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How Does a Swim Spa Work?

  |   Buying & Research Guide, Swim Spas   |   No comment

If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably come across one in person or online, and wondered how it’s possible to combine a hot tub and a swimming pool into one multi-purpose piece of recreational equipment. Is it a hot tub? Is it a pool? How can one device do two things well? Believe it or not, it IS possible, and when you find the right one, it’s awesome.


Generally a swim spa is a “portable” above-ground unit that is self-contained. Now, we say portable, because technically they can be moved from space to space. Technically. That said, a swim spa is a significant sized structure to move around, so please don’t think it’s something you can pack up and take with you on vacation.


A swim spa works by pumping water to special jets that create a current system. This current helps you stay in place while you swim. Some swim spas also offer a tether for added stability. Think of a swim spa like a treadmill, but instead of running, you’re swimming to get exercise. Some swim spas even come with pre-programmed and customizable workout programs to vary the intensity of the jets.




Can you really swim in a swim spa?

First thing’s first, let’s discuss the difference in the swimming experience. When you think about swimming, you probably thinking of a large lap pool. Since swim spas are smaller than regular pools, they aren’t exactly set up for lap-swimming. As stated before, swim spas are equipped with a jet system that creates a current against which a swimmer can swim, while staying in place.


For instance, the Bullfrog Spas® Swim Series models are equipped with a unique, anatomically-tuned current system that helps you swim easier and better. The unique orientation of swim jets, one near the surface and one angled up from a bit deeper, creates a current shape that helps keep your body and legs horizontal and your whole body in your swim lane for easier use and more effective workouts. In the Bullfrog Spas Swim Series, you’re able to customize your drills and swim programs to your body type and workout style for optimum results.


So yes, you really can swim in a swim spa. Many swimmers use a swim spa to train at home for competitions, triathlons, or to stay in shape.


How fast can you swim in a swim spa?

Watch the video to learn how Flora Duffy uses her swim spa after her training and for her recovery.



This is going to vary according to both the spa’s capabilities, as well as the swimmer’s. The higher-quality spa you purchase, the more variation you’re likely to get. Each different setting allows for a different potential swim speed that works well for a skilled swimmer. When you combine the higher settings with accessories, such as a swim tether which helps hold you in place while you swim, you have the potential for more significant speeds, which may work well for swimmers who are closer to competition level.


What else can you do in a swim spa?


The question here is more like, what can’t you do in a swim spa? Meaning, there are a few things you can’t do, but a LOT that you can do. For instance, you can’t / shouldn’t dive in a swim spa. And we wouldn’t recommend learning to scuba dive in a swim spa. It’s just not deep enough. However, here are some fun ideas of what you can do.


  • Water walking
  • Water yoga
  • Swim workouts
  • Teaching kids to swim
  • Floating on a pool float or Zero Gravity Hammock
  • Body surfing
  • Strength and resistance training
  • Sit in the spa seats and relax
  • Play on the splashpad feature
  • Cool off in warm weather
  • Warm water therapy in cool weather
  • Pool party with friends/family
  • XL hot tub party
  • Water sports like small team volleyball


This list could continue, but you get the idea, right?


Therapy / Relaxation


The Bullfrog Spas Swim Series™ are the only swim spas available that feature the patented Jetpak Therapy System® that allows users to choose between up to 18 interchangeable JetPak® massages.


Each Bullfrog Spas JetPak provides a unique hydromassage experience by targeting different areas of your back, neck, and shoulders and varies in power and intensity. Personalize your Swim Series spa by selecting your favorites, then place the JetPak in your favorite seat and interchange at any time. Adjust the massage power to the way you like it. Enjoy multi-level therapy seats, ergonomic headrests, and leg and foot therapy, or take advantage of unlimited options for fitness and water play. The functional layout appeals to families, those looking for premium therapy, and fitness enthusiasts alike, all packaged into one truly remarkable spa.


Family Fun


Swim spas offer space that you don’t necessarily get in a regular hot tub, so they allow for another level of water play. In addition, this is an excellent place to teach children to swim. They feel reassured because the space is not as large as a traditional pool, while parents can focus on water safety in a more intimate setting. Splash, swim, play, or relax together as a family, or an extended group of friends. Your swim spa just gives you more options for all of your favorite water play and workout options.


There you have it. How a swim spa works will largely depend on your purpose for purchasing it, but no matter the original purpose, you’ll discover more uses, we’re certain. The Bullfrog Spas Swim Series is so versatile, it’s an investment you won’t regret.


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AUTHOR - Bullfrog Spas

Bullfrog Spas is a premier brand of personalized premium hot tubs. With proprietary hydromassage technology and an eye for contemporary design, Bullfrog Spas is revolutionizing the concept of the portable hot tub and providing a relaxation experience unlike any other. Discover the award winning spa of the future today.

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