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Swim Spas: An Aquatic Gym for your Home


For many, healthy living has become a priority.  Eating right and exercising daily is the foundation of lifestyle choices for millennials and baby-boomers alike.  Aquatic-based exercises are some of the most efficient ways to burn calories while reducing the amount of stress on the body’s joints and appendages.  Most outlets for swimming and exercising are in public pools, private in ground pools in your back yard and swim spas.

Swimming pools have always been a remedy recommended by doctors and physical therapists not just for exercise and activity but for physical therapy and recovery.  Community aquatic centers and your local YMCA are a nice way to ease into the healthy living lifestyle, typically with little monetary investment.  Lap pools are readily available and various water aerobics classes may even be offered.  However, crowds and the downside to public bathing can be a turnoff.  For others, an in ground pool in your backyard give you the privacy and peace of mind not afforded by public pools.  But in ground pools can be costly to install and yard space can be an issues.  Additionally, for those that live In the Midwest, in ground pools can only be utilized for a portion of the year.

Prefabricated and with a completely internalized plumbing and filtration system, “portable” swim spas offer the user a unique ability for a source of swimming and aquatic exercising in their home or back yard without taking up a lot of space and devoid of a messy construction process. Swim spas are also complete aquatic home gym. Swimming laps, low-impact running/walking, water aerobics and rowing are just some of the exercise options available when you own your very own swim spa. Unlike an in ground pool, a swim spa is designed to operate year-round in any weather condition.

With several models available in this emerging market, Prestige Pools and Spas is here to help familiarize yourself with what swim spa is the best for your needs.


Total Therapy:  “All Business”

Swim Spas tend to run in a familiar shape and size:  Rectangular and approximately 7.5′ wide.  Lengths usually vary from 12′ to 18′.  The majority of differentiation between swim spas is the floor plan of the unit and the type of resistance hydrotherapy available to swim/walk/run against.  Some units have a jetted seats on the opposite end of of the swim jets.  Others have a separate hot tub unit built in, with its own temperature and filtration system.  Then there are the swim spas that are a basic tanker with one or no seats; what we lovingly deem “all business”

Tankers are the purest form of swim machines.  Most tanker models offer swim jets at one end and some form of an entry step system on the opposite end.  The model above is the perfect example.  This specific unit also has a centered seat for resting with a few back and feet jets.  This center seat doubles for optional rowing equipment to be utilized for additional water training (rowing equipment not shown).

Many tankers may be basic in appearance but offer several swim jet options with numerous pump options available for the user to customize their hydrotherapy needs.  This unit, from Catalina Swim Spas, also features a full body massager to help the user either loosen up prior to their work out or for a rub down after their swimming/exercise session.  Tanker swim spas are for those who are serious about exercising year round.

This swim spa is not for everyone though.  Some people may be looking for a swim spa that offers the benefits of exercise but are also wanting a unit that provides more entertainment and relaxation…

“Party Pools” is a fun term we use to label swim spas that have more room for fun and relaxation. These units still have most, if not all the exercise and resistance features that are found in your tanker-style swim spas. Thus, you have the ability to train as hard as you would in a tanker but you have more freedom to enjoy the swim spa recreationally.

One look at the unit above (12′ Malibu) and its clear that this style of swim spa offers more seating for entertainment.  Party Pools are great for those looking to have a “cocktail pool” in their back yard but with the freedom to have it operational year-round.  Additionally, they tend to have more seats in the hot tub area, offering different jet placement for greater hydrotherapy options.

The Best of Both Worlds

Sometimes you just want it all.  Dual chamber swim spas offer that:  One body of water for your pool with its own temperature and filtration and another body of water for your hot tub with its own temperature and filter.  These units maximize every aspect of a swim spa in terms of spacing and amenities.  The swim area will not have to divert water to the hot tub area, increasing the efficiency of the motors in terms of energy and water output. The hot tub side will also have its own set of motors, allowing the user to utilize a greater number of available jets with stronger output.

Some units will offer an abbreviated hot tubs (such as the 18′ Marathon at the beginning of this article) or a full-sized hot tub (like the 21′ Marathon, pictured immediately above).  Dual chamber swim spas offer the user the most freedom in terms of space and options and you’ll never have to wait for your unit to heat up or cool down.

Catalina Spas has been manufacturing swim spas for over 30 years and is the longest-running swim spa maker in the industry.  In fact, the entire industry has built up around the foundations in which Catalina Spas has laid:  Length, width and height of swim spas, jetting design and flow rate, shell colors, etc.  Prestige Pools and Spas is proud to be the exclusive Catalina Swim Spas dealer in the greater St. Louis metro area for over twenty years.


What Swim Spa Is The Best For You?

If you’d like to discuss what swim spa is the best fit for you, please check out our swim spa selection by clicking here.  If you can also call our showroom at 314.821.6660 and speak with one of our swim spa specialists.  If you’d like to wet test a unit that we have in our inventory, please let us know at least 48 hours in advance and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Thanks and happy hot tubbing (and Swim Spa-ing)!

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