Tuesday, 16 April 2013

How to get more bang for your buck when swimming

If you are looking to improve your upper body strength and get a super intense swim workout in a short time, swimming paddles may be your answer.

The paddles, made of stiff plastic, fit over your hand and provide a larger surface area than your hand alone does.  Your shoulder and arm muscles therefore have to work extra hard in order to overcome the increased water resistance as you pull your hands through the water.

In my local pool, it seems many people are using them.  I hadn't thought too much about them, until my swim coach suggested today that it was time for me to start using them to develop my upper body strength yet further.  Not only that, but because you move through the water faster, it gives you a better idea of what swimming fast feels like and helps you to learn to make yourself more streamlined in the water.

I went out and bought the ones above, made by Speedo.  Although my hands are rather large, I went for the medium sized paddles.  They are slightly wider than my hand and quite a bit longer.  I probably could have even gone one size larger, but it is better to start off with a smaller size and then move to a larger size later, in order to avoid potential shoulder injuries.  I will let you know how I get on with them in due course, but my swimming in general is going fantastically at the moment.  I can now comfortably swim 2k in 45 minutes, and am covering about 11km per week total.