The Ultimate Guide To Swim Training Accessories That Will Help To Improve Stroke Technique
Stroke technique is one of the most important things in the sport of swimming, yet it is often underappreciated and overlooked. Perfecting your technique not only increases your muscle strength and your efficiency in the water, but it aids your overall speed, too.
Perhaps the most common way to help improve your stroke is by stroke-specific drills, such as high-elbow freestyle to perfect your catch, or catch-up freestyle to work on your body positioning and finger entry.
While these drills work, swim equipment and swim training accessories are also really great tools to utilize while in the water. In this guide, we will touch on the general benefits of specific swim training gear and how you can use different kinds of accessories to help improve your swimming technique.
When swimming with fins on, it enables you to swim at race speed, without tiring your upper body. With your legs moving at a quicker tempo, you can practice a faster stroke turnover without over-exerting your arms.
Additionally, swim fins isolate leg muscles to give you a more intense workout during distance and kick sets.
Swim snorkels are great for a number of things including speed, stroke count and breath-control. When you don’t have to worry about turning your head every few strokes to breathe, you can really hone in on feeling the water and perfecting your technique while maintaining proper head positioning.
By taking out the head movement you are eliminating any distraction from your natural stroke.
Pull Buoys can be used with or without swim paddles, but they are great tools either way. For beginners, pull buoys can be used to help with body alignment and to promote positive posture while swimming. The buoyancy of the buoy helps to elevate your lower body, so that you’re streamline in the water.
If you’re using the pull buoy with paddles, it helps you focus solely on your upper body strength without having to worry about your feet sinking behind you. In that sense pull buoys are a training aide by using them with other accessories.
Most commonly known for helping you dig more water and increasing your speed, swim paddles are actually one of the most technical pieces of swim gear. Paddles are probably something almost every avid swimmer should have in their bag.
Today’s technology has introduced some really advanced swim paddles that make you more aware of your hand positioning and catch while swimming. The catch is defined as the phase of your swim where your hand enters the water.
By using these particular paddles, such as the Dolfin Feedback Paddle, or the FINIS Iso Paddles, you can focus on where your hand it exiting and entering the water and your arm, wrist, and hand positioning through the entire stroke.
Kick-pulls & Kick-balls
Kick-pulls and kick-balls are two of the newest forms of training accessories to hit the market. Both of which have multiple purposes, uses and functions.
The kick-pull, which can be used in lieu of a kickboard and pull-buoy, helps you work on your kick without causing extra strain to the shoulders like a traditional kickboard would.
Likewise, a kick-ball is the jack-of-all-trades. It can be used as a kickboard alternative, as a pull buoy in between your knees, or can be used under your chin to help with head positioning. The kick-ball is especially unique because it’s fairly small, and doesn’t offer a lot of support, but it really forces you to focus on your body alignment regardless of how you use it.
Kickboards are the most basic piece of training equipment, and yet all levels of athletes can benefit from them. Kickboards, and kicking sets, are essential for isolating leg muscles and strengthening the lower body.