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Little girl swimming in pool with goggles, smiling.

Did you know swimming is the fourth most popular activity in the United States? One reason why is that swimming is great exercise. It engages almost every major muscle group, requiring a person to use their arms, legs, torso and stomach. Plus, exercising in water makes your body work harder, so 30 minutes in a pool is worth 45 minutes of the same activity on land.


Swimming and aquatics have long been associated with the YMCA; tens of millions of people across the country learned how to swim at a Y. At the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, we have youth, teen, adult and senior lessons. Here’s a quick overview of our offerings:


Swim Starters Aquatic Program

Accompanied by a parent or guardian, infants and toddlers learn to be comfortable in the water and develop swim readiness skills through fun and confidence-building experiences, while parents learn about water safety, drowning prevention and the importance of supervision.


Basics For Preschool, School Age, Teen and Adult

Students learn personal water safety and achieve basic swimming competency by learning two benchmark skills: swim, float, swim—sequencing front glide, roll, back float, roll, front glide, and exit—and jump, push, turn, grab.


Water Acclimation, Water Movement and Water Stamina

Students are taught the recommended skills to have around water, including safe water habits, underwater exploration, and how to swim to safety and exit if falling into a body of water. Activities, games, and drills geared to reinforce learning are utilized heavily as students progress in this skill-based approach to swimming.


Swim Strokes for Preschool, School Age, Teen and Adult

Having mastered the fundamentals, students learn additional water safety skills and build stroke techniques, developing skills that prevent chronic disease, increase social-emotional and cognitive well-being, and foster a lifetime of physical activity.


Stroke Introduction, Stroke Development and Stroke Mechanics

Swimmers are introduced to the four competitive swimming strokes, rescue skills, and healthy lifestyle habits.


Specialty Classes and Programs

Swimmers who love the water and want further instruction for future aquatics activities enjoy participating in our Specialty Programs focused on leadership, competition, and recreation. We continually develop our specialty program curriculum.


Please check with your local Y for new offerings. For registration information, go to