Swim training equipment for arms

The secret to swimming better and faster thanks to arm technique is no secret at all: hard work and dedication are the perfect combination!

Swim training equipment for arms

Often mistakenly regarded as instruments of torture, swimming accessories significantly improve power and swimming technique efficiently and quickly.

Since the arms are the most important limbs for propelling you forward when swimming, it is important to train them to gain muscle power and to get more enjoyment out of swimming.

The other benefit (last but not least) of training equipment is that it also lets you vary the exercises to ward off boredom.

Jokes aside, it's time to get out your paddles, pull buoy and band, starting in 10, 9, 8...


Very often used by experienced swimmers in training, swim paddles are effective and versatile accessories to improve your swimming in all its aspects.

(A warm-up is essential before any swimming workout with paddles. When cold, spare your muscles at the risk of hurting yourself!)

There are typically two types of paddles: hand paddles and finger paddles (in addition to anti-paddles and forearm paddles).


Do you want to increase your power? Do you like to go fast? Get yourself some hand paddles!

Don't get me wrong! Even if it feels like using hand paddles takes its toll on your muscles and power, if used properly, they also undeniably improve your swimming technique.

With their imposing shape, the propulsion surface is enlarged, which increases the water displaced. As a result of this colossal "catch", you will need to use your upper body muscles more (triceps, dorsals, biceps, shoulders).

This will have an impact on your muscle mass and your swimming comfort without paddles too!

Believe me, if you love the feeling of speed, you will no longer be without your hand paddles!


Do you want to acquire a better technique? Do you appreciate a well-executed movement? Give finger paddles a go!

Finger paddles are much smaller than hand paddles. The propulsion surface is thus reduced but it still lets you work on the resistance of the hand during the underwater movement as well as the sensation of resistance before the pull phase.

Finger paddles focus your concentration on what you can feel, your catch, and the placement of your hands and forearms for better hydrodynamics.

This equipment makes it easier to take cues to correct your movement and detect the most effective gestures to swim better, faster, and finally achieve a clean and smooth stroke!

In both cases, swim paddles will allow you to significantly improve the key factors to better your stroke, namely: catch, hand placement, underwater trajectory, acceleration of movement, propulsion and your sensations.

Swim paddles can be used alone or in combination with other accessories (pull buoy, band, etc.) in order to focus the workout differently and keep things interesting during your sessions.


The pull buoy, unlike swimming paddles, does not allow you to swim faster when used, but rather focuses the effort on upper body muscles (arms, pecs, lats, abs, shoulders). The legs must remain completely inactive.

A pull buoy is a small float that can be placed between the thighs or ankles to focus the workout on specific parts of the body.


Beyond giving dense swimmers more buoyancy, this way of using the pull buoy maintains increased focus on upper limb movements, promoting the improvement of swimming technique.

The principal aims of the pull buoy are to impose a flat position on the swimmer and to work on the first part of the arm movement (traction), where the swimmer must pull their body (half of which is "immobilised") forward.

The legs are however brought to the surface by the pull buoy, giving you optimal alignment on the water and thus reducing the resistance that would have been caused by your legs dangling (since you are not able to kick at all).


Using a pull buoy between your ankles requires a certain amount of concentration on your lower limbs so as not to let it escape.

In this position, the workout will again be focused on the upper body, with more intense effort on the abs. Indeed, to maintain optimal alignment and avoid thrashing around all over the place and creating excess drag, your core must remain activated under all circumstances.

This exercise is, however, not recommended for people suffering from back pain.

By working with a pull buoy, you will have the chance to improve your swimming positioning and technique while gaining power due to the lack of leg movement. The perfect two-in-one!

The pull buoy can be used alone or in combination with other accessories (swim paddles, band) to add variety to your workout sessions.


Coaches and equipment manufacturers are certainly not running out of ideas of how to give swimmers a hard time!

Fortunately, it takes a bit more than that to put us off! So then? What's this band thing?

A swim band is simply an elasticated band that you attach to your ankles in order to (completely) stop your kicking movements. This will allow you to intensify your arm and core muscle workout.

Make no mistake, you and I know full well that you continue to do micro-kicks, even with a pull buoy between your legs…

In any case, the swim band has the effect of stopping your kicks and therefore unbalancing your body. Your legs instantly fall and you must strengthen your core to try to keep them at the surface and not let them sink to the bottom.

Swimming with just a swimming band" is however very difficult. So I advise you to first combine this item of equipment with a pull buoy and swim paddles for good feelings of speed, even without using your legs. Then you can remove the paddles and finally the pull buoy.

As you may have realised, these three items of equipment can be used individually but are also compatible in all combinations:

- paddles / pull buoy
- paddles / band
- pull buoy / band

Depending on your needs and desires, you can pick and choose your accessories to tweak your technique, gain power and drown out monotony!

Swim training equipment for arms


National Swimmer & Dialogue Leader