Swim England Artistic Swimming

The home of artistic swimming in England

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Artistic Swimming Moves

Artistic swimming routines are essentially a series of athletic movements performed in water and choreographed to music.

There are a huge range of artistic swimming moves used by swimmers to impress the judges.

These are called figures and are typically movements between one or more of the 19 basic artistic swimming positions.

The majority of figures also involve the swimmer holding their legs out of the water.

  • Click here to view FINA’s Artistic Swimming Rules with diagrams of each position and figure.

Figures competitions and technical elements

Junior competitions hold figures competitions in which swimmers are judged on their execution of four pre-determined artistic swimming moves.

There is no music for figures competitions and they are simply a case of how well the swimmer performs the movements.

The scores from figures are then carried over and combined to free routine scores to determine overall rankings.

In senior competitions, swimmers are required to perform certain combinations of figures, called elements.

In a technical routine, part of a swimmer’s score is based on their performance of these elements.

Artistic swimming moves for teams

One of the most impressive parts of Artistic Swimming are the fast and complicated moves performed by teams.

Three of the most common terms used to describe team artistic swimming moves are listed below.

  1. Transitions
    These are the movements that connect strokes, figures and other positions in a routine.
  2. Pattern
    This is the formation that a team holds during any period of choreography. It changes many times during one routine.
  3. Lift
    When one or more swimmers hold or throw one or more swimmers above the surface of the water.