Getting the best out of your equipment

There is a vast array these days of different equipment for swimming. From kickboards, pull-buoys, goggles to the more advanced equipment such as hand paddles. I will give a brief description of each and my recommendation.

Kickboards
Getting the correct size is very important. When using a kick-board you need to be as low in the water as possible and having a kick board that it too big will put you in the wrong position. Is is also a good idea to do some kicking without a kick-board at all.

Pull-buoys
In the same way as the kickboards getting the correct size of pull buoy is important. Too big and your bottom half will stick out of the water! Not good for improving your swimming.  If you are not sure what size to get first get a smaller one. You can always use the smaller one for breaststroke arms only.

Goggles
The most expensive are not necessarily the best. Some goggles have parts you can replace. If you are training outside you can get mirrored ones and also anti-fog goggles are popular. It is not a bad idea to have a pair for indoors if pool is old you might need a pair with clear lenses! It is also possible to get goggles by prescription if you wear glasses.

Hand paddles
These should be used with care especially if you are a junior swimmer. Buy the ones with holes in which will allow water through and help feel for the water. Start with ones you can cope with and only build up to larger ones when your strength has improved sufficiently.

When using paddles it is very important to maintain the correct hand position throughout the stroke.  A common error is to drop the elbow part way through the stroke because the swimmer does not have the strength to use the paddles correctly.  For advanced breaststroke swimmers using paddles with pull buoys is a very good way of improving conditioning in your arms.

 

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