How To Swim With An Apple Watch

Setting up and using your apple watch

Charlie Brown avatar
Written by Charlie Brown
Updated over a week ago

There are three ways to use MySwimPro on your Apple Watch – Guided Workouts, Pool Mode, and Open Water Mode!

Load A Guided Workout

There are three ways to load a Guided Workout to your Apple Watch

  • Send to Apple Watch

  • Workout of the Day

  • Training Plan (Start Your Plan/Next In Plan)

Send To Apple Watch

Sending a workout to your watch with the Send To Apple Watch option is quick and easy. This option is great for preloading your workout to your watch or after making last minute changes to your workout.

  1. Open the Workout you'd like to load to your Apple Watch on your iPhone
    You should be able to see the SwimGaugeTM

  2. Open the app on your watch

  3. Tap "Start Your Workout" on the bottom of the screen (phone)

  4. Tap "Send To Apple Watch"
    The workout should now be on your watch!

  5. Tap "Start Workout"

    If you are not ready to swim, or just wanted to prep your workout, you can tap "close" on the workout. It will now appear when you tap "Last Set Workout"

Once the Workout is complete it will automatically log to your account and you can view your stats on the Profile tab on your mobile app. Navigating a Workout on Apple Watch

Workout Of The Day

To load a Workout to your Apple Watch using the Workout of the Day option, tap on the Workout on your watch, then swim!

  1. Open the MySwimPro Apple Watch app

  2. Tap the Workout of the Day option

  3. Once it's loaded, you can start the Workout!

  4. Once the Workout is complete it will automatically log to your account and you can view your stats on the Profile tab on your mobile app. Navigating a Workout on Apple Watch

Training Plan

To load a Workout to your Apple Watch using the Training Plan option, tap on the Workout on your watch, then swim!

  1. Make sure that you have chosen a Training Plan on the phone app and tap "Start Plan"

  2. Open the MySwimPro Apple Watch app

  3. Tap Start Plan if this is the first Workout in the plan or Next In Plan if continuing your training.

  4. The Workout will appear

  5. Once it's loaded, you can start the Workout!

Once the Workout is complete it will automatically log to your account and you can view your stats on the Profile tab on your mobile app. Navigating a Workout on Apple Watch

Tracking An Unguided Pool Swim

To track an unguided pool swim with an Apple Watch:

  1. Open the MySwimPro watch app

  2. Tap Pool Swim,

  3. Confirm your pool size

  4. Tap Start Workout

  5. Swim!

  6. When you’ve finished your Workout, spin the crown at swipe the screen left to right to open the menu

  7. Tap End

  8. Tap Save

While you’re swimming, the MySwimPro Apple Watch App will display your Workout time, distance, average 100 pace and real-time heart rate. Pause the Workout at any time by unlocking the screen/water lock (spinning the digital crown), and swiping right on the screen to bring up the menu. Navigating a Workout on Apple Watch

Automatic Kick Detection

In watchOS 9, kickboard detection has been added as a new stroke type for Pool Swim workouts. To ensure proper kick detection the apple watch needs to see two things:
1) Accelerometer goes to 0 at the start and end of the rep.
2) Watch hand position changes.

#1 is easy since you start the set at 0 and then go back to 0 when you stop swimming.
#2 The watch assumes you are either in streamline or using a board in front of you. In order to record the end, you need to drop your watch hand by your side for 5 seconds.

Drill Mode

Wearables have a hard time tracking non-competitive swimming styles. To solve this, we created Drill Mode. Drill mode is automatically enabled during DRILL Sets in a Guided Workout.

You can use Drill Mode during any open (unguided) swim to add in a drill Set that the Apple Watch would normally not be able to track. To use Drill Mode, you need to Enter Drill Mode, perform the kick or drill Set, then Exit Drill Mode.

To Enter Drill Mode:

  1. Spin the digital crown to turn off water lock

  2. Swipe right to show the menu

  3. Tap on Drill Mode

To Exit Drill Mode:

  1. Spin the digital crown to turn off water lock

  2. Swipe right to show the menu

  3. Tap on End Drill Mode

  4. Enter your total kick/drill distance

  5. Tap OK and resume your Swim Workout

Tracking An Open Water Swim

Open water tracking is most accurate when location services are enabled for MySwimPro. There are two places to check that these permission are enabled:

  1. In the MySwimPro app, head to Profile > Settings > Account Settings, and make sure Open Water Location services is turned on. If the switch is greyed out, you'll have to check for location services settings in your iPhone's Settings app.

  2. Open the iPhone Settings app, find MySwimPro, and check that Location Services access is set to While Using.


To Start an Open Water Swim

  1. Tap Open Water on the main menu of your Apple Watch.

  2. Check your location accuracy and wait for it to switch to "best"

  3. Tap Start Workout and Swim!

  4. After you finish the Workout, disable the water lock and swipe left to reveal the menu and hit end. Then tap Save. The experience will be similar to Pool Swim mode, but a map will be added to your workout.


Navigating A Workout On Apple Watch

Once you've started a Workout on Apple Watch, you have a few options. Most of them are only visible by bringing up the menu. To access the menu:

  1. Be sure water lock is off by pressing down the digital crown (watch OS 9) or by spinning the digital crown (watch OS 8 and below)

  2. Swipe right on your Apple Watch screen

From there you will have a few options, depending on what mode you're in:

  • Lock - enables water lock again

  • Pause - pauses the Workout and tracking

  • Resume - resumes the Workout and tracking

  • Drill Mode - enters Drill Mode (pool mode)

  • Exit Drill - exits Drill Mode and prompts you to enter how far you kicked/drilled (pool mode)

  • Next Rep - advances to the next rep in the Workout (Guided Workout )

  • Next Set - advances to the next set in the Workout if you are on the last rep of your current set (guided workout).

Other available controls:

  • Hit the two side buttons at the same time to pause or resume your Workout without having to unlock water lock

  • Advance to the next rep by spinning the crown up without having to turn water lock off.

  • Use Siri to control the workout hands-free

Apple Watch Tips & Tricks

Understanding Water Lock On Apple Watch

Swimming with a touchscreen on your wrist means that the water sometimes accidentally touches the screen and selects things. To solve this, Apple created Water Lock, which locks the screen and prevents accidental touches.

Water lock on Apple Watch serves two purposes:

  1. Lock the touchscreen so the water doesn't accidentally "tap" on a button or notification.

  2. Expel water from the speaker when it's turned off.

MySwimPro automatically enables water lock at the start of a Swim Workout. Once it's off, you can enable it again by using the force touch menu to select Lock.

Apple Watches (Series 2 and later) are water resistant to 50 meters whether or not the water lock is on. It is not required that water lock is on during your swim, but we do suggest it so the water doesn’t accidentally tap a notification. If you do choose to turn it off during your Workout, we recommend you enable and disable it again after your Workout to properly expel the water from the speaker.

You can learn more about the Apple Watch's water resistance on Apple's website here.

Can I keep the Apple Watch Screen On During A Workout?

Apple Watch Series 5 and later can display the time and other glanceable information, even when your wrist is down. Always On is turned on by default on Apple Watch Series 5 and later. In this mode, the time is always visible, along with your watch face or the most recent active app such as MySwimPro.

Always On has settings that let you turn the feature off, which can increase battery life. You can also choose the information that you want to appear on the screen when your wrist is down.

How to turn the Always On feature on or off

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. To do this, press the Digital Crown to see the Home screen, then tap the Settings button.

  2. Tap Display & Brightness.

  3. Scroll down, then tap Always On.

  4. Tap Always On to turn on or turn off the feature.

Getting Splits To Log Consistently With Apple Watch

On our Apple Watch app, when you swim a Workout loaded to your watch from your phone (we call this a "guided" Workout), the app does it's best to calculate split times for each rep.

It should be noted that splits cannot be calculated for non-competitive strokes, and drills, usually because your watch/wrist isn't moving.

Splits start counting for a rep when you push off the wall, but only once the rep has started. So, to give the watch the best chance at accurately recording your splits, push off the wall only after you feel the haptic on the watch. That is to say, don't push off early (before the rep timer starts).

Use Siri To Control Workouts On Apple Watch

You can use Siri to control your MySwimPro Workouts on Apple Watch. First, make sure that you've enabled Siri permissions for MySwimPro. You can find them by going to the Settings app, select MySwimPro, then be sure "Use with Siri" is enabled.

After that, you will be able to control the Workouts from your Apple Watch as long as it has an internet connection. Some things you can say:

  • Hey Siri, start a MySwimPro Workout in a 20 meter pool

  • Hey Siri, pause the MySwimPro Workout

  • Hey Siri, resume the MySwimPro Workout

  • Hey Siri, end the MySwimPro Workout

Need Support?

Our Community Champion would love to help! Contact us at or use the messenger.

Did this answer your question?