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THE MUST-HAVE SWIM TRAINING AIDS

THE MUST-HAVE SWIM TRAINING AIDS

You love to swim and have bonded with the swimming pool and now you are ready to progress. What can you do to boost your swim stroke? How can you swim quicker? How can you swim better? Simple. Swim training aids.

When I started swimming properly back in 2014 I quickly realised I needed help to ensure my form was correct, otherwise, I could be picking up awful habits and struggling to shake them. I recall seeing some people swimming in the most bizarre ways and thinking I never wanted to swim like it, so I needed to train efficiently.

To do this, I took aid from some swim training aids, which I bought both online and in a sports shop. Each of these have been fantastic in helping me swim well, and without sounding too big headed, I do swim well! I have good form, I’m strong, I’ve taught myself to bilateral breathe and now I can confidently not only swim in a pool but I can open water swim.

Pull Buoy

This is the thing we love and loathe in swimming. You slot this little float either between your ankles or further up the middle of your legs. The idea is that you swim with your arms and keep your legs stationary, with the float keeping them floating to ensure good form. Boy, do you feel it in your arms with this! However, it is so good for core stability because you are having to keep your legs lifted, so you tighten up through the middle.

Kickboard

I like to call this swim training aid the kicky float! This is normally my treat, if we can call it a treat, at the end of a swim session. It’ll be the last thing on the agenda where you take the float in front of you, head in the water and kick the length of the pool. By using this you are work on efficiently kicking, so kicking from the hips rather than the knees or ankles. I sometimes do big splash kicks, then go to small fast kicks.

Paddles

I do love the paddles! I’d possibly say these have helped my front crawl the most. They slot on to your hands with your fingers strapped through the rubber slots, and what they do is force your hands to enter the water in a certain way. They are slanted, so if you have a sloppy hand stroke and enter the water flathanded, the paddles won’t let you, they will help correct you to enter the water on the slant as they are designed.

Fins

The best combination for me is using the kickboard and your fins at the same time! You just motor through those swim sets! But all of that aside, these really help you kick properly. If you use them whilst doing front crawl, you will notice that your legs will need to keep a set distance apart. A lot of people will kick and their legs go everywhere and they spend a lot of stroke time wrestling to get their legs back to position, ready for the next part. These fins honestly help to stop you from doing that, and ultimately pick up better habits afterwards.

Those four items have been fantastic and always join me at the pool. You can get an app from Speedo, that links up with the Samsung Gear Sport and can track your swimming. That is another great training option if you are looking at distance and time tracking.

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