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Training Swimsuits for Women

by
author image Patti Richards
Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.
Training Swimsuits for Women
A woman swimming laps with googles. Photo Credit ViktorCap/iStock/Getty Images

Choosing the right women’s swimsuit depends on the kind of training you plan to do. Swimsuits for competitive swimming, lap swimming and water aerobics require different features to maximize performance in the water. Look for swimsuits from reputable sporting goods stores or online retailers who specialize in water exercises of many types for the best selection and value.

Swimsuits for Competition

Competitive swimwear for women should be form fitting and long enough in the torso to provide optimum comfort and complete coverage. The best swimsuits for competitive swimming have a racerback design and are seamless, tight-fitting and are made of Lycra or similar fabric that maximizes speed in the water. Dick’s Sporting Goods recommends choosing a competitive swimsuit designed with compression technology to smooth the body, reduce drag and increase water flow.

Training Swimsuit Tips

Most competitive swimmers use different swimsuits for swim meets versus training. While a training swimsuit does not have to be of the same high-quality fabric as a competitive swimsuit, it should be a one-piece design with a racerback for freedom of movement through the shoulders and to keep straps from slipping or twisting while in the water. REI, the sporting goods retailer, suggests choosing a training suit that fits snugly but not tightly. If the straps dig into your shoulders the suit is too small; if there are wrinkles or loose fabric in the torso, the suit is too big. Some swimmers choose legsuits for training that provide full-body coverage from the neck to the knees. Although, legsuits also offer less drag in the water than competitive suits, they are more appropriate for training than for competition because of the amount of fabric used.

Water Aerobic Bathing Beauties

Those doing water aerobics and other noncompetitive types of water exercise will want to choose a swimsuit based on comfort as well as performance. One-piece tank suits with comfortable straps allow for complete coverage and ease of arm movement in water aerobics classes. Although not designed for lap swimming, two-piece tank suits are also an appropriate choice for water exercise and are also easy to get on and off for those with arthritis or other conditions that limit range of motion. Dick’s Sporting Goods suggests choosing a suit that provides both freedom of movement as well as the coverage and support you need to feel comfortable in the water.

Best Suits for All Body Types

Feeling good in your swimsuit will help motivate you to continue the water exercise of your choice. The Sports Authority website recommends measuring your waist, bust and torso length to determine the right-sized swimsuit for your body type. Women with long torsos are most comfortable in one-piece suits with high-cut legs for less-restricted leg movement in the water. Suits with a straight-across cut at the neckline provide extra coverage for larger-busted women. Solid-colored swimsuits with a defined waist and a high percentage of Lycra or spandex provide plus-sized women with comfort and confidence.

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