How to Use the Swim Snorkel

05/18/2019

While training using a swim snorkel may seem very uncomfortable and bulky at first, it has the capability to help you dramatically improve your overall swimming performance. The swim snorkel is indeed a piece of exceptionally versatile training equipment that you may use to develop a more sophisticated set of swimming skills in the pool. What’s great about it is that not only can it be of advantage to beginners but it can also help even the experienced swimmers.

In this post, we will be discussing everything that you need to know about how to use the swim snorkel. The swim snorkel uses constant oxygen supply while you are in the water, allowing you to fully concentrate on the steps you need to do next. However, you should know that it does not tell you when or how you’re going to take your next breath. Keep reading this post if you want to know more.

When Is the Best Time to Use a Swim Snorkel?

In recent years, swim snorkels have grown to be one of the most prominent tools in swim training. While most of the benefits of using the swim snorkel pertain to stroke mechanics and techniques, there could be less-known ways to use this very helpful equipment as well. Here are some of them:

Enhancing your drill work

There are certain drill works that exclusively benefit when you use a swim snorkel. While some of them are intended to aid the swimmer to improve and correct the weak parts of their strokes, some drills only introduce issues that may potentially take away the lesson the swimmer already knows by heart.

For instance, swim snorkels make it possible for you to do the single-arm freestyle. This drill helps a lot of swimmers work on their balance, catch and recovery, as well as rotation. In fact, it also requires your full concentration and patience. The problem is that many swimmers also forget to focus, as they struggle to rotate correctly or stay afloat when they perform the single-arm freestyle.

Enter the swim snorkel. This very important training tool allows you to swim this specific stroke without any worries that you may be over-rotating just to take a full breath. Rather, it allows you to keep your head under water while you try to focus on performing strong kicks, as well as maintain a steady balance and rotation, all while you breathe freely using the snorkel.

When you are doing kick sets

If you’re not using kickboards when performing kick sets, you may only end up having a lot more issues as you attempt to focus on improvement. Without one, kick sets may only be done on your side. What suffers the most is your body alignment, especially when you are breathing with an awkward head position. Your hips are likely to drop as well when you turn to take a breath, which results in the interruption of the kick flow. Using swim snorkels would allow you to stay in the proper alignment and position when you kick down the lap, even without the need to turn just to breathe. 

Improving the breaststroke technique

When performing the breaststroke technique, swim snorkels are used for other purposes excluding breathing. Try taking your swim snorkel and turn it around. This way, make sure that it’s straight into the air just above your face. In this scenario, the swim snorkel acts like a fin, as well as a visual aid, telling you whether your head’s swaying or not. It can also tell you whether you are turning it around when you are doing the technique.

Improving your swim stability

Some swimmers’ bad habits include moving their heads the same time with their core, which should only be performed when they are trying to breathe. Using a swim snorkel when training will dictate you to keep your head straight. If you still can’t get over the habit of moving your head from one side to the other, then the snorkel’s tip will be submerged into the water.

Improving cardiovascular strength and lung capacity

As most coaches call it, the ‘cardio cap’ fixes on the snorkel tube’s top, with the purposes of limiting the amount of air entering it. With this, it is safe to assume that the purpose of the cap is to give your lungs an intense workout as well. Often referred to as the hypoxic training, it forces your lungs to inhale and exhale stronger, allowing you to develop a more efficient, as well as deeper training technique.

Improving your speed

Doing a great technique would also mean that you are a lot more efficient when you’re in the water. Studies have shown that breaststrokers, who have incorporated the swim snorkels into their training, exhibited a significant increase in their speed when compared to regular swimming. In fact, there has been a calculated 6% increase in the speed of breaststrokers while there is approximately 5% increase in the speed of freestylers.

May potentially increase feel for the water

While this may be a different case among swimmers, the strokes would feel a lot better when using a swim snorkel. It can possibly be because of the awareness of better stroke techniques, as well as a smoother rotation of the arm. If you feel that you aren’t hitting your targeted speeds, then you may want to consider taking the stroke back to the basic while you practice doing a slow swim, but this time, with a swim snorkel.

How to Use the Swim Snorkel

  • When using the swim snorkel for kick sets, you must first rotate the headpiece.
  • When you find that the positioning of the headpiece is sturdy, you may now perform the kick sets.
  • You can freely rotate the swim snorkel to the side when you are done and trying to speak to your coach.
  • With the swim snorkel, your neck is likely to be in an extended position, allowing you to look straight down.
  • Your body, on the other hand, is likely a little higher and flatter, which allows less resistance in the front.

When using the swim snorkel to swim faster, here’s what you should do:

  • Make sure that the swim snorkel stays rigid on your head.
  • Using a swim snorkel certainly reduces the airflow.
  • A change in position would also mean that you get a lot more oxygen.

Conclusion

As with everything else included in your swim bag, the swim snorkel should be able to serve your target and goals in the swimming pool. Probably the best part about incorporating this very useful and highly versatile device is that you use it to improve a specific set of skills. With this, we hope that you can utilize this new knowledge onto your next swim training.

How to Use Water Exercise Equipment

05/15/2019

Are you bored of working out at the gym? Maybe it’s time to consider doing water exercises for a change. The swimming pool would be an ideal place for resistance training and exercise. Doing such can also be a great substitute if you’re in a rut doing the same old routine using the same old gym and exercise equipment. What’s great about it is that you get to skip getting all sweaty and you get to keep your cool.

In this post, we will be talking about how to use water exercise equipment. There could be several benefits to reap when you try working out in the swimming pool. For instance, you get a solid workout but without putting so much unnecessary strain, especially on your joints. While you may do laps or try water jogging, water exercises help you get in shape. Keep reading if you want to know more.

What Are the Benefits of Water Exercises?

Resistance training, when performed in the water, will provide you unique benefits. These would include working out without breaking a sweat and doing exercise that is both gentle yet effective. The environment virtually prevents any sort of impact on your joints, making it an outstanding option, especially for those who suffer from arthritis, among other conditions in the joints.

Other benefits also include blood flow improvement, which would mean that more nutrients and oxygen is delivered throughout the body. In addition, sore muscles and joints recover a lot faster when you work out in the water instead of the gym. For full body cardio exercise, you can try swimming laps. It would be ideal to do this exercise in your private lap pool, making it very convenient and easy to keep your routine.

Resistance training altogether can make your muscles stronger but it is a different fashion. While laps certainly boost the cardiovascular system, as well as increase your endurance, you can also do it to strengthen your muscles. You may think of it this way: swimming delivers the same benefits as when you go for a run while resistance training provides the same benefits as when you are lifting some weights.

How to Use Water Exercise Equipment

Using water exercise equipment provides you with a great way to add spice and challenge to your boring strength training and cardio regimen. This water exercise equipment also makes exercising in the water a lot more fun and exciting, which may likely be an inspiration to exercise more often. Here’s how to do it:

Water Dumbbells

Using water dumbbells for your workout is a lot different from using the traditional dumbbells you find in the gym. The reason is that on land, these dumbbells are being pulled down by gravity, which would mean that using it would likely require you to actually lift it. Meanwhile, water dumbbells offer you a fun way of exercising, as these are made using lightweight and plastic handles, with floating foam ends.

The buoyancy would mean that instead of being difficult to lift, they would float. In result, the workout is when you push these dumbbells down, which is difficult when you are under the water. Pushing them down works your triceps, back muscles, as well as your abdominals. In fact, these can also be used for your abs. Here’s what you should do:

  • Stand with the top of your stomach under the water.
  • Bend your arms and hold the water dumbbells close to the chest.
  • Try squeezing your abs while bending forward, without any leg movement.
  • Then, push your chest, as well as the dumbbells, underwater. Do this step as if you’re doing an abdominal crunch or a sit-up.
  • Repeat the routine for a number of sets.

Water Fan Paddles

Water fan paddles are those handheld tubes that feature webbed circular fans found on both ends. While these are not heavy, you experience a drag once you pull them in the water, which is likely to increase your resistance. These are great for working your upper back, abdominal muscles, and your chest. However, you should know that using these would only work if, instead of moving them up and down, you move them side to side.

  • Try spreading your arms in a horizontal position and at the height of your shoulders
  • Face your palms forward and then clap your hands to the front and open your arms again.
  • Repeat doing these steps, as you feel your shoulders and chest burning in a little while.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands also offer a great way to enjoy water exercises. You may be able to use these stretchy cords made of flexible latex to take resistance training into the next level. Here’s what you can do:

  • You may stand near the shallow end of the swimming pool then step at the band’s center.
  • Grab the handles to create some resistance.
  • Perform a bicep curl routine.
  • To make it more challenging, try making the resistance bands a lot shorter. You may wrap the handle on your hand to make it shorter.

Ankle Weights

Under the same category as the resistance bands, a great pair of ankle weights also create heavier resistance, specifically on your muscles. In fact, these ankle weights can be wrapped around the ankles and attached using Velcro fasteners and straps. Doing so makes it perfect for working out, both in water and on dry land.

When you try using ankle weights on land, your legs are likely to be prone to an intense workout, as the weights generate additional resistance every time you lift your feet from the ground. On the other hand, underwater resistance training using ankle weights also provides you with a more intense workout, as you are required to fight against any additional pressure that is produced by the water.

  • Walk back and forth towards the shallow end of the swimming pool.
  • If you find the workout too easy, then you need to take things to a new level. Try bending your knee up to your chest if you can.
  • If you want a full-body exercise, try rotating the moves.
  • Begin with a routine of leg exercises then try switching to the arms while your legs are resting.

Conclusion

Whatever water exercise equipment you end up choosing, you should know that consistency is important. If you have a routine, it is guaranteed that you will have a fun and exciting time exercising in the swimming pool. You also need to remember that just like any other new physical activity, you may feel tired and sore for a couple of days after you try this exercise. The good news, however, is that once you get used to it, you will feel less sore when doing the routine.

Secret to Perfect Breaststroke Technique: What You Need to Know

05/12/2019

While breaststroke is arguably one of the most commonly used strokes, it is also one of the badly executed strokes by swimmers, beginners and experienced. It is also the most technical out of all the strokes and just like the others, the goal is to be as efficient as you can be. To add, it may be considered one of the slowest strokes, as it is the least streamlined, involving perfect timing and a strong kick.

In this post, we will be spilling the beans to the secret to perfect breaststroke technique. Pay close attention, as this guide will help you master the breaststroke technique. Hopefully, you get to apply what you will learn here once you have finished reading this article. Keep reading if you want to know more.

The Secret to Perfect Breaststroke Technique

It is important that you are aware of your face position, wherein your feet and hands are in collaboration and in a straight line. When doing the breaststroke, it is very important that you have a wide distance for every stroke. Experienced swimmers do a tremendous amount of work, especially on stroke count, in which you won’t need to make unnecessary head movements while your body travels quickly below the water’s surface.

When doing breaststroke, the majority of the force originates from a pairing of the arms and legs. With the arms, you may make it look at it more on the propeller type, with sweeping motions instead of push and pull, like you would in butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle.

If you would notice, experienced swimmers incorporate feet movement that is predominantly backward. It is also noteworthy that the flexibility of your ankle is advantageous, as well as knee joint and hip mobility. When you are breathing, you surely would want to move along with every stroke instead of having to perform a different head movement. Some swimmers do the arm stroke to catch the water while his neck, back, and body moves instead of your head bobbing down and up just to take a breath. In addition, it is essential to look at your front when breathing, without much nodding and involvement with stroke length.

Modern-day breaststrokers recover their hands near the water’s surface. In fact, several popular breaststrokers carry their hands, right above the surface. To add, some try to get their hands up in the front portion of their chin while keeping them as close to the surface as possible, while they recover forward to a full extension.

At the beginning of your stroke, you may opt to put pressure upwards, creating a widened position wherein your head come up to breath. In result, the breath comes at the start of the in-sweeping motion of your stroke. Once your kick is towards completion, you may notice acceleration on the feet. With this, you are exacting more power due to your kicking motion. It should be noted, however, that while some swimmers cut their kicks short or don’t bring their legs together, we think that this only causes inefficiency.

The best breaststrokers have their hips near the water’s surface. After the first extension, they press their hands outwards, catching the water from a now wider position, just outside your shoulder. In this position, your in-sweep motion begins. This may just be the most propulsive component of doing the technique. Once the in-sweep happens, your head is moving up to breathe; then after you breathe, it is vital that you recover your hands forward. It is also important that you get your hands forward and back to the frontal or base position.

Some Tips That Will Help You Improve the Breaststroke Technique

While in the water

  • To be better on this technique, your head must be facing forward and is in a straight line along with the rest of your body.
  • You also should remember to keep your legs, shoulders, and hips in a horizontal position. However, don’t forget to slope the body a little, which allows your leg kick to remain under the water.
  • In case you didn’t know, the leg kick mostly uses your abdomen muscles. With this, it is important to prevent your hips from dropping into the water. In addition, your legs must always be right behind you instead of below you.
  • Lastly, you should try keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed to help the arm movement while reducing strain. It may also be helpful if you look in a downward position when you glide. This technique effectively avoids straining the neck.

Timing

  • It is imperative that go know how good timing of the leg kick and arm action helps you improve the breaststroke.
  • With this, try timing your leg kick and arm action, which allows you to propel in the water.
  • Your arms will certainly be propulsive when your legs recover. Meanwhile, your legs become propulsive when your hands are recovering.

Breathing

  • To breathe, you may try lifting your shoulder when you carry your face to the surface. Prevent raising your head and let your head rise naturally with your shoulders. This allows your chin to rest just right above the surface of the water.
  • Try to lift your head instead of your shoulders only leads to pain in your back. It also potentially lowers your hips, but may also increase resistance.
  • You may also try inhaling using your mouth prior to letting the shoulders drop when you sweep using your arms. In addition, exhalation generally occurs in the glide.

Turning

  • When turning, your hands must be able to get ahold of the wall at, below, or above the water’s surface.
  • You may also try rotating your body when your hips pike, feet plant, and knees tuck.
  • Try moving your hand over the head, which effectively spears and pushes through the water when you kick the wall.
  • It would also be helpful for you if you stay parallel and streamlined to the surface of the water.
  • To improve the breaststroke technique, you may also try to keep your hands as close to your body, while you return your arms to your head’s front while powerfully kicking, which effectively continues momentum.

Conclusion

As mentioned, breaststroke is one of the strokes, in which it is very easy to do the stroke poorly but a great challenge to do it correctly. When teaching or developing an athlete, we do think it is very important that you focus on how to do the stroke well, slowly but surely, instead of doing lots of it poorly. With this guide, we hope that you will be able to apply this new knowledge to improve your breaststroke technique.

Swimming Start Technique: How to Do It Right

05/09/2019

Executing the right start when swimming will significantly affect your overall swim, as well as result. Just like any other timed event, especially swimming races, the starting point is basically a very important factor to get the results you want in a race. This fact is also true, especially if take into consideration the very start of a sprinting event. After all, a slow and poor start would only cost the triumph for a swimmer like you.

Unlike track and field, swimming affects the continuity of the race dramatically, as there exists a change in elements, say air then water. To add, the swimming start can either make or break the result of a race, especially in a sprint event. If you are curious about how to perform an effective swimming start technique, then keep on reading this post.

Four Phases of Swimming Start

While it may seem like swimmers are simply throwing themselves onto the water, the swim start technique can be split into these four phases, which include block, fight, entry, and underwater. Understanding and finding a connection with each of the phases is key. Now, let’s discuss what these phases are.

  • Block Phase: Also referred to as the ‘reaction time’, the block phase is the moment between the starting signal and your feet while they leave the blocks. 
  • Flight Phase:The flight phase is the moment your feet go off the block and your hands enter the water. This, in fact, is the air component of the swim start before you actually enter the water.  
  • Entry Phase: The entry phase is between your hands entering and your feet going into the water. To make things a bit clear, it is like how your body cuts the water. This is also a very crucial phase in the swim start, as every angle would play a very important role in the speed, not only when you enter the water, but the way you carry the momentum while you proceed to the final phase.
  • Underwater Phase: The final phase, or the underwater phase, is the time you spend underwater. This is probably the most examined phase in the swimming start technique, as well as the most controlled and the most crucial. The reason is that you convert the speed you get from the drive while you carry it with every stroke.

The Tricks for A Great Swimming Start Technique

The logic behind having a great swim start is as basic as this: you would want to carry an extraordinary amount of speed when you get into the water. Then, through the breakout, this speed turns into an exploding amount to be able to keep up with the swimming portion of the race. Here are five simple tricks to improve your swim start technique.

Time the starter gun

While waiting for the race to start, simulate the start while you are on dry land. Once the starter announces “take your marks”, you need to crouch over while doing the start position. Then, explode up into the air using your arms above your head once the signal to start goes off. This trick is very helpful, as you will not only anticipate the start while in the ready position, but it also keeps you alert and the subsequent explosiveness of the action will help you prime your body faster for the swimming itself.

Imagine you are hula hooping for a cleaner entry phase

When you leave the blocks, you certainly would want to dive cleanly and crisply into the water. It may help you a lot if you think of a 10m diver that slips into the water, without the attention-seeking splash, with the entry as clean and tight as possible. While it may be easy and simple to visualize it, it may be a little harder than you think. To ensure that you are entering perfectly, try setting up a hula hoop in the water and work your way on diving crisply into it. With this trick, you also have the option to have a friend hold the hula hoop for you.

Your elbows must be pointed back, instead of out

Even if your legs get the attention every start of the race, you must also give attention to your elbows. Oftentimes, swimmers neglect the velocity, as well as the pulling motion, which is generated by pulling in a forward position. To get the most of this, you surely would want to get your elbows pointed backward, rather than outward. Not doing so would only leak power to your sides, instead of pulling yourself forward.

Toe crunching helps a lot

Normally, your toes curl up around the lip of the dry space of the block. In addition, your toes are likely to be gripping it as well. This may be unusual to do on another circumstance apart from when you are doing a swimming start technique, right? While it may potentially lead to shaky foot grips, as well as the loss of torque using your front foot, it may leave you relying exclusively on your back arms and leg to power your start when you leave the block.

There are tricks that will help you have a better grip and improve your grip strength. First, lay your toes flat and try curling them to your heel. It may help you if you visualize yourself when you pull the carpet or floor back and then underneath you. This extremely simple technique allows you to grip the more with more power, resulting in a launch with more velocity. In addition to that, you may do a few sets, around 20 in a day, and you will find that your toes now have a better grip onto the block.

Try wrapping your thumbs under the block

Probably the quickest way to improve your swimming star is to focus on pulling more using your arms when you leave the block. To get the most out of it, simply wrap both of your thumbs around the block. Doing so will also allow you to take advantage of the pulling motion. You may notice a lot of swimmers who wrap their thumbs above the block. However, this may not work well for you. Following the proper way will provide you with more surface area, especially on the bottom side of the block.

Conclusion

While you would not learn these techniques inside the gym, it would be of great help if you practice these drills when you have the chance. These skills will increase your knowledge of the several elements of the swimming start, allowing you to transform the pulling motion and speed on to the block. We do recommend that you put these new learning by testing them out in the pool.

Surf Tips – How to Do a Forehand Cutback

05/06/2019

Whether you’re a recreational or a competitive professional surfer, the forehand cutback is a maneuver you must master. In case you don’t know, cutbacks define modern surfing. In fact, surfboards back then didn’t use fins, which would mean that surfers only caught waves and rode it straight back to the shore. The fin revolution opened the world’s eye to a new world of surfing opportunities and maneuvers, including the forehand cutback.

In this post, we will be discussing everything that you need to know about how to do a forehand cutback, along with some useful tips to make it easier for you. Cutbacks, in general, requires you to balance your shoulders, hips, heels, toes, and arms. On then you will be able to perform more challenging stunts. Keep on reading if you want to learn how to do the forehand cutback properly.

How to Do a Forehand Cutback

Doing the forehand cutback is ideal, especially if you are about to enter a wave’s flat section. It is understandable that continuing down might cause you to slow down. However, a quality forehand cutback will certainly help you retain speed while you return back to a wave’s more powerful part. A cutback, when done properly, looks so amazing. While the below guide comprises technical instructions, we believe that by practice, you’ll be able to do this very rewarding surfing skill.

  • As you get to shoulder level, try to redistribute your weight through the help of your rear foot. Start to lean your outside hand down to the wave.
  • Ensure that your front foot pushes against the surfboard’s deck. Engage your board’s fins by applying pressure to your rear foot. This marks the start of the pivot; therefore, it is vital that you ensure that your foot is planting the tail and fins into the wave.
  • Drop your outside hands and throw your inside hands across your body. Turn your head while you twist your shoulders and throw your arm in the intended direction. Doing so will make the change in direction more pronounced.
  • As your hips and mid-section will naturally follow, arc your surfboard back to the pocket while putting it on the rail. By this time, your legs should be fully extended, maximizing the power you can push at the turn.
  • Try to exchange the speed down the line as you go for a hard turn. It is also important to note that you must not jerk the turn. Keep your flow or it might just look like you are turning in 90-degree segments.
  • As your arm comes across your face, you will notice that it points you to your targeted direction. Bend your front leg, as this move is likely to absorb the surfboard’s impact. Then, push the surfboard into a slide.
  • After, your rear leg must be pushing against the tail, which will flare the turn, as well as re-engage the fins. This happens, especially if the surfboard comes off the rail while going flat.
  • Now that you have your center of gravity in its lowest point, do a squat while transferring your weight from your left hand’s pivot point to your toes. Then, place your board back to the rail and lean back to the wave, as you ready yourself to drive out of the wave’s pocket.
  • Try to keep low just until the foam is clear. Also, watch out for sections that might knock off your balance. However, once the section catches up and the foam is under the surfboard’s tail, prepare to go loose. This, in particular, is when you might have difficulty keeping your balance.
  • To overcome this, try getting your weight forward and into the direction of the rail. To add, it might help you if you focus down the line you are going and choose the line that will help you gain more speed, preparing you to approach the upcoming section.

There might be nothing more satisfying than giving all your inertia and speed into an effortless direction change. In fact, a lot of professional surfers have practiced the art of doing a solid carving turn. The key, certainly, is to fly through this move in one swift motion. In addition, you may come through the bottom turn with more commitment and speed just be maintaining low while you’re on the board and bending your knees and focusing on the top third of your shoulder. This is the part where you can successfully initiate a forehand cutback turn.

Tips on Doing the Forehand Cutback

  • It would be in your advantage if you are using your hand as the pivot point. You may imagine that you are leaning down to the concrete, the same thing that you would do when you’re doing a power slide using a skateboard.
  • It may also be helpful for you if you keep practicing on pointbreaks, which allows clean and flawless surfing waves.
  • Another important thing to take note of is to keep your turns smooth. To do this, you must become used to each of the movements while you link them together as smoothly and as quickly as possible. You may practice body rotation on land if it helps.
  • If you have been kept challenged with making one full rotation as you try to move further on your shoulder. In case you are losing speed, you may try doing this move in the steeper sections while you keep the arc’s circumference tighter.
  • Keep in mind that surfing revolves around the pocket. Using this information, it is vital to keep the turn in a steep section, as it is always easier to lean on the shoulder. However, it also means that it should be your mission to bring every turn as close to the pocket as possible.
  • When you lose your speed, it is likely that you will stall. Go off the wave’s back and remember to swoop using your head, arms, and shoulders. You will notice that if you have followed the direction of your legs, your surfboard will also nail the turn.

Conclusion

Knowing how to properly do the forehand cutback is essential, whether you are surfing for recreation or professionally. With this, we do hope that you have learned a lot from reading this guide. We also recommend that you try it out on land first, using a skateboard, before you go out to the beach. This would help you a lot, in case you are still trying to figure out how to do this very challenging surfing maneuver.

An Informative Guide on How to Use Paddles

05/03/2019

Paddles, in swimming, are frequently misused, which may potentially cause unnecessary injuries and shoulder issues. However, when these paddles are used properly, they provide you with an incredibly useful tool. This makes paddles worth the financial investment. In fact, you will see swim paddles in swim bags around the world. That’s how important they are.

In this post, we will be discussing everything there is to know about how to use paddles in swimming. As these paddles are primarily regarded as a tool that helps you build strength in your shoulders and arms. But that isn’t always the case. To be deemed effective, swim paddles should only be used in the correct way. Keep reading if you want to know more.

What Are the Benefits of Swim Paddles?

Generally, there are two primary benefits of using swim paddles, which is to build strength and power while you are swimming and to help you solidify great swimming technique habits. Here are some of the other advantages of incorporating swim paddles into your swim training:

  • Specific power development: When it comes to building power and strength, as previously mentioned, you should be able to perform your strokes with precision and accuracy to be able to reap the paddles’ benefits. If you do your strokes as precisely as possible, you are likely to add more resistance to every stroke. 
  • Efficiency and speed: As obvious as it is, swim paddles are great because it helps you gain speed a lot faster, whether you are using it for recreation or during competition. When swimming with paddles, you get to feel the speed, allowing you to be extremely efficient while you’re in the water.
  • Adds spice to your workout routine: Whether you are required to do a repetitive 500s or whatever your coach is telling you, adding swim paddles into your routine surely mixes things up. It may also help you be mentally fresh.
  • Allows better catch: If you are specifically being adventurous on your training day, try using only the strap for the middle finger. When you are not using the early forearm catch, there is a possibility that the paddle will just slip off. This might make you feel like an amateur swimmer, having to place the paddle back in your hands mid-swim. However, there’s a silver lining – it tells you what you shouldn’t do.
  • It tells you when you’re pulling incorrectly: In case you didn’t know, the use of paddles is likely to accentuate every aspect of the pulling motion. Using paddles allows you to make your catch a lot stronger, not to mention the pulling motion. This way, you will have a better focus, as well as tune the other important components of your stroke.

How to Use Paddles

While swimmers regard paddles as a strengthening tool, you should also see it as a teaching tool, allowing you to improve your strokes. Here are some technique drills you might want to incorporate in your training:

1. Paddle balance

Position one paddle against your head’s top portion. Pull away from the wall and swim, all while you keep the paddle in its original position. Some advanced swimmers tend to take breaths while they maintain the paddle balance. Doing this technique allows you to get rid of superfluous movements, especially with the body and the head. In addition, it also encourages propulsion.

2. Fist drill using paddles

When doing this drill, try grasping the paddle’s top, without you using the straps. Then, allow your paddle to be extended with your forearm. Doing this technique prevents bending of your wrists, especially during the pull and catch phases. To add, it also minimizes strain on your shoulders.

3. Remove wrist strap

Doing this technique entails you to attach your swim paddle to your hand, using only one finger strap. Then, swim as normally as you would. However, take notice if your paddles slide towards your palms. With this technique, you are likely to find the flaws, especially when you pull underwater. To add, you will notice that the paddle is pushed to the opposite way when your hand is faced in a direction but straight.

4. Sculling

Try placing your hands on the swim paddles but get rid of the straps. Then, proceed swimming with your regular sculling movement. In case you didn’t know, sculling aids in developing your feel of the water, supporting a more powerful catch. Also, your swim paddles only stay in its place, especially when you maintain the pressure between the water and your hand. That way, it’s a lot easier to detect the flaws you commit when doing the sculling technique.

Best Practices When Using Swim Paddles

  • Use a paddle larger than your hand : Different swimmers, obviously, have varying hand sizes and shoulder strengths. When you have small hands, you may want to start using paddles that are a little larger than your hand and continue working on improving your strokes. However, if using a larger paddle means that it decreases the speed of your every stroke or it may start straining your elbow’s tendons, then you might want to skip the paddles for now.
  • •Remove the straps: The worst thing you could do in your training is to incorporate paddles but do it in an insufficient habit. When you remove the straps, you would be able to notice whether your swimming technique is good or not. This is especially true with freestyle. In addition, your swim paddles may just slip right off your hand if you are not doing the early vertical forearm drill, especially at the start of your pulling motion. While it may be extremely annoying, at least you’re sure that you’re doing it the proper way.
  • Copy natural finger position: Normally, bigger paddles cause swimmers to further extend or spread their fingers, allowing them to evenly distribute pressure across the swim paddle. However, you might notice that your paddles may be too large for you if you keep doing this. Likewise, if you find your fingers fully extended up to the point beyond the paddle, you are likely to naturally curl the fingertips, just around the paddle’s edge, adding more stability.

Conclusion

Swim paddles are certainly a great addition to your swim training. However, we don’t recommend that you use then during warm up. Surprisingly, these paddles are best used during the main set, or until your shoulders are already warmed up. Doing so makes it possible for you to improve your every stroke. With this guide, we hope that you will be able to apply them, even if you are doing it for recreation or professionally.

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