yet another swimming question

Hi there, I'd dead chuffed that I managed to do my first 400m non-stop crawl the other day - it took 10m20s, which is slow by comparison to some of you guys, but 6 weeks ago I could barely do 50m without coming to a spluttering halt.

I need to work on my upper body strength so I can pull more effectively through the water - and advice? I use a pull buoy which is good - would paddles/glove thingies help? and what can I do at the gym as well?



  • Fraggle - yes they will help provided you are using the right technique in the first place, ie if you pull is too wide then you will be working different muscles to a pull directly beneath you body. But this all comes from conecntrating and doing drills up and down the pool so yes, give them a go!

    With regards to the gym, Lat pull downs are good to train your body to use these to move your arms as opposed to your delts (giving you better strength), but after that I don't really know as I have always tended to avoid the gym!!
  • Some pools do not like you using paddles during public sessions - so check at your pool first
  • I don't know if this is true..but I personally think that using the pull bouy makes it easier on your arms..cos it lifts your legs and supports them, taking the weight away?

    Might just be my own little theory though...?
  • You need to be a bit careful with paddles - they are a good training aid but only if you already have good technique. Try and use them when you're already well warmed up and not for more than about 200m at a time. They can be pretty rough on the shoulders. I can highly recommend fistgloves (bit embarrasing to wear though!)as a great training aid, your hands feel like dish plates after you've been using them.
  • I find pullbuoys good for technique practice as you can solely concentrate on your arms, and like Dr Nic i find it easier than swimming "normally". For a workout, no PB, for arm/breathing, etc practise use one.
  • i swim reps just using my arms and then do alternating breast stroke, crawl arms, crawl with legs etc

    a session would be

    warm 10-12 lengths crawl

    then lengths with arms, swim back breast stroke then repeat

    or repeat with full leg kick

    sometimes use a kickboard for a few lengths then do arms only lengths

    (i just let my legs trail behind and use to stabilise)

    i also run lengths in the pool between between swimming sets too which rests my arms but gives my legs and lungs a workout !
  • i also tend to swim reps (lengths) and sets rather than continuous swimming as the recovery means i work at a higher intensity thru the whole session (-30-40 -50)mins rather than try and swim continuously which would be fatigueing
  • DrN - I have always found that as well, but apparently the use of paddles is building arm strength... don't figure really!!
  • Agreed that paddles definitely does...I was on about pull bouy?
  • swim coach once said'biceps for show, triceps for go' ie concentrate on tricep work for swim strength, as for drills without having to buy stuff yet, try swimming a few lengths with clenched fists - then normal and feel the difference.
  • Wow Moosey, he sounds like a groovy kinda guy. Mind you aren't they all (coaches, not guys)
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    you can tell who the swimmers are in my gym cos they breeze through a top-weight int sesh on the lat pulldown, tri curl and dorsal squeeze......then they go red lifting 5kilos on the bicep curl hehehe

    got some paddles at home but size large and in my gym pool (16m) they are a pain in bot cos of the turns. recommend getting the small size. not so much stress on the shoulders and emphasise the feeling you need to develop when grabbing, pulling the water. zoggs and speedo do good ones.

    best thing you can do though i guess is fast short interval sessions in the pool. dr.nic, pants or spans prob know

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    sorry-admit i made up dorsal squeeze. just sounds cool.
    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • i like swimming men.

    yup nic, groovy coaches. never had one i didn't get on with!
  • I think pullbuoys are not needed - I rarely use my legs and they don't sink behind me - see Total Immersion 'pushing the buoy'.

    But then, I'm not the worlds best swimmer.
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    yeh they're crap mate, and mine are in serious trouble of appearing on ebay i can tell you ;o)

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Agree Chris I think they are certainly overrated.

    Moosey, I was kidding, swim coaches are notoriously humourless! But swimming men...well...yes..I agree! ;-)

    Wotcha Daz, haven't seen you about much? I was wondering about the dorsal squeeze! You wally!
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭
    swimmers ARE shexy arent they.

    yeh nic ive been on a diet of one forum chat-room lately (tt).
    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Yep.

    And welcome home!
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