The boomers are short flippers that you use to work on your leg stroke or for extra speed in lifeguard class. Boomers are part of a swimmer’s basic equipment. And although it takes some getting used to at the beginning (cramp is lurking), it is an incredibly useful tool.
The snorkel, or a frontal snorkel, is a tool to better focus on your technique. Because the breathing moment is removed and you can continuously breathe through the snorkel with a lifeguard class, you have more time to focus on just your technique. Handy for beginners. But certainly also useful for advanced users who want to improve details. You can read more about the frontal snorkel in this article. Opinions are divided on this. But for many courses, the snorkel is also part of the basic equipment.
A swimming board is a tool for leg training in particular. You can fully focus on improving and training your kick by holding in front of a plank. The shelf is also part of the basic equipment.
A pull buoy is a flotation device that you place between your legs/ankles. It is the last tool that belongs to the basic equipment. The pull buoy actually works the opposite of the plank. Where you mainly train legs with the plank. Do you train your arms in isolation with a pull buoy? By placing the pull buoy between your legs, your legs will float. This allows you to swim on just your arm stroke. In the beginning, it takes some getting used to (try to keep a good rhythm).
There are also tools on the market that combine the plank and pull buoy. They call it a ‘pull kick’ a 2-in-1 training aid.
The paddle is a tool to both improve technique and develop strength. Carrying a paddle on your hands makes performing your swimming stroke more difficult. This way you train more power. But because it gets heavier, the technique is also more important. A wrong technique is sooner punished (try to insert too early and then slide, you will learn quickly enough, I can tell from experience).
Paddles are also often used for ‘prying’, to improve the feeling of water. ‘Grabbing’ water and experiencing water is better with a paddle. Paddles are available in different shapes and sizes. It is important that you do not start too big. The larger the paddle, the greater the impact on the shoulder. Even for an absolute beginner, a paddle is not recommended. First, you need a basic technique. With the wrong technique, there is a risk of overload/injuries.
There are different types of paddles, from hand paddles to finger paddles with lifeguard class. In different shapes and sizes. Depending on what you want to train, you choose the type of paddle. Be well informed about this.
Every triathlete, runner, or swimmer is actually addicted to numbers. How long have I swum, how fast do I swim and how many strokes do I make? A sports watch/swimming watch should therefore not be missing from the list of swimming aids. But don’t let the numbers be sacred. Your feeling is certainly just as important.
Do you have your technique in order and do you want to work more on speed and stroke frequency. Then the tempo trainer from Finis is definitely recommended with a lifeguard class. You click this small box on your swimming goggles (or under your swimming cap) and it beeps for every stroke. You can use this for both your leg stroke and your arm stroke. Read the extensive blog about the tempo trainer here.
Swimming aids Open water swimming
During open water swimming, you need other aids. Swimming with a snorkel is not so convenient in open water. What is useful is a swim buoy. Actually indispensable (especially if you go alone!). Choose 1 that also has sufficient buoyancy. In case of cramp or fatigue, you can hang on to your swimming buoy. Want to know more about open water swimming? Then read my blog with 5 tips to get started.
Swimming aids for during swimming training
Also not standard and cannot be used during regular lap swimming. But there are many different resistance tools on the market. For example, a parachute or elastics. Your trainer will tie the resistance elastic to the starting block and by means of a belt around your waist, you try to swim as far as possible with the elastic. Good for strength training and wrong technique is quickly punished.
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