Anonymous asked in SportsSwimming & Diving · 1 decade ago

Your Opinion on Swim Tools?

I just would like to know your opinion on swim tools to become better. Like: Pull buoy, kick board, fins, paddles, etc.

Anything you can think of, just trying to improve.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    as a competitive swimmer, all those things are going to get you better if used correctly.

    you have to constantly challenge yourself swimming. doing it alone will get you so far, but all those 'tools' focus on a specific part of your stroke

    - pull buoy obviously works on your shoulders/pull threw the water

    - kick board will strengthen your legs and get your kick more efficient like no ones business

    - fins will strengthen up every little muscle in your leg since you can get more power per work input.

    as for paddles, I would stay away. your shoulders are very sensitive to injury when your a swimmer. paddles can put excess tension on your shoulders if you aren't already a really strong swimmer.

    so I would save buying paddles.

    Source(s): swimmer/lifeguard/surfer
  • rwd
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Pull buoys, kick boards, fins and paddles are all tools for emphasizing different parts of your stroke. You don't NEED any of them, but they can break up the monotony of work outs.

    Pull buoys are good for emphasizing your arms. They can take a little getting used to (e.g. keeping them in place during flip turns). The down side is that people with a weak kick use them as a crutch, and end up swimming faster with them than without.

    Kick boards are good for emphasizing your legs. The down side of them is when people use them as a flotation device, and kick at a too-leisurely pace. That doesn't help you.

    Fins are great for people with stiff joints. They help train you to kick in a more propulsive motion. Again -- the down side is if you get so dependent on them that you feel you cannot kick without them.

    Paddles help you focus on using you hand surface efficiently. I consider them dangerous. If you have a problem in your stroke, paddles can amplify forces and cause shoulder problems. What I advocate in place of paddles is to periodically swim with a closed fist. When you switch back to swimming with an open hand, you get a very similar effect to wearing paddles. No cost, no fuss with equipment, and no increased stress on shoulders.

    Other things you didn't mention:

    Swimming with a t-shirts. My personal experience is that swimming with a t-shirt made me sluggish. Instead of making me practice swimming faster, it seemed to reinforce swimming slower. I would not recommend it.

    Swimming with a drag suit (not just an extra suit, but a suit with pockets that open up when you swim). For some reason I don't have the same negative feelings about drag suits as I do about t-shirts -- maybe because I don't feel like they change your pull. The pockets really open up when you push off on turns, forcing you to really be aggressive.

    Swimming with a tether. I've only used tethers (made from surgical tubing attached to the wall) a few times, but they were very enlightening workouts. You find out exactly where the weak points are in your stroke, because you'll start going backwards. If you take your time, you can correct your stroke on the spot. If you never experienced this before, I highly recommend it.

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