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All you need to know about static swimming resistance bands

The swimming pools are closed, but do you have your own pool? You can carry on swimming at home with a static swimming resistance band!

All you need to know about static swimming resistance bands

You do not have to stop swimming just because the pools are all closed. If you are lucky enough to have a pool in your garden, then we have a solution for you. The static swimming resistance band!You can use it to practise, no matter how small your pool is. How does it work? What are the benefits? Which exercises can you do with a swimming resistance band? Let me explain!

All you need to know about static swimming resistance bands

WHAT IS A STATIC SWIMMING RESISTANCE BAND?

You go swimming in your local public swimming pool, even if you have your own pool at home, because it seems too difficult to reproduce the same movements in a smaller pool. Well think again! Let me explain how you can optimise the use your pool with a swimming resistance band! Simply attach one part of the band to a fixed support, like a pool ladder, and the other part to your waist or your feet. Thanks to its range of adjustment of 1 metre, you have a total amplitude of between 2 and 3 metres.

How does it work? The tension in the resistance band pulls you backwards, which means that you have to produce an effort to remain on the spot. Thanks to this phenomenon and the resistance of the water, you can experience your usual sensations in the water and do numerous swimming exercises. The resistance band can be adapted to swimmers of all levels, from beginners to advanced, and enables you to swim all four strokes.

The advantage of static swimming resistance bands is that they enable you to concentrate exclusively on your swimming technique. By repeating your movements, you will improve your technique and swim more efficiently. Your strength, technique and endurance are put to the test to help you to perfect your style. Another benefit is that the muscular exercise is just as effective as in conventional swimming, which means that it is ideally suited to strengthening certain parts of your body in particular. Finally, you can also work on your bilateral breathing and the rotation of your head, which are both key to progressing to a higher level.

All you need to know about static swimming resistance bands

HOW TO USE YOUR STATIC SWIMMING RESISTANCE BAND TO IMPROVE YOUR TECHNIQUE

You can draw some inspiration from these educational ideas that are possible with a swimming resistance band. The idea of these technical exercises is to break down your movements in order to work on certain specific points. They will help you to perfect a particular movement or to correct mistakes. The goal is that the movement will be fully understood and executed properly, when you return to swimming in a full-sized pool.

THE CORE STRENGTH PLANK

As you know, core strength is very important in swimming, because it keeps the body straight and eliminates resistance to forward movement. Therefore, it is essential to work on your core strength to improve your hydrodynamics.

As a reminder, the conventional plank exercise consists of resting on your elbows and the tips of your toes, with your core muscles engaged and your body parallel to the floor. To reproduce this exercise in water, take a foam board and position it lengthways under your elbows (your elbows are in the water, at a depth of 20 cm or 30 cm). Contract your abdominal muscles and kick with your legs straight. We recommend that you do this exercise for 30 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest, then 45 seconds, followed by a 20-second rest, then 1 minute and a 30-second rest.

There are a number of variants on the plank that combine this exercise with other movements.

- kicking your feet in the water: with your feet underwater, make kicking movements, without producing any splashes. This exercise will teach you how to keep your feet underwater to produce better propulsion.

- big toe exercises: position your feet so that your big toes touch one another every time your kick your feet. This exercise teaches you to move your ankle inwards and will make it more supple in order to improve the propulsion phase, thanks to the whip-like effect of a more supple ankle.

SURFACE CRAWL

Do you want to improve your arm movements? If you do, then surface crawl will come in very useful. The movement is similar to conventional crawl, except when your arm comes out of the water, moves forwards and then plunges back into the water. In surface crawl, the aim is to skim the surface of the water with your fingers, while keeping your hand straight and your elbow raised very high.

This exercise enables you to feel the gliding movement when swimming and demonstrates two things.First, the importance of raising your elbow very high. And second, that a rigid hand held out of the water consumes your energy pointlessly. Your arm must only be contracted when it is submerged under the water during the propulsion phase.

CATCH CRAWL

This is the most widely used exercise in swimming, because it works on your coordination. While it may seem difficult to begin with, it is an essential exercise to make progress.

The movements are similar to conventional crawl, except that your hands must come together and touch one another when your arms are stretched out above your head. In a way, your arms must take over from one another upon each rotation.

The goal of this exercise is to work on the synchronisation of your arms and your breathing. It also demands strong and regular kicking, without any lapses, while keeping the body perfectly horizontal. As you must have now realised, this is a complete and difficult exercise that will enable you to simplify your conventional stroke later on.

SINGLE-ARM CRAWL WITH A BOARD

This exercise is very challenging: swimming with one arm. But don't be afraid, because it will be very helpful! It is particularly recommended for people who are in difficulty with their breathing and is the ideal way to acquire the right reflexes.

Place the board in a horizontal position and hold it in front of you. Put your head underwater and, in each pull phase, start breathing by putting your each on the arm holding the board. Keep swimming in this way for several minutes, while staying focused on only one arm. Then change sides.

You are free to choose how you breathe. You can take a breath for every movement, or every other movement. Just try and take a short breath on the surface and then breathe out more slowly underwater. If you do not breathe out all the air, you will waste time breathing out before breathing in, when on the surface. Repeat this exercise several times, alternating your arms each time.

HYPOXIC CRAWL

Hypoxic crawl training focuses on improving your lung capacity and endurance. Like in the preceding exercise, you must breathe in quickly and breathe out more slowly, but in a more accentuated manner.

Bilateral breathing version: make three arm movements then breathe, then five arm movements and breathe, then seven arm movements and breathe.

Unilateral breathing: the idea is the same, but you always breathe on the same side. Use this version if you feel more comfortable with it.

Repeat the exercise several times for between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on your proficiency and confidence.

CAUTION: Hypoxia concentrates on a series of respiratory constraints. If you do not feel at ease when short of oxygen, you must never push too hard! You can also opt for short distances at a lower intensity.

Still not convinced by the broad selection of exercises that you can do with a static resistance band in your own pool? Depending on the size of your pool, you can always combine these exercises with other accessories, like paddles or fins. In conclusion, you now know that you do not need an Olympic swimming pool to become a proficient swimmer! Just a resistance band and bucket loads of motivation!