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The MUSC Wellness Center offers a heated, indoor 25-meter swimming pool ideal for lap swimming, aquatic training, classes, and a variety of therapeutic uses. Please contact Kathleen Wilson for more information about the facility's aquatic offerings. 

Pool Hours of Operation

Monday - Thursday: 5:30 am to 9:45 pm*

Friday: 5:30 am to 6:45 pm*

Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 am to 4:45 pm*

*The pool closes 15 minutes earlier than regular facility operating hours. 

What is Swimming?

By Kathleen Wilson

Many picture swimming as effortless, seamless, beautiful strokes up and down the pool. Yes, that is one form of swimming. In spite of my years spent chasing those effortless motions, I have a surprisingly different definition of swimming.

If your ship is going down, is the captain more likely to ask who has the proper hand entry, who is able to swim the four competitive strokes or who is comfortable in the water and can manage until the situation resolves?

An excellent swimmer is a thing of beauty; however, I would argue that swimming is more about the ability to get from point A to point B, calmly and safely, regardless of how conventional it looks.

My clients often hear me say that swimming is only three skills; a front float, a back float, and air exchange. The rest is simply movement. In addition, those floats need not be perfectly horizontal and right up on the water’s surface, another game changer to a new or reluctant swimmer. Many of us, myself included, do not float right at the surface- I float at a 45-degree angle, with my feet resting on the bottom of the pool. It is still very much a float. Some float just under the surface, un-nerving to a newbie but still floating.

Air exchange is generally underestimated, yet a critical skill. Most swimmers overthink it. Always remember that water is much more dense than air, therefore it takes considerably more time to exhale the breath that only took one second to inhale.

Our Wellness Center pool is a fantastic resource for members. Swim assessments are a wonderful way to try a single lesson (40-45 minutes for $30) or a package of four, 30-minute lessons. Whether new to swimming or a swimmer looking for higher level stroke refinement, I can help. It is always immensely gratifying to watch clients exceed their own expectations, whether it is establishing those three basic skills or achieving higher level swimming technique. If a client needs a training regime for an upcoming pool or open water event, I can share decades of experience and knowledge.

Swimming is perhaps the most versatile form of exercise available.  It can be blissful, gentle laps or a source of excellent cardio and full body movement, moving up and down the pool. Taken even further, it can be pure power with incredible speed and flawless technique.  All qualify as swimming.

Make this the summer to explore or to expand those basic swimming skills.

Come get your swim on! 

Water Training Benefits 

Aquatic exercise is extremely versatile with far reaching body impacts. Do you have achy joints, especially knees and hips?

Try the water if you wish to reduce strain on your joints yet build muscle. Moving through the water is the ideal way to strengthen and improve the length and flexibility of a whole range of different muscles without the added stress of gravity. It is truly a full-body mode of exercise with virtually no special equipment needed- just a swimsuit and a towel! For lap swimmers, a pair of goggles is recommended.

Looking to change up your cardio routine?

Swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.  It is a terrific way to create a healthy mix of gym or land cardio with the benefits of the water.

“Swimming exercise affects lung volume as respiratory muscles including diaphragm of swimmers are required to develop greater pressure as a consequence of immersion in water during respiratory cycle.  This may lead to functional improvement in these muscles and also alterations in elasticity of lung and chest wall, leading to an improvement in forced vital capacity and other lung functions of swimmers.” Source: Determinants of lung function changes in athletic swimmers. A review

In addition, water exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, healthy heart and lungs.

Do you want to begin water exercise but not swim laps?

Water exercise is versatile. Simply walking in the water provides an increased cardio output through the resistance that water offers.  Adding additional movements in a water exercise class or adding equipment such as noodles or water dumb-bells can boost the intensity of work. If not a confident swimmer, this is an excellent way to reap enormous benefit while in the water. Consider one of the water exercise classes offered, jump in and enjoy this tremendous asset found at MUSC Wellness Center.