Information on Equipment

Training Equipment can help your workouts be more interesting and productive.  All of the workouts that are provided on myswimcoachonline.com can be completed without additional equipment,  but including equipment may really help.     Our training partner Finis provides some wonderful training aids.  Their website www.finisinc.com is a great resource for many of these items.

Below I have listed REQUIRED equipment……..along with equipment that you may want to consider including in your swim bag.

REQUIRED:

Swimsuit.  Make sure to get a suit that is comfortable and durable.  Many of the swimwear manufacturers will offer fuller cut “training” suits for swimmers who desire comfort during their swim workouts.  Nylon has always been a popular fabric used in swimwear.   Some of the newer suits made of polyester will last longer and resist fading.   Suits made with Lycra will be lighter and are designed with competition in mind.

Goggles. Protect your eyes and eye sight from the chemicals that your facility may use and see everything more clearly with a good set of goggles.  Several manufacturers now make prescription goggles for people who need them.  And, for those who prefer to wear contact lenses in the water, goggles will also help avoid contact lens damage.   Goggles should fit snug on the face, while still being comfortable.  Sometimes it is necessary to keep trying new goggles until finding the right ones.   Goggles are not expensive items so try to stay away from the “cheap” ones.  Spend an extra five to ten  dollars and you will benefit greatly.  As with many swimming items, www.finisinc.com has many good options for you.

STRONGLY CONSIDER:

Kickboard. If you would like to work your legs exclusively, use a kickboard. Many facilities provide these for your use.  If not, you can pick one up inexpensively.   Unlike other equipment, kickboards are all about the same.   They are typically made of foam and come in a standard size.   A kickboard will allow your upper body to float while you use your legs.   If, while using  a kickboard, you find that it makes your shoulders sore, discontinue its’ use and try kicking on your back.

how to use a kickboard……http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip34ZejWXKY

Fins. If you want to add resistance to your kick, work the muscles of your legs and increase your speed, consider investing in a set of  fins.  There are a variety of fins available  to choose from.   They should fit comfortably without be too tight. If you have trouble finding the correct size, get the slightly larger ones and wear socks with them.  Beginners should consider using longer fins.  They will help develop ankle flexibility and provide more propulsion. Short fins are a good alternative, and they are great for adding speed to your swimming without  taxing the muscles of the legs.  www.finisinc.com has many options for you in regards to fins.

how to use fins in your swim training……http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_52OJ15wgg

Hand paddles. If you’re looking to add resistance to your arm pull, hand paddles will provide this.   Hand paddles are usually made of plastic and are held in place on the hands with short lengths of surgical tubing that are attached to the paddle.   They come in various sizes.  The larger the size, the more resistance will be provided.   Be careful when considering using hand paddles.   While they are great for “feeling” the water is you swim and can be a great swimming specific strength training exercise, they can also put too much stress on the shoulders.   Monitor their use and discontinue if they are causing any type of joint pain.

information on paddles…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs92QPAYUiI&feature=channel

Pull-Buoy. A pull buoy is typically used in conjunction with hand paddles and are used to provide floatation while your are swimming isolating  your upper body.   This piece of equipment is usually made of foam and come in a standard size.   It is placed between your legs above the knees.  If your legs tend to sink, or if they’re just tired, a pull buoy can often help.

how to use a pull buoy….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-RPVBZpsEw&feature=channel

OPTIONAL:

Swim Snorkel.  A great piece of equipment that is relatively new to the market is a swim snorkel.  Unlike a side mounted snorkel that is used when “snorkeling”, a swim snorkel is front mounted and will not get in the way of your swimming stroke.  This items will allow you to take out the side breathing component of your stroke.  By stabilizingyour head you can ease neck and shoulder pain, breath more naturally, and watch your stroke underwater.  A snorkel will  provide physical advantages, cardiovascular advantages, and stroke mechanic advantages.  Swim snorkels can also be found at www.finisinc.com along with an instructional video in regards to its’ use .  While not specifically stated in the workouts, you can always add a swim snorkel to any of your training sets.

How to use the swim snorkel…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3-9Le8N7Fg

NOTE………………New equipment constantly comes on the market.  Some of it can be valuable, some ….not so.   We will provide information from time to time and, if you have any specific questions about swimming equipment please contact us.