Swim training buying guide
Improve your swimming technique
Swimming is a great way to keep fit, or indeed build up some fitness if you are coming back from a break or from injury. If you are keen to improve your stroke, some or all of the products below will help you focus on specific areas. It’s also worth contacting your local triathlon or swimming club to see if they run technique sessions as even a short course can help considerably and have you speeding through the water.
A pull buoy is perfect for giving you the chance to focus on your upper body to build strength, improve your upper body rotation and give you a feel for the water. A pull buoy is molded so it sits comfortably between your upper thighs and keeps your lower body afloat without the need to kick. Pull buoys are inexpensive training tools and a very popular with a wide variety of swimmers.
A kickboard gives you a chance to improve the efficiency of your kick by kicking from the hip rather than from the knee. Using your whole leg means you don’t have to kick as much to go further and also gives you greater control when you combine it with your swim stroke. As you would expect, the larger the kick board you have the more floatation you get!
Swimming fins are a great tool for either keeping your lower body afloat during drills such as single arm swimming, or for getting a feel for your kick by having it exaggerated by the fin. You may prefer a smaller fin that gives you a feel for the water, but it’s important to note that if you opt for a longer fin, you won’t have to work as hard!
Paddles are fantastic for building strength in your upper body as well as helping you identify the weak spots in your stroke. With a paddle on your hand every part of the stroke from the entry into the water to the exit near your hip can be felt. Coupled with a pull buoy you can really start to break down your stroke and look for areas to improve, or really go for it and have a solid upper body workout! You may prefer a paddle that is moulded to your hand as you have fewer issues with them moving around, one less thing to worry about in those upcoming technique sessions.
Using a swim computer when you are training either in a pool or in open water could greatly increase your motivation and performance. Swim computers from firms such as Garmin and Timex allow you to time your laps, your pacing, your stroke rate and much more. They can add an element of science to your training, which can help you to gauge your improvements and areas that you should work on in future sessions. It can also help to provide much needed motivation to keep training, as you try to beat personal records and training hour counts. Just strap it on, dive in, and then you can review a whole array of data when you finish your session. It will bring a whole new meaning to structured training!