Tag Archives: Pools

Counter-current Pools: Alternative to Improve Aquatic Performance

During the last years, technology has achieved changes in different sports, and swimming is no exception. Trainers around the world have adapted a new fashion to their training plan in which they make their swimmers practice in a countercurrent pool.

The pools are regularly 50 by 25 meters, 50 meters by 25 yards, and 25 by 25 yards. The measures depend on the size of the land on which it will be built, the local climate, and the level of athletes who will use the pool. In these types of pools, which are smaller and more compact, the swimmer must swim against the current to maintain a good body position.

They originated in the late 80’s as a training alternative for open waters without the need to swim in the sea or make bell turns. These pools attracted attention mainly from high performance athletes; however, it also sparked interest in people who simply wanted to learn to swim or to recover from injury. Although it is very different to swim in these types of pools than to swim in short or long courses, the countercurrents have benefits that are worth making themselves known.


Posted on May 5 2019 by

The construction, installation, and maintenance of common pools are quite expensive. If it is a roofed complex, external factors – such as heating, air conditioning and lighting – will increase the total cost of the energy of the place. A pool of common competition of 25 yards costs $ 56,250 approximately. On the other hand, although it generally depends on the brand, the total price of installation and maintenance is just over $ 20,000.



Maintaining outdoor pools can also be complicated when they are in places with extreme weather. As mentioned earlier, roofed pools are usually more expensive; therefore, sometimes building an outdoor is a better option if you have a lower budget.

The problem is that when it is too cold or there are storms, training should be interrupted. Although, the countercurrent pools can be used 365 days a year, regardless of time or place. The engine produces heat and reuses it as energy; the maintenance depends on the pumps that generate high temperatures.

In addition, some of the pools include a thermal cover that keeps it at the ideal temperature, regardless of the weather.




Traditional pools require a large lot and several months to be built; while installing a countercurrent pool in the garden takes a couple of days, and a minimum space of 9 by 14 feet. Similarly, the size varies by brand but the most popular measures are 7 by 12 and up to 10 by 15 feet with a maximum depth of 50 inches.

Inclusive, one can choose the appropriate measures with respect to the objective that will be given to the pool. For example, a smaller and shallower pool could be suitable for beginners and small children. When they are learning to swim in an Olympic or semi-Olympic pool, it is common to get very nervous and easily overwhelmed by seeing the pool too long or feeling very deep.

It is worth mentioning that the countercurrent pools are much more ecological than the standard pools, since they require less space, water, and energy.


Swimming Efficiency


Currently, competitive trainers are adding pool sessions against their current practices. The feature that highlights these pools is that the current can be controlled manually. The swimmer can do technique exercises at a gentle pace with the coach or instructor standing only a few steps away.

Nowadays, there are sub-aquatic cameras and mirrors (even for the back style) that can be placed inside or outside the pool. Thanks to this, the swimmer can see exactly what he is doing and the coach can stop him at any time to correct. On the other hand, swimming at a faster pace can help train endurance and speed. Some countercurrents are designed for elite swimmers and can reach a speed of up to 100 yards for 51 seconds.

However, if the rhythm that was programmed is too fast, the swimmer may realize that he will be moving backwards until he accelerates his own style and can stay in the flow.

Why does this matter? When an athlete is pushing her body to the limit (or beyond) each and every day, every little bit counts. No doubt, your swimmer’s body is exhausted after each workout. Promoting better recovery from those intense workouts will prepare your swimmer’s body to attack the next practice.

Chocolate milk is touted as an excellent recovery drink in numerous studies. (Check out this presentation from USA Swimming on the benefits of chocolate milk.) The main reason is that chocolate milk provides the right amount of protein and carbs, yet is easy to find and affordable. Plus, it tastes great.



Throughout history, technology has modernized swimming. Hydrodynamic caps and goggles, plain bathing suits, extra training sessions and new pools have resulted from these advances. It has been proven that the countercurrent pools improve the aquatic performance in swimmers of any level.

However, the inability to train key points of competition such as submarines, laps, and underwater arrows, can never supply training in a regular pool.

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Author – Daniela Navarrete