Taking to the water this summer and wondering how to find the best fitness tracker for swimming? You’re going to need a device that is more than just waterproof. Whether it’s for open water or in a pool, a wearable with proper swimming tracking will be able to feedback to you vital swim stats – automatically detecting the type of stroke, stroke rate (the number of strokes you swim per length), and split times, for instance.
According to David Tatler, Head Coach at London swim coaching firm DMT Swimming, having this sort of data available while in the water can not only aid swimmers track how many lengths they’re doing or calories they’ve burnt, but can help even more seasoned swimmers push beyond their limits.
“Seeing where you are slowing down, for instance, will force you to look at every aspect of your stroke and see where improvements are needed in your technique,” he explains.
How to choose the best swimming fitness tracker for you
If you’re a keen athlete or triathlete serious about swimming, purchasing a good quality fitness wearable boasting some good tracking features is a no brainer. A constant supply of stats will help you keep a watchful eye on how well you’re performing day-to-day, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and how to improve your stroke.
Alternatively, if you’re not exactly a pro, you’re just starting out or you prefer to swim occasionally and aren’t so interested in closely monitoring detailed swim stats, you might want to go for more of an all-rounder. A multi-sport tracker would therefore be ideal as it will allow you to keep tabs on all kinds of fitness while not feeding back stats that aren’t so relevant to you. Most smartwatches and activity trackers do this anyway, but not all.
There’s also two main types of tracker to look out for, a full-sized smartwatch or a more slimline fitness band. This is all to do with preference and how comfortable you feel wearing a larger, heavier watch while in the water. Bands are usually lighter and smaller so less noticeable on the arm during your lengths, but these tend to have fewer sensors and therefore are lacking when it comes to detailed stats. On the upside, though, they are usually cheaper, so perhaps best for those more casual swimmers among us.
1. Garmin Swim 2: best overall fitness tracker for swimming
Blows all other trackers out of the water
Display Size: 1.04″
Estimated Battery Life: 7 days
Water resistance: 50m
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Super detailed summary stats+GPS for open water swimming
Reasons to avoid
–Lacks multisport features
Garmin is probably the market leader when it comes to smartwatches and is popular with more serious fitness fanatics and athletes thanks to its in-depth multisport tracking features, robust designs and reliability. The Swim 2 is no exception. With a built in heart rate monitor so that you can see