A Swimmers Guide to Training Aids and Swim Fins
Monofins, Kicboards & Pull BuoysClick thumbnail to view full-size
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Back floats, Kick boards, or Swim Noodles?
Swimming is often fun as a solitary sport or activity. However as member of a group of swimmers, it can also be useful as a gateway for socialization and recreation. Swimming sometimes is purely for entertainment; but also can be an excellent aerobic exercise. Whether professional or amateur, whether swimming for fun or in earnest; if a bloke is serious about it, there are some swim training aids one might consider making use of. These swim training aids are especially useful if one is in training for competitive meets.
Some of these aids include small ear plugs, goggles, gloves, whistles, nose plugs and swimming caps. Key rings, nose clips and a water bottle are often useful, too. Top swimming aid brand products are available for the want or need.
Conversely, more sophisticated swim training aids can be incorporated in one’s routine to increase one’s flexibility, speed, endurance and ability to navigate above and below the surface. For instance, swim fins can be used to build up one’s leg muscles; and swim gloves, paddles and swim pull buoys can improve and increase one’s arm and shoulder strength. Additionally swim kickboards are used to improve lower body strength and technique. Drag shorts may be used to increase strength, fitness and speed in the water.
Depending on which stroke one uses, whether the ‘Butterfly’ or the more traditional ‘Breast stroke’, one’s speed, endurance and distance covered may all depend upon not just one’s overall physical shape; but also upon the training of body and mind specific to swimming. Thus, sophisticated training aids for swimming can not only be very useful, but necessary for a successful resolution of competitive meets.
ZOGGS Easy Grip Pull Buoy is a device shaped to allow the exact width of both legs for optimum swimming technique. It is shaped in such a way as to stay in place during one’s swim training session. Its designed is to improve one’s upper body strength and stroke by causing you to pull harder through the water and to position your body correctly in the water. Its dimensions are 19.7 cm X 14.5 cm and are composed of durable material. It can come in blue and costs around £10.00.
The Speedo Kickboard is light but firm. The universal grip kick board holes are designed to permit an increased grip as well as different positions when training. It is contoured for comfort and is meant to be held in one’s hands, arms straight out and forward; while one kicks one’s way through the water, restricting arm movement while increasing leg and lower body strength and agility. This in turn has the net effect of training one’s body to swim faster through the water by kicking harder and more effectively. The price for this device runs approximately £11.00. The Speedo Junior and Adult Kickboards are also available; but come contoured with no grip holes.
The FINIS Wave Monofin, regular price about £50.00, is designed for people aged five and older. Made from soft thermoplastic, it is 21” X 18” and is adjustable to fit feet with shoe sizes 1-7. The Wave floats on water and has a built in safety release mechanism, should it be needed. The Wave Monofin is designed to allow children and others to swim as a mermaid or dolphin. Not only is this fun, it also teaches a kicking technique and trains and tones the abdominal, lower body and leg muscles used in competitive swimming.
The Kiefer Silicone Swim Training Fins come in various colours. The silicone provides comfort and durability. The wider expanse and medium lengths of the swim training fins help to build more stamina in the legs and facilitates the formation of increased power to the leg strokes, when used consistently as a swimming training aid.
In summation, swim training aids can be especially useful for even the most advanced swimmer, looking to improve swimming style, stamina and technique. In some ways these aids are not unlike the tools used by a weight lifter to build and buff his body. Diligent use of swim training aids can improve any serious competitor’s performance, no matter how skilled one already may be. They build on what you have and increase what you don’t yet have.