Swimming Trends and Challenges on Social Media

Photo Courtesy: Eileen Hall

By Kate Walter, Swimming World Intern. 

Over the past few years there has been an explosion of social media trends in the swimming community. Swimmers of all ages flock to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to post videos of themselves participating in a certain challenge. Olympians have even joined in on the fun, encouraging thousands of their followers to keep the hashtag alive. Here are some of the most popular trends and challenges in the swimming world from the past year.

Belly Flop Challenge

For the daredevils of swimming world, the belly flop challenge has provided the opportunity to garner laughs and shrieks from those watching them smack flat onto the surface of the water. This challenge has taken off on social media, with college and club teams alike battling to see who has the best belly flop of them all. Five time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky even decided to share a video of herself belly flopping on Instagram, along with several of her Stanford teammates.

Swim Promposals

With a mutual understanding of the need for an early bedtime and acceptance of hair that perpetually smells of chlorine, swimmers often make the cutest couples. When the months of May and June roll around, Instagram feeds are flooded with pictures of swim couples proudly showing of their creative promposals. Whether it be spelling out the word prom with a kickboard or using a counter to deliver the message, swim promposals never fail to disappoint.

Cap Drop Challenge

What started out as a way to spice up capping a teammate, has turned into a call for the swimming community to discover the most unconventional approach to capping. A popular process entails one swimmer filling up a cap with water and then dropping it on another swimmer’s head. Molly Hannis and Ashely Twichell – members of the TYR Team posted this fun video of themselves successfully completing the challenge.

Touch the Flags Challenge

Many try, yet few succeed. Swimmers propel themselves off the pool deck and reach out their arms in hopes of brushing a finger against the edge of the flags while flying over the pool. This is another swimming trend that appears all over social media, with hundreds of video attempts as proof.

Snow Challenge

Nothing can stop a swimmer from getting to practice – not even a torrential blizzard. Braving the frigid temperatures and icy conditions, they dive into a fresh blanket of snow and do a few strokes for the sake of an Instagram-worthy video. It’s truly a sight to see jammer-clad boys and Jolyn-bedecked girls crazily running around in the snowfall.

Note: Diving into snow drifts without knowledge of hidden objects is not recommended and can lead to concussions or serious injury. Attempt at your own risk.

Floss Dance Move


Olympians Simone ManuelLia Neal and Leah Smith have eagerly jumped on this dance-move bandwagon, posting videos of themselves jamming out with fellow teammates. This trio has been seen “flossing” everywhere from Rio during the 2016 Olympics to Mesa, Ariz., at the TYR Pro Swim Series.  

Backwards Swimming

As if perfectly mastering each of the four strokes isn’t hard enough, attempting to perform them in a backwards motion provides a real challenge. This trend has swimmers everywhere scratching their capped heads, trying to figure out the most effective way to oppositely move across the pool.

Breaststroke Mirror Challenge

World record holder Adam Peaty was one of the first to partake in this challenge that has since captivated the swimming world. One person swims breaststroke on top of the water, while someone else swims under them and tries to mimic their motion. 

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

1 comment

  1. Tim Kim Pike

    They don’t disclose that you may break your neck. Think twice before putting on jammers & jumping in snow!