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 to swim faster, here’s what you should do:
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.