Training equipment is the perfect companion to improve every aspect of your swimming. Improving your technique, increasing your power or simply breaking the routine... Your swimming accessories will never let you down!
While most propulsive force produced when swimming comes from the upper limbs, it is the legs that often make the difference between a good swimmer and an excellent one. Therefore, it is important to focus some of your training sessions on your legs.
I hope that you have your board and fins with you, because we’ll be working on our legs today.
Swimmers of all levels often use swim fins in training. They can be used specifically to work the legs, or for normal swimming too. They offer a highly effective means of building up propulsive power and working certain muscles to the core.
(It is important to warm up before every training session with your swim fins. When cold, go easy on your muscles and joints, or you could do yourself some damage!)
There are two types of fins, each offering their own benefits. Short fins and long fins:
SHORT SWIM FINS (ZOOMERS)
Kicking with short fins, or zoomers, is very close the natural kicking movement, without any equipment. In this respect, they do not disrupt your sensations when swimming as much as long fins.
Short swim fins guarantee a high kick rate and make the heart work harder. They help to concentrate your efforts on your core muscles and buttocks. They are often used to build up resistance, to reinforce your muscles and to increase your power.
Zoomer users like to refine their technique, while toning up!
Series of training exercises with short fins are often very intense (intervals, sprints). To fully benefit from the this equipment, the kick rate must be high. Which is good news, because we love intense work-outs!
But be careful. A high kick rate and strong propulsion can quickly make your legs prickle. So don’t be surprised!
LONG SWIM FINS
Swimmers who want to train to develop their muscles (for sport or just to look good) and to significantly increase their propulsive power should opt for long fins.
Thanks to their size, they demand greater physical effort and offer a more intense glide feeling during use.
And another advantage of long fins: you will swim much faster. Your sensations are magnified, you swim further and you cover a greater distance in much less time!
Long swim fins can be soft or rigid. Rigid long fins are a good compromise between working your muscles in depth and intense cardio-vascular effort. This is why they are often used only by intensive swimmers.
So let me take this opportunity to remind you once again of the importance of regular hydration. Long fins make the leg muscles work hard, so cramp is never far away!
You have probably already bumped into a swimming board.
Available in a variety of shapes, these floats are used to support the arms on the surface when exercising the legs. If you come across a strangely shaped board, don’t be afraid, it’s probably just a pull-kick. There’s nothing nasty about this hybrid between a board and a pull-buoy.
Two accessories in one. Whatever next?
But swimming boards are one of the most versatile swimming accessories of all. They can be used in a broad variety of ways to focus your training on more specific technical aspects. Just imagine: they can even be used to exercise your arms!
And if you suffer from back pains, don’t worry. You can adapt the position of the board so that you do not feel any pain at all. See for yourself.
Boards are probably the swimmer’s best friend that can be used by one and all alike!
As you have seen, this equipment can be used individually, but is also compatible in every aspect.
Depending on what you want and need, you can use these accessories together or separately to perfect your technique, increase your power and break the monotony!