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swim toys

hey guys i am thinking about investing in a pull buiy and kick board but i dont really know how to use them properly, just that they're supposed to help!!!

and where exactly do you uise a pull buoy? at the top or at the bottom of your legs x


  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Swim toys are not strictly necessary. It depends on where you are in your swim training, what your fitness and flexibility is, what injuries you have or are susceptible to etc.

    Example: hand paddles are a stupid idea for anybody with a shoulder impingement. They'll also cause rotator-cuff injuries quicker than you can say "Oh, shit!" if you have a poor body roll.

    Example: A kick board used incorrectly will set off your upper spinal problems like a good 'un.

    Example: A pull-bouy will trick you into thinking you are far better than you are if you have a crappy kick. Don't bother using one until you get a good level body position. Then only use one when your legs are so trashed from bricking that you can't actually kick.

    My suggestions for which toys to buy, in order:

    1. Swim coaching. A coach will improve your swimming by a huge amount. He/She will also tell you which toys to buy and why. Importantly, they'll also show you how to use them without hurting yourself.

    2. Fins: I reckon they're no use for teaching you how to kick, but they turn kick drills into a really tough workout.

    3. Paddles: good for developing feel. Kind of opposite to fist drill. Use both of them, only fist drill is free.

    4. Rubber band type thing. Your physio will give you one of these and show you how to use it when you use 2 and 3 incorrectly.

    5. Concept 2 rowing machine. You progress onto this after 4.

    6. Pull bouy: makes you nice and level and can rescue tired legs. Don't use it for longer swims though, you'll forget how to kick and it will ruin your body roll and consequently injure your shoulders... go back to 4.

    Now I'm thinking 'Why did I even bother to type that lot?'. Buy whatever your coach says you need.
  • agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    Maybe I've just got a mean swim coach, but as far as he is concerned:

    Pull bouys: Stop being lazy and use your legs, you can enjoy the extra bouyancy when the open water sessions start in your wetsuit. Promotes a bad position anyway

    Kick boards: Youve got to spend the rest of the race using your legs, so whats the point. Just kick harder

    Paddles: as bopo said, => injury

    Fins: OK, if you really want, use them for drills

    However, I am still yet to purchase a set of fins, would like to get some to help with drills, but if you stick at them without the drills, you find you get better anyway, the only one I have trouble with is single arm at the moment
  • i like to use hand paddles when im limited on time as it works the arms/sholders quite well, other than tht i dont bother with the rest..
  • but to answer your question, you put the pull bouy at the top of your legs...

    speedo do a good one, it's not a figure 8 type (equal amount of foam at top and bottom) so it can make you sink or float more depending on which way up you have it.

    i hope that made sense, it does in my head?!?
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I used to rubbish the pull buoy, until I got my position sorted, now I think its a great bit of kit thats helped me no end. Your right bopo that it will lull you into a false sense of balance, and when you get rid of it, the legs will sink. I don't use my legs an awful lot, because I dont have to, and I'm readying myself for the wetsuit where I don't plan on using my legs much at all! I only use them for a rotational 2 beat kick, which I learned by using a pull bouy!

    Once I got my balance sorted I used it to concentrate solely on my pull and it seemed to work really well, my pull has developed immensely!
  • thanks for all your comments!

    I think after reading the suggestions here i'm going to buy a pull buoy then next month some fins both only for drills!!

    love ordering stuff from wiggle!! x
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