Getting into synchronised swimming in England

Young synchronised swimmers performing a routine. Get started with synchro.

Getting into synchronised swimming couldn’t be easier. Childen can be introduced to the sport as part of the ASA Learn To Swim Pathway while there are also opportunities for adults to get involved to improve their fitness or simply to try something new. For more on joining a synchronised swimming club go to our Find a Club page here.

Kids Starting Out

Getting into synchronised swimming can be done as part of swimming lessons – ask your swimming teacher about it. It is known as stages, or levels, 8-10 of the ASA Aquatics Skills Framework (see below for what you need to do to pass stages 8-10 in synchro).

These three steps are known as AquaFun – a mixture of swimming, gymnastics and dancing. AquaFun is for 7-13 year olds and is all about learning the basics of synchronised swimming. The focus is on fun and you’ll be able to put your dance moves to good use in the water.

The two most important moves that you will be taught in AquaFun are sculling and the eggbeater. These are vital to synchro:

  • Sculls are the hand movements that propel the body and are the most essential part of synchronised swimming.
  • Eggbeater is a form of treading water that allows you to remain stable above the water while leaving the hands free to perform strokes. Swimmers can also perform ‘boosts’, where they use their legs to propel themselves out of the water.

ASA Aquatics Skills Framework – Synchro

Stage 8

  1. Demonstrate a stationary floating position with good body extension and controlled start and finish.
  2. Demonstrate counting to music using two different tempos.
  3. Swim 5m using synchro backstroke, then 5m with a variation.
  4. Swim 5m synchro breaststroke, then 5m with a variation.
  5. In back layout, scull continuously 3m head first and return travelling feet first.
  6. Using a buoyancy aid, perform a back layout before finishing in the bent knee position.
  7. Perform the tub position.
  8. Perform a 45 seconds – 1min sequence to music, using a variety of skills learned previously and in NPTS Stage 7.

Stage 9

  1. Swim 5m synchro breaststroke then 5m backstroke using a smooth transition.
  2. Move from back layout to bent knee, then lift to ballet leg using buoyancy aid/pool to support horizontal leg.
  3. Hold a pike position using buoyancy aid.
  4. Perform a back tuck somersault.
  5. Perform the oyster.
  6. Perform eggbeater travelling 3m then return in opposite direction creating an arm movement.
  7. Perform a feet first entry with arms extended by ears throughout.
  8. Perform a sequence lasting 45 seconds – 1 minute to music, and include one stroke (or arm variation) and one figure from the above or NPTS Stage 8.

Stage 10

  1. Swim 10m using two synchro strokes with smooth transition, synchronised with a partner. Music may be used.
  2. Perform eggbeater into side flutter kick and back to eggbeater lifting one arm out the water.
  3. Using a buoyancy aid, hold either inverted crane, bent knee or split position for 5 seconds.
  4. Demonstrate support scull standing on bottom of the pool.
  5. Travelling head first, back layout to bent knee and return to back layout – 5m.
  6. Perform Marlin (¼ turn).
  7. Demonstrate a head first entry, return to the surface demonstrating eggbeater.
  8. Perform a sequence for 45 seconds – 1 minute, to music with a partner or in groups, starting with feet first entry.

Once a swimmers has mastered the basics of the ASA Aquatics Skills Framework, they can start working towards the five national skill levels and recreational grades.

Adults’ Synchro

There is an increasing number of opportunities for adults interested in getting into synchronised swimming with taster sessions and classes designed to improve your fitness with synchro available all over the country.

As well as a challenging and different hobby to take up, the fitness benefits of synchro are huge – it tones your leg muscles, improves your upper body strength, helps boost your cardiovascular system, improves your balance and posture and helps develop your agility and flexibility.

It’s no wonder the likes of supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell have used synchronised swimming as way to keep in shape!

There are clubs for adults aged 20+ all over England called Masters clubs – head to Poolfinder to search for your nearest synchro club and ask if they have a Masters section.

You could also contact your regional ASA office to find out if there are any taster sessions taking place near you.


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