TODAY   |  June 30, 2013

Jenna hits up swim class with an Olympian

Doctors say that swimming is one of the best forms of exercise that women can do while they’re pregnant, but as Jenna found out, sometimes the stakes can be pretty high in those prenatal swimming classes. The solution? A private refresher course with Olympian Dara Torres. TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> doctors say swimming is one of the beforms of exercise especially when you're pregnant. as jenna found out, the stakes can be pretty high.

>> the stakes are only high when you're a nut case like myself. a i saw a prenatal swim class on my schedule. thankfully i got much-needed help from someone even more competitive than i am. for most pregnant women , swimming is pretty good exercise. for me, sure it's good exercise, but it's also a way to flex my, let's call them, competitive muscles. these women may look like they're relaxing. but on top of every pool noodle is a fierce competitor. don't let their gentle demeanor fool you.

>> what's the correlation between how often you swim in a prenatal program and how quickly your kid will go to the olympics? heidi rece is the co-owner of aquababy in brooklyn, new york. that brings me to my next question, what is the competition level in your prenatal swim class? i have to go meet with one person. i will be right back. you stay right here. i'll be right back. so to be the best i had to meet the best.

>> come on. kick harder, faster.

>> reporter: what makes you such an expert?

>> i don't know.

>> reporter: yes, that's 12 time olympic medalist darra torres who graciously accepted my pleas for private swim lessons in order for me to excel at maternity swim class. the reason i'm here, the reason i came to you, i walked into a swimming maternity class. look, it's peaceful and enjoyable. you know me, darra . i want to win. so we started with the basics. you want me to train with this. it's funny. i never even noticed you wear these when you are competing.

>> the first thing is called skulling. it will help your triceps. you're not moving. you're going backwards instead of forward.

>> reporter: after clearly mastering that technique, we moved on to something a little more challenging. any last-minute advice? anything at all? i'll talk to you later . so my arms are straight enough? i don't know how this is going to help me in class but if you say so. you know, some might even call this workout olympic caliber. so now fully prepare to take on my adversaries i headed back to that maternity swim class. okay. bringing with me the techniques i learned from darra . mainly because she wouldn't let me bring back the medal. but after a morning in the pool with the other expecting moms, it hit me, this isn't about a grading system or a finish line or, dare i say, a winner. we're all in this together. the moms, the babies, and all the life that happens in between.

>> that was awesome.

>> cute.

>> only thing missing were the water wing. that would have been a nice touch.

>> i have a stupid question, does having the baby make you sink?

>> no, they kept saying that it was going to help you float, that you were going to be buoyant and it pushed me down to the bottom of the pool.

>> did it throw you off?

>> i find it a little bit harder.

>> it's a good, low-impact exercise.

>> no impact at all. really great for moms. and thank you to darra . the patience you had with me is just unbelievable. because sometimes it's required.

>> no.

>> did you sneak a medal in your suitcase?

>> thank you very much. two. don't tell her.

>> just leave the other on my desk.