Swim Gear

A select set of training aids, along with interval training and drills will help to fine-tune your technique. Whether you’re a beginner or expert there are certain things you should have in your swim bag. Training aids improve technique, develop a better stroke, build strength and add variety to your pool sessions.

1.    Swim bag. Essential for the transport of kit. A bag big enough to fit all your training aids, swim suit and towel is ideal.

2.    Swimsuit. The most important piece of swim gear is your swimsuit. Make sure you aren’t just buying what looks good but what is actually practical. I myself struggle to pull off a one piece but I don’t know many people that can. I can’t, however imagine training in anything else. Some fashion suits will lose their shape or fade after a few swims so choosing a performance suit is ideal. You don’t have to spend a fortune I bought mine from wiggle for as little as £18.

3.    Swim cap. Chlorine can have an effect on coloured hair; it can also affect your scalp condition. Wearing a cap not only keeps hair out of your face but it prevents your hair from becoming damaged. One tip I picked up from my hairdresser was to put conditioner on before you put your cap on. This provides a protective layer over the hair if you are concerned about the colouring of your hair being affected. Again, no excuses!!

4.    Goggles. Essential for keeping the chlorine out of your eyes and for visibility. You can also buy shaded or mirrored goggles for swimming in lakes or the sea to keep the sun out of your eyes.

5.    Ear Plugs. These are essential in preventing ‘swimmers ear’ which is a bacterial infection in the outer ear canal. This is caused by excessive water exposure from swimming, so for those of you intending to swim frequently you may find these of use.

6.    Fins. These are a great training aid that help to develop leg and swim kick strength. They also work to improve your body position and technique, increase ankle flexibility and improve cardiovascular fitness.

7.    Pullbuoy. Used to increase arm strength and improve body position in the water. It is held between the legs and substitutes the effect of a wetsuit. It is designed to increase the workload to the arms.

8.    Kick float. This immobilizes the upper body and focuses all propulsion on the legs, thus improving kick technique and strength in the legs.

9.    Hand Paddles.These add extra emphasis on the workload on the arms which can result in improved conditioning. Care must be taken whilst using them and correct form used to avoid injury. Not to be used when suffering from a shoulder injury.

About the author

Hannah developed a passion for fitness from a very young age which led her to compete in a wide range of sports including netball and athletics, where she trained and competed for several years. She graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2009 with a Degree in Health, Exercise & Nutrition, during which she gained experience in the fitness testing of elite athletes including Cyclists and Triathletes.

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