9 Signs You Have a Swimmer’s Body

Michael Butler
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You’re tall. (For the most part.)

Athletes are typically taller than non-athletes.

In order to excel in athletics, you not only need to be able to run fast or swim fast, but you need to be able to run fast and swim fast, period. The average height of a successful swimmer in the Olympics is 6”1. Add the age-old link between height and attractiveness, and athletes are likely to have a leg up in the dating game.

Yes, you can still date a short person, and yes, you can still date someone who isn’t an athlete. But it’s pretty clear that hitting either, or preferably both, of these markers will put you on track to a higher concentration of dates than those who don’t.

You’re flexible.

If you have a swimmer’s body, you probably have great flexibility. This allows you to do things with ease like touching your toes, reaching upwards into the air, and stretching out your legs. Your muscles are strong enough to make this possible.

Even if you’re not that flexible, you can still work towards increased flexibility. Find stretches that are good for your muscles and do them regularly. Check out the guide in our post on the best yoga poses for swimmers.

You’re strong.

Developing leg muscles and building strength are important parts of being a swimmer. A good swimmer can change the direction of the body quickly and powerfully. That means to stop an underwater pull-kick, move the arms to the front of the body, and flip the leg over. Although you’re not in the water when you’re running on land, working your leg muscles to build up speed will make you faster on your feet. So even if exercise doesn’t actually get you a swimmer’s body, you can at least become an all-around faster person.

You have hilariously large lats.

Swimmers have large lats that extend back from the shoulder and usually include a muscle fiber that binds together the latissimus dorsi and the pectorals.

This is a body type that is associated with butterfly swimmers and is characterized by wide shoulders, narrow waist, and long legs.

The swimmer body type isn’t exclusive to professional swimmers. Recreational swimmers can have it too if they are serious about training.

For the most part, the swimmer body type comes naturally for stroke swimmers, even if you’re just a casual swimmer. That’s because front crawl is a body-abs exercise. It works your arms, core muscles, abs, chest, and back.

To build the V-shaped swimmer’s body, focus on push-up and press exercise for your chest and back. You can also add lateral pull-down to add definition to your deltoids and your lats.

If you take time off swimming regularly, your swimmer’s body will eventually revert to your natural body type, but it’s still possible to maintain.

You have swimmer shoulders.

If you have swimmer shoulders, then more than likely, you have a swimmer’s body and are most likely a swimmer yourself. Your shoulders curve in, creating a narrower top with broad, muscular shoulders that seem to blend into the chest.

A swimmer’s shoulders on a man are often attributed to the muscular deltoids (round, three-headed muscle) and the lower, trapezoid-shaped shoulder. On women, swimmer’s shoulders can be attributed to wide latissimus dorsi muscles.

If you’ve ever watched competitive swimming, you’ve probably noticed that when a swimmer dives into water, their shoulders seem to stick out on the side of their body. This is because a swimmer’s body tends to be a bit narrower at the top.

Most competitive swimmers also have swimmer’s breasts, which means that the breasts aren’t very noticeable. Usually, a male swimmer’s body is short and compact, similar to a gymnast. Athletic swimmers build their upper body strength and maintain overall fitness with a lot of endurance and cardiovascular workouts. During their workouts, swimmers call on every muscle in their body to help them swim more efficiently and save energy.

You’re built like a torpedo.

Powerful-looking shoulders and back muscles and a wide torso characterize swimmers’ bodies. The look is streamlined and perfect for swimming, with less surface area and less drag.

Your hair is constantly wet and beat up.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just taken a shower – your hair is still wet. You don’t like that the chlorine is damaging your hair. But you also don’t like putting on a swim cap and having that little amount of chlorine ruin your blowout because there are no shower facilities immediately available at the pool.

What can you do? Headbands are your friend. If you have long hair, wear it up in a high ponytail or in a messy bun. No one’s going to see what’s under your swim cap anyway. At least in your moments of vulnerability during the workout, you can rest easy with no one looking at your terrible hair day.

Your back is either unusually straight or super curvy.

If you have a swimmer’s body, you’re going to notice that your back has either become super-straight or really, really curved. During the days that you’re in the water, swimming laps, you’ll start to notice a change in the alignment of your back.

You have all the triceps.

Basically, the medial head (downward pointing) along with the lateral head (outward pointing) of your triceps muscles are pretty well developed too. Those muscles in your arms reach peak definition when you are in the water. And your fat-to-muscle ratio is top-notch as well.

The amount of body hair you have is always in flux.

It tends to get thicker when you’re going through puberty, but as you age, you gradually lose it. And it also varies in amount depending on your gender, race, and where in your body it grows.

You may find androgenic hair (hairs that grow on the pubic mound, nipples, armpits, and face) on many swimmers. Female swimmers are more likely to sport a full bush than males, and they often have hairy legs that they shave. Hormonal influences are the reason for this. The more testosterone you have, the more your body hair grows.

Male swimmers don’t have as much body hair as female swimmers, but it’s common for them to develop male pattern baldness. And while you’re at it, yes, female swimmers are just as capable of growing curly locks as men.

The extent of androgenic hair growth depends on the individual, and it’s rarely uniform. A woman who has a hairier back than legs may notice that her underarms have less hair. And a man who is hirsute on the front of his body may not be as bushy on the back. But one common solution is to shave it all. This gives you a distinctive, streamlined look that shows off your long, lean muscles.

Take Your Swimming to the Next Level

Great swimmers are built and shaped differently than non-swimmers. Take a look at some of the body language that you’ll see in great swimmers…

Thicker Arms

Jackie – the Female Michael Phelps

Wider Hips

Carlos‒s Thicker Waist

{1}. Pointier Toes
{2}. Longer, Leaner Legs
{3}. Stronger, Shaped Wrists
{4}. Solid Shoulders
{5}. Leaner Waist

A Wide Stance

{1}. Stronger, Pointier Feet
{2}. And how do you become that swimmer?