Maximise your swimming progress with these training aids. Read our quick pointers on how to use each piece so you'll be ready to hit the pool in no time.
The Power of Training Aids: Essential Advice For Your Swim
What are training aids and how are they used? Training aids are pieces of equipment that can help to maximise your swimming progress, adding resistance and zeroing in on specific parts of your body. If you have stronger legs in your sights, slide on some fins for that extra fitness kick. Or maybe it’s slimmer arms you’re after – try the pullbuoy or some finger paddles for a challenge.
Training aids for your arms
Sculpted from foam, these help to balance your lower body so that you can focus on your arm technique. Place the pullbuoy between the tops of your thighs and gently hold your legs together to keep it in position while you swim. The pullbuoy can be used with any stroke, making it a nifty piece of equipment for building shoulder and arm strength.
Sometimes your hand position can be slightly off without you realising. Wearing finger paddles will help to streamline your technique while adding resistance without straining your shoulders. Slide your middle finger through the strap and make sure the paddles only cover your fingers, leaving your palm exposed so you can feel the water through every stroke.
Training aids for your legs
Want to strengthen your legs? A kickboard isolates your legs by tasking your lower body with the full job of moving through the water. Hold it with your hands wrapped over its top edge, keeping your arms in a straight but relaxed position on top.
Kickboards can be used with any stroke’s kick. Focus on making each kick powerful, either doing these as short bursts or for longer repetitions.
At first glance these might look intimidating, but they’re totally worth the effort, championing better technique when it comes to front crawl, backstroke and butterfly.
Put on the fins by holding the heel and sliding your foot inside. (This might be easier when they’re slightly wet.) Once you’re ready to go, start the leg movement from your hips and bend your knee slightly before kicking through to a straight position, flicking your ankles at the end each time.
Training aids for your whole body
Struggle to get your breathing right? Wearing a snorkel will mean you can figure out the correct downwards head position for front crawl and butterfly stroke. This will then encourage a better body alignment, fuelling an improved overall technique.
Place the snorkel so the pad sits comfortably on your forehead and the strap holds it in place. The tube should sit in a straight line that reaches out of the water.