10 Must-Try Swim Trends, Challenges and Drills

Photo Courtesy: UGA Men's Swim & Dive

By Isabelle Robuck, College Swimming World Intern.

Swimming is more than just staring at a black line on the bottom of the pool. While that is a good part of what we do, there’s a lot more fun that happens as well. As popular challenges and trends that have taken the swimming world by storm, our competitiveness gets the best of us as we begin to try new things. That said, we’ve collected a variety of well-known and newer water tasks for everyone to try!

1. The Floss Challenge

Contrary to the typical teeth cleaning action, this type of flossing has truly taken over the world. From a popular video game, it’s nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t attempted to floss at least once. If you consider yourself a seasoned flosser, why not create a team of flossers and dance your way around the pool deck?

2. Snow Swimming

A more seasonal challenge, swimming in snow is just as frigid as it is fun! As quickly as a normal race begins, swimmers dive into a pile of fluffy snow and swim a couple of strokes before the cold hits their skin and forces an end to the shenanigans. Nonetheless, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so give it a try next time it snows four feet!

Disclaimer: Diving into a pile of snow is not a safe activity – caution must be taken to ensure swimmer safety to prevent injury.

3. Swimposal

As spring rolls around, we begin to prepare for the wonderful season of proms and dances, and what better way to ask your crush than a fun swim proposal like this? But exercise some caution and be aware of when you’re conducting your swimposal. While some meets are more important than others, a prestigious qualifying meet or finals isn’t exactly the best time to try and catch your hopeful date’s eye.

4. Harlem Shake

This is one of the greatest challenges in existence. While many athletes have created their own versions of the dance, swimmers really have the edge when it comes to creativity. It can be difficult to stay underwater and hold your breath long enough through the challenge’s completion, but water equals the illusion of zero gravity, which inevitably leads to endless possibilities!

5. Cap Drop

This became one of the most popular challenges to try early on and still exists today! Along with the other millions of ways to put on a swim cap, this one has got to be one of the most fun. While the pressure falls heavily on the capper, it’s important for the swimmer to stay as still as possible. From there, it’s a game of trial and error to find the best position that works for them. If you haven’t yet, jump on the bandwagon and give it a try – happy capping!

6. Diving Through a Swim Cap

For those who are talented enough to accomplish this task, hats off. This isn’t easy, but it sure is cool and fun to try, nonetheless! It takes perfect timing on both ends. First and foremost, the cap must be properly filled with water – enough to keep its shape in the air as it’s launched into the air. With perfect timing, the swimmer jumps to meet the cap midair. If you’re lucky enough to make contact with the cap at all, quickly drop your head into position and hope for the best! But, be sure to follow through with a dive. A belly flop here or there never hurt anyone too badly, but it sure doesn’t feel good!

7. No Hands Pool Exit

This is another one where many attempt but very few succeed. Those of us who aren’t as blessed with height may alter the challenge a bit, but that doesn’t take away the fun of trying! This challenge is almost all focused on legs. It takes large amounts of power to jump high enough out of the water to meet the ledge with our feet comfortably and safely. Complications can include problematic shin scrapes and bruises, so if you do attempt this, be sure to go all in!

8. Partner Dives

A slightly dangerous activity, partner diving really brings you and your bestie closer… Literally. It’s important to be step and step with your friend and as close as possible to create a smooth and clean entry, which lowers the chance of injury significantly. It also helps to be around the same height.

Disclaimer: Partner diving is not considered safe activity – caution must be taken to ensure swimmer safety to prevent injury.

9. Bubble rings


Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @teameliteaquatics

This trick is one of the greatest in the books. At this point, there are endless variations of bubble rings. Even dolphins have mastered this skill – crazy, right? The skills behind bubble rings are fairly simple and universal: It just takes practices to succeed. No matter what kind of bubble you’re trying to create, it’s important to keep your nose completely blocked off and your body parallel to the direction in which bubble is intended to go.

In this video, Michael Andrew discusses how to make horizontal bubble rings – a step further than your regular vertical bubble rings. Again, practice makes perfect. It takes a while to master the perfect proportions and placement, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t figure it out right away!

10. Still Swimming

This drill can be made into a game of many sorts. This drill focuses on keeping the core of your body still when swimming, hence the title. The game forms when you find different objects to place on your forehead. The goal is to see how long or how far you’re able to keep still enough to keep the object in place. Sometimes, using candy as motivation really helps get the point across. Finish the lap and eat the candy! You knock out two birds with one stone – body position focus and yummy treats!

The world is full of new tricks and trends for every swimmer out there. What has been your favorite so far?

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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