Top Swim Classes In Philadelphia

April 26, 2013 7:00 AM

(Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Whenever the summer Olympics are on TV, all eyes focus on the swimming pool. Mark Spitz, Michael Phelps, Jenny Thompson — the U.S. routinely delivers some of the best swimmers in the world. Yet, according to the Red Cross, more than one third of Americans can’t swim. The numbers are dismal, especially when you consider that 70 percent of the earth is covered by water. Whether you want to learn basic swimming skills or simply perfect your stroke, these are the top spots in Philadelphia to keep your head above water.
Upper Main Line YMCA
1416 Berwyn-Paoli Road
Berwyn, PA 19312
(610) 647-9622

The Upper Main Line YMCA (UMLY) is a spacious facility with three outdoor pools and two indoor pools that are open daily for family, lap and recreational swim time. Adults and children ages two and older are in the pool when it comes to group and private instruction. If you’re like a duck to water with strong swimming skills, then you may want to dive in with pre-competitive and competitive programs. The Y hosts the UMLY swim team, a youth team that competes locally in YMCA invitationals and in regional and national meets leading up to Olympic Trials.

Northeast Family YMCA
11088 Knights Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
(215) 632-0100

This branch of the YMCA has a heavenly heated indoor pool with swimming classes for both kids and adults of all skill levels. Certified instructors offer a boatload of classes, including pre-school, parent and child, youth, teen and adult swim lessons. Little fish concentrate on water safety, swimming skills and stroke technique, while big fish learn endurance and form. Aqua jog, exerswim and deep water fitness classes are also scheduled for adults, with emphasis on strengthening and toning your body. Additionally, lifeguard training and certification is available.

Drexel Recreation Center
3301 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 571-3777

Adults and teens ages 15 and older who desire group, semi-private or private swim lessons can test the water at Drexel Recreation Center. Beginner, intermediate and advanced group classes are held for 30 minutes with a maximum of four students per class. Sessions with two or three participants and one-on-one sessions also run for 30 minutes. Drexel’s unique teaching technique allows swimmers to outline their own individual course objectives and goals with their specific instructor.

Related: Guide To Philadelphia’s Pools

David Pottruck Health & Fitness Center
Penn Department of Recreation
3701 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-6100

There are swim classes for all ages and abilities at University of Pennsylvania’s Sheerr Pool. PennRec instructors offer individual 30-minute sessions at the student’s convenience. Novice adult swimmers are welcome to join group swim. Six in-water sessions focus on buoyancy, floating, kicking and simple arm movements. Aqua-zumba and aqua-robics classes also get adults on the move. Finally, the PennRec Master’s Swim Team allows intermediate and advanced adult swimmers to learn higher level skills under the tutelage of a varsity swim coach.

Sunsational Swim School

Sunsational Swim School is a leader in at-home swim lessons. Certified instructors come right to your door, either at your metro-Philadelphia area home or community pool. Little tadpoles ages three and older are guaranteed to learn how to swim in 12 private lessons, or subsequent lessons are free. Using a six-step method, water safety and life-saving skills are taught first, with students eventually graduating to basic swimming skills and simple strokes. Flexible scheduling fits around your hectic schedule.

Related: Top Waterparks And Pools In Philadelphia

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey’s “Cape May County Herald” for more than a decade. A writer for numerous online publications, Susan has covered health, fitness, beauty and travel, all subjects that are near and dear to her as a married mother of seven children. Her work can be found at

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