The ocean swimming season is just around the corner which means one thing – time to get back in the pool.
But, getting into the pool after a long break can be a daunting task, trying to figure out session plans and what mileage you need to be doing can often cause confusion and leave you forgetting about what swim gear you need to help better your performance.
In this article, we cover the gear you need and how it will help you train better.
1. Pull Buoy
A pull buoy is a swimmer’s best friend. Why? Because the purpose of a pull buoy is to create extra buoyancy through your hips and core section, which helps bring your body position in line so you become more streamlined, which in turn makes swimming easier.
Your pull buoy is predominately placed between your thighs, but depending on what kind you have, it could also be placed between your knees or ankles.
The job of a pull buoy is to put the focus on your arms so you can zero in on the catch/pull part of your stroke. There are also upper body and core strength benefits from swimming with a pull buoy, something we can all do with a lot more of!
2. Swim Snorkels
Swim snorkels are a great way to focus on your stroke technique and head position because it eliminates the need to turn your head to the side to breathe.
A swim snorkel is also great to use when doing kick sets to help keep your hips high and body in a streamlined position, while also preventing neck and back strain.
A kickboard is one of the most basic items in your gear bag but will help your swimming improve by a long way.
A kickboard helps to isolate your legs to focus entirely on your kick without worrying about what your arms are doing.
A strong kick will reduce fatigue and allow you to keep a constant and consistent kick throughout your swim which in turn will help keep your body in a streamlined position and allow you to swim faster.
A kickboard can also be used to master single-arm drills by helping keep your body elevated and in a streamlined position in the water.
Hot Tip: Pair your kickboard and swim snorkel together during kick sets to help with attaining a neutral body position and prevent a sore neck.
Fins are a great piece of equipment to use if you are just getting back in the water as they will reduce the load off your shoulders and make swimming easier.
Fins can help you strengthen your kick, and improve your body position and ankle flexibility which will help your overall kick.
They are great to use during the main set if you are just getting back into training and need that bit of extra help, or during your swim down.
Paddles are a great tool to help strengthen your overall stroke and increase your feel of the water.
There are two types of paddles; hand paddles and finger paddles.
Finger paddles are the smaller of the two versions and are great for technical drills and if you have shoulder problems as they cover less surface area which means less pressure on your shoulders.
Whereas hand paddles have a larger surface area which gives you more propulsion and leverage through the water. Hand paddles are great for long main sets or pull sets.
Overall, paddles can help build upper body strength in your stroke while helping you become more efficient in the water.
Hot Tip: Pair your paddles and pull buoy together for the ultimate upper body combo.