How To Use “Scary” Swim Gear Training Devices?  

by Pool Builders on 10-29-2012 in Articles

Don't be intimidated by the unusual arsenal of swim gear training devices that you might find at your local lap pool. Instead, switch out your stand kickboard and fins for some unique, and not to mention highly effective, training aids and see how diverse you're swim session can be!

Pull Buoy
This is one of the more common and less-utilized products you're bound to see laying around your lap pool. Its figure-8 design is contoured to fit comfortably between the legs. It works by taking the kick out of your stroke and transfers all the responsibility to your upper body. It's ideal for arm, back, and shoulder strengthening. The Speedo Pull Buoy is an excellent, high quality example of this pool product. It's made from 5 layers of buoyant, non-chafing foam to help float and immobilize your legs.

To use, simply slide the pull buoy in between your thighs and slightly hug the buoy with your legs. By engaging your leg muscles to hold the device, you will be unable to kick. But don't worry; this is exactly what you want. Because your legs can't flutter, your arms, back and chest will get an optimal workout.

Swim Gloves
A swim glove is designed to fit over the hand and expand the surface area of the palm. It usually includes webbing between the fingers and increases the amount of pull your upper body can produce while in the water. Swim gloves can be made out of rigid silicone or soft neoprene. Choose a pair in your hand size, or close to, to ensure a proper, slip-free fit. The Hydro-Fit Wave Web Pro is a comfortable and effective choice. It's webbed to enhance the natural resistance of the water. It helps increase upper body strength and enhances cardio workouts.

Swim gloves are very simple to use. Try slipping on a pair of gloves when your hands are wet. Swim a few laps with the gloves on and see how they make your arms, back and chest work harder than without the gloves on. Try to keep the focus on your arms and back, as opposed to putting unnecessary strain on your shoulders.

Monofin
While the Monofin might look like a fun way to imitate a mermaid's movements in the water, it is in fact a very useful and effective training device. Unlike traditional fins that come in pairs and strap on feet separately, the Monofin is a single blade fin designed for total body training. Not only does it help work your lower body, but it also requires swimmers to constantly engage core muscles and helps produce a steady and rhythmic body motion. The Finis Wave Monofin is one of the best products available. Its wide surface area activates up to 60% of your muscle mass and can help add resistances training to you swim session.

Slip both feet into the Monofin's designated footholds while sitting on the edge of the pool. Once securely in place, slide into the water and begin undulating your body, as you would during the butterfly stroke. You'll immediately notice a powerful propulsion force and as long as you keep your body motions loose and fluid, you should get the hang of the single blade design in no time at all.

Swimmers Snorkel
The swimmer's snorkel, also referred to as a center-mount snorkel, is almost identical to a traditional diving snorkel, at least at first glance. But instead of mounting to the side of a mask, this swimmer's snorkel is easily fitted over goggles and around the head and comes up to the surface at the center of the face. The Finis Freestyle Swimmer's Snorkel is a great example of a center-mount design. Its extremely streamline fit allows swimmers to achieve a lower head positioning, as well as continually provides air while training.

If you are already comfortable using traditional snorkels, you should have no trouble at all using a swimmer's design. Make sure that the snorkel is securely strapped around your head and is centered on your face. Be sure to breathe evenly when using the snorkel. You'll be amazed at how well it helps you take the focus off your breath so you're able to concentrate other aspects of your stroke.

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