Monday, 3 August 2015

Top tips for buying a new sporty swimsuit

Swim yourself to health!

Photo credit: Winnond/
Whether you favour the pool, the sea or the river, if you've been bitten by the swimming bug, chances are you'll be in the market for a new suit. But if in the past you've been more interested in poolside posing than lengths and laps it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to buying a costume that will meet all your new needs - and last longer than a string bikini in a summer romance! Here's some essential advice if you're buying a swimsuit for fitness (as well as fun...).

You get what you pay for!

Nobody likes a soggy bottom - and there's nothing worse than getting out of the water and finding half of it still draining slowly from your bumpy backside. If you want your booty (and the rest of you) to look cutey buy a quality costume. Look for a range that is is 100 per cent chlorine resistant to stop it degrading each time you wear and wash it - and it will last longer. Check the type of fabric that's used too - the blend of PBT and polyester fibres in Speedo's Endurance range for example is specifically designed to help it resist snagging (conventional elastane swimwear will get that bobbly look far quicker). As an added bonus a decent material mix will also be less absorbent and dry quicker - saving time after your swim. And remember, just rinse your lovely, high-quality purchase in cold water, to keep it at its best.

The Speedo Fit Body Positioning 
Kickback Swimsuit

Function and form

As I know to my cost, a cheap beachside bikini is not much use for fitness swimming. There's a wide variety of costumes on the market, so it's important to consider how and where you'll be using yours. First up, if you're swimming lengths but not competing you'll need a suit that's comfortable for long periods and allows plenty of movement - which is where softer styles and a racer back comes in handy. Check the suit offers enough coverage and moves as you do, without riding up or pinching. If you're planning on using the suit for aqua aerobics - or other pool-based classes or sports you'll also need to consider how supportive it is - some will have added bust support through design features (an internal shelf bra or a soft or underwired cup for example) and/or the fabrics used (yes, you'll need to jump up and down in the changing room!). Design elements in fitness suits such as higher necklines, wider straps and backs that feature crossovers/racer backs will also offer a better fit and more support than those designed simply for poolside posing.

If you're swimming competitively, you need to up your cossie game and look for a suit designed to reduce drag and optimise water flow. Forget all about shelf bras - compression and a tight fit is the name of the game for optimal performance. You'll be choosing a suit that creates a streamlined silhouette. You might even consider buying separate suits - one for training and another for competitions to ensure you can train in comfort - but be ready to shave seconds off your PB when it counts! 

Suits you!

Beat off the competition!
Photo credit: Arztsamui/

Fitness swimwear for women has moved on a great deal since the days of plain black styles however. It's now possible to get a suit that will stand up to the rigours of a watery workout, stay in place and still look good. The experts at Speedo have created the Sculpture range to smooth, control and support the body and recommend the following shapes and styles to flatter every body type. If you're pear shaped, a halter neck style will help to balance a larger lower-half (try their Crystalsun and Simplyglow styles), for those with an hourglass figure it recommends looking for detail under the bust or at the waist to draw attention to the narrowest part of the body (Crystalsun or Crystalshine styles), to flatter smaller boobs look for detailing on the bust line (Watergem, Crystalshine), for general slimming try a V-neckline, which helps to create the illusion of a longer upper body and neck (Watergem) and to disguise any problem areas look for prints and patterned suits (Crystalshine). 

And now you have the suit that's fit for purpose - make it your purpose to stay fit!

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