As someone who spends a lot of time immersed in the world of swimming, I have seen the term “Swim Smooth” pop up a lot recently online.
As I had never heard of Swim Smooth before, I was curious to dig deeper and find out what exactly it is and if it could be useful.
Swim Smooth is an online swimming platform that helps swimmers and triathletes of all levels swim better. As well as being a digital coach, the app includes features that can track your performance, gain swimming insights and even feedback on the quality of your stroke if you wear a smartwatch.
All this sounds pretty amazing and given that it does so much, I wanted to dig deeper to understand what it is before I invest in a smartwatch or sign up for a monthly subscription.
In this article, I want to fully understand what Swim Smooth can do for me, including:
- What is Swim Smooth?
- Will Swim Smooth improve my swimming technique?
- Can I learn to swim with Swim Smooth?
- What are the extra features of Swim Smooth?
- How much does Swim Smooth cost?
What Is Swim Smooth?
Swim Smooth is a leading swimming coaching company for swimmers of all levels.
The instruction and feedback on your swimming is provided through their online platform and app. Really, you can think of it as a digital coach that will help you achieve your swim goals, track your progress and tell you how good your swim stroke is if you wear a smartwatch.
To be honest, it has taken me a while to fully appreciate Swim Smooth as it does so much it can be hard to comprehend at first.
Here are just some features offered as mentioned on their website.
- Feedback on your stroke technique if you wear a smartwatch. Your smartwatch will tell the app what is happening with your technique and pace. You can then get specific feedback tailored to your goals.
- Provides individually curated coaching videos and drills based on your goals, from learning to swim smoother to getting ready to race.
- Training plans to work towards your specific swim goal.
- Deep insights into what your arms are doing in the water, from arm recovery to pull through to stroke timing.
- An overview of your stroke throughout your swim so you can see exactly what you are doing throughout your swim.
- metric recording to help you improve your swimming.
- Receive warnings about potential injury. For example, if your smartwatch detects that your hand is at a bad angle in the water, it will tell you.
As you can see, this is a lot of information.
For data geeks like me, who love to pour over data and track progress, it is a very motivational and excellent training aid.
What Happens When I Sign Up?
It is possible to create a free account with Swim Smooth, to get a feel for what it is and what to expect.
When you first enter your email address, they will ask you what your current swimming level is. I really like this as it shows it is a custom approach.
The app then goes on to ask you what length pool you usually swim in. This is also great to know, as it will help calculate your stats.
Once you are logged in on the free account, you can see your dashboard, which looks something like this. My dashboard is empty right now, as I have just signed up.
From the dashboard you can do the following:
- Create a tailored swim plan to help you work towards your swim goals, from simply improving to training for a triathlon.
- If you wear a smart watch, track your activity.
- Monitor your progress, including best pace per 100m, personal best times and how far and long you are swimming.
- Go to the library to watch hours of swim training and improver videos.
Will Swim Smooth Improve My Swimming Technique?
The Swim Smooth approach was originally based on DVDs and a book that will improve how you swim if you follow the advice.
Today, in addition to the original book and DVDs, there are lots of training advice videos on the online Swim Smooth platform library to improve your technique.
However, what is getting me really excited by Swim Smooth and their online platform is how they have linked Apple smartwatch data to the app.
Here is an image from the Swim Smooth website promotional material that shows the swimmer wearing a smartwatch and the app being able to interpret the swimmer’s pull-through (the pull-through part of the stoke is the “power phase” and is how the swimmer pulls their arm through the water after the catch phase).
I can see how this can be incredibly powerful, as you are getting real-time data on how your arms are performing in the water.
A swim coach would have to be in the water with you to monitor your stroke like this, and even then, it is difficult to repeatably measure, unless you have a full coaching team.
If you have an Apple Smartwatch, this is when Swim Smooth becomes a really excellent tool to improve your technique, as you can gain full stroke insights.
The downside is that you need an Apple Smartwatch for this extra benefit.
Right now, I don’t have a waterproof smartwatch so I cannot test this, but looking at how awesome this is, I am considering one just for this app. (If I get one, I will try it out and update this article.)
Can I Learn To Swim With Swim Smooth?
You can learn to swim with Swim Smooth, either through instructional videos through the app or through a qualified Swim Smooth coach.
When you sign up to Swim Smooth, you get the option to tell them your swimming level so they can customise the drills and information to your level.
You can set your swimming level to “Learning To Swim”, which will set you on the right track.
The tutorial videos within the Swim Smooth app are fantastic, and that is just with the free version!
There are lots are excellent instructional videos with hints and tips on body position, head potion, breathing and lots more.
I recommend signing up for free and having a look around the video library on the desktop version to pick up some great hints and tips.
What Are The Extra Features Of Swim Smooth?
Swim Smooth has so much to offer, it can be hard at first to comprehend what exactly it is.
From being a digital coach, to offering instructional videos, to giving technical feedback on your stroke if you wear an Apple watch, there is so much on offer.
From experimenting with the online app, here is a list of everything that I find impressive about Swim Smooth
- A full digital swimming coach that offers you progressive swimming development plans depending on your swim level. Over 15 weeks of drills with full instructional videos that you can practice in the pool.
- Set goals and track them in the app.
- If you swim with an Apple Watch you can monitor your activity and get detailed feedback on how your hands move through the water.
- Keep track of your progress, recoding distance, number of swims, best pace per 100m and personal best times.
- Detailed training sets and plans with guidance on when is the best times to practice these sets, for example “pre-race” or a “Sunday afternoon”.
- Detailed and full video library with bite-size videos sharing excellent drills, tips and training.
- If you want an actual personal instructor to swim with, there are Swim Smooth coaches located across the world. You can find your nearest coach <here>.
How Much Does Swim Smooth Cost?
You can try Swim Smooth for free and try out all the features with 3 trial swims. If you want to use all the features after your free trial, there is a monthly subscription costs £12.99 per month, or £199.99 per year.
There is lots of information available as part of the free version, so if you are interested, I recommend having a look around with some free swims to see if this is the right swim coach for you.
I have not committed to Swim Smooth yet, but it has certainly got my attention.
My next step is to buy the Swim Smooth book and get a better understanding of the theory behind the swimming method.
I am also very fortunate to have a Swim Smooth coach in my area, so I will definitely check him out in the New Year (or when the pools are fully operational again post pandemic).
I love the look of the app, but my only concern is that I feel I need to buy an Apple Watch to get the most out of the app. The insights that your Apple Watch can offer into your stroke are ground-breaking and this gets me really excited.
Apple Watches are not cheap, however, so I am going to have to have a good think about this.
For now, I am going to enjoy the free aspects of the app and enjoy their fantastic instructional videos.
If you like gadgets, swimming and viewing your swim data, then it is definitely worth checking out Swim Smooth.