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Syncro Programme

About Artistic Swimming

It is an incredibly strenuous and skillful sport. In fact, a test on all the Olympic sports before the London 2012 Olympic Games found artistic swimmers ranked second to long distance runners in aerobic capacity!

Artistic swimmers need strength to perform twists and lifts and can hold their breath underwater for around a minute. They also need rhythm and flair to synchronise and interpret the music, which they listen to through underwater speakers.


Artistic swimming has two main parts to its competitions that are Figures and Routines.

Artistic swimming Figures

These are where swimmers perform set movements to a panel of judges. There is no music and this is simply a case of how well the individual performs various synchro moves.

and Artistic swimming Grades.

Artistic Swimming Routines

Artistic swimming routines are performed in four main categories of competition:

  • Solos – where an individual swimmer will synchronise with the music.

  • Duets – where a swimmer co-ordinates with their partner and in time to the music.

  • Teams – where the swimmer co-ordinates with up to seven other athletes and in time to the music.

  • Combination – a team routine where up to ten swimmers perform in one continuous routine but during the routine there will be segments where different numbers of swimmers will perform.


During Warriors of Warrington training sessions we work to develop all aspects of Artistic swimming. This includes land training developing Flexibility, Strength, coordination and routines on land. In the Water we develop positions and movements that developing to figures, and skills and movements that combine to create routines. All of this works towards competitions

What Are Artistic Swimming Grades?

Since January 2017, Swim England Artistic Swimming has run a three-strand award system for athletes; Figure Grades, Routine Grades and Land Grades.

As you progress as an artistic swimmer you will need to have your artistic swimming grades tested before you can enter certain competitions. Learn about the different requirements here.

Figure Grades

There are five figures grades which provide an increasing test of ability for athletes on their age group figures.

These grades support swimmer long term athlete development (LTAD) and ensure each athlete performs to their very best standard before moving to their next grade. Each grade has three levels (gold, silver and bronze) so all athletes have the ability to perfect their figures before moving to the next grade.

Routine Grades

There are five routine grades which provide an increasing test of ability for athletes on their routine skills. These grades compliment the figure grades and ensure athletes are developing their transitions, speed of movement and hybrids ready for solos, teams and routines as they develop.

Land Grades

There are five land grades which provide an increasing test of ability for athletes on their land skills. These grades compliment the figure and routine grades, and ensure athletes are developing core strength, flexibility and speed of movement on land which transfer to the pool through figures and routines.


These grades were released in 2018 and the grade booklets refer to movements, positions and stretches for each grade and provide a guide to marking these.

Grading Days

Swimmers can pass these Figure and Routine grades at assessment days which take place throughout the year. You will be informed by coaches when you are ready to complete a grade assessment.

Artistic Swimming Grades Resources

Resources about the England Artistic Swimming grades are available on the Swim England web site on the link below. These include marking guides for each grade, as well as a general conditions document and height chart.

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