% power to the kick and only 10% power to the arms- kicking harder than anything else during freestyle

Interval- a specific allotted time for  swim or distance or an allotted amount of rest between swims

KDS- Kick, Drill, Swim

SKIPS- Swim, Kick, IM, Pull, Swim

SKPS- Swim, Kick, Pull, Swim

Pull- arm dominated swim, usually involving paddles, sometimes a pull buoy

Descending- swims get progressively faster in a series

Ascending- swim get progressively slower in a series

Build- over the course of a defined distance, speed increases each stroke until reaching top speed at the end of the length

Negative split-  the time of the second part of the swim, is faster than the time of the first part of the swim

Positive split- the time of the first part of the swim is faster than the time of the second part of the swim

IM- individual medley, consisting of fly, back, breast and free

Relay- a team event consisting of 4 swimmers of the same gender.  Each swimmer takes an equal leg of the swim.  Relays are offered in freestyle and medleys (back, breast, fly, free)

Mixed relay- a relay made up of 2 male and 2 female swimmers.  Relays are offered in freestyle and medley orders

SCY- short course yards or a 25 yard pool

SCM- short course meters or a 25 meter pool

LCM- long course meters, a 50 meter pool, or Olympic size pool

USMS- United States Masters Swimming

USAS- USA Swimming

National Championships- offered 2x/year.  The spring is SCY and summer is LCM

Split- a time associated with a portion of the distance swam

Streamline- the body and and arm position used in starts, turns, and underwaters.  This is the fastest body position in the water

Circle swimming- when 2 or more swimmers are in a lane together, they follow a circular pattern down the lane, swimming along the right side of the lane

Dryland- exercises done on the deck 

Pullout- the underwater phase of the breaststroke swim

Underwaters- can refer to a set of swims where the swimmer swims the entire length under water, or can refer to the off the wall/off the start portion of any swim