Anyone serious about improving their swim skills needs to train with these 5 swim tools. They are essential to improve both strength and technique. Use and mix them twice a week in your training schedule. Most of the time your local pool has some of these tools available for swimmers.
Pull buoys are placed between your thighs and you hold it there as you swim. As you swim, you will feel the buoy keeping your legs from sinking and dragging in the water behind you. Without the buoy, trying to swim without using your legs is very difficult. Your legs pull your waist and torso to a more vertical position in the water, making traditional swimming strokes impossible. With the buoy, you can just use your arms for forward motion in the water. By omitting assistance from your legs, you're isolating the muscles in your upper body, forcing your arms to do almost all of the work of propulsion.
Kickboards help develop strength. Swimming is a multitasking sport. It uses breathing, arms, body position and kick. A kickboard takes the arms and sometimes the breathing out of the equation, allowing a swimmer to focus on isolating the large muscle groups in the legs that do the majority of the work of kicking. It also takes away the assistance of the upper body and adds the resistance of the floating board, which makes the legs work even harder. But remember not to rest your weight on the kickboard or lift your body out of the water. That can start a bad body position.
Hand paddles increase the resistance the hand makes as it moves through the water during the effective part of the arm stroke, the part of the stroke described as the "pull". This gives the swimmer more forward propulsion from the arm stroke and affords an enhanced kinesthetic "feel" of the pull. Furthermore it enhances the swimmer's feel of the "catch", the phase prior to the pull, where the hand turns from a streamlined position to grasp the water and begin the pull. If the hand catches or pulls at an incorrect angle, the increased resistance afforded by the hand paddle will exacerbate the result twisting moment, making the defect clearer to the swimmer.
The centre snorkel allows swimmers the ability to focus on stroke technique without the interruption of turning your head to breath. Allowing for a full range of motion this tool can be used for all strokes. Relax in the water and maintain body alignment to improve stroke efficiency.
Training fins improve ankle flexibility from the extra force the fins place on your ankles as you kick. The increased ankle flexibility results in a more efficient flutter or butterfly kick. It also improves kick speed and sensitization to the up and down kick. And when used with appropriate sets it is a great overall workout at strengthening core and legs, as well as promoting appropriate body position.
Continue reading on how to improve your swim speed