Man swimming in pool

7 of Best Swimming Training Equipment You Need to Boost Performance

Investing in the right tools and accessories can lead to a better swimming experience. Whether it's improving your technique, tracking your progress, or focusing on specific muscle groups, selecting the right equipment can make all the difference.

Having the best swimming training equipment can improve your performance and make your sessions more effective than ever before, whether you're a professional swimmer or someone who enjoys swimming for fitness and fun. Check out our curated list of the top swimming training must-haves that can help you improve your swimming game.

Best Swimming Equipment

Swimming is a great way to stay active, increase endurance, and improve your general well-being. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced swimmer looking to hone your skills, the best swimming training equipment can make all the difference. In our comprehensive range of swimming accessories, swimming aids for adults, and competitive swimming training equipment, you're sure to find something suitable.

1. Swim Paddles

Swim paddles are an essential piece of swimming training equipment, particularly for developing strength and technique. They function as hand extensions, helping swimmers to pull in more water. This means your arms work harder, which will help you develop your upper body strength. Swim paddles are essential for those starting out and are considered a must-have competitive swimming training equipment.

Hand Paddles

Hand Paddles

Hand paddles are a great way to go faster for longer and introduce some power into your strokes. Even if it feels like using hand paddles takes its toll on your muscles, if used properly, they also undeniably improve your swimming technique.

With their imposing shape, the propulsion surface is enlarged, which increases the water displaced. As a result of this colossal "catch", you will need to use your upper body muscles more (triceps, dorsals, biceps, shoulders).

This will have an impact on your muscle mass and your swimming comfort without paddles too!

Finger paddle

Finger Paddles

For refining your technique and boast well-executed movement, give finger paddles a go.

Finger paddles are much smaller than hand paddles. The propulsion surface is thus reduced, but it still lets you work on the resistance of the hand during the underwater movement as well as the sensation of resistance before the pull phase.

Finger paddles focus your concentration on what you can feel, your catch, and the placement of your hands and forearms for better hydrodynamics.

This equipment makes it easier to take cues to correct your movement and detect the most effective gestures to swim better, faster, and finally achieve a clean and smooth stroke!

2. Pull Buoy

The pull buoy is more than simply a buoyant gadget; it's an essential piece of training swimming equipment. Positioned between the knees, this swimming aid isolates the upper body, allowing swimmers to focus on arm technique, posture, and strength training.

thigh pull buoy

Thigh Pull Buoy

Beyond giving dense swimmers more buoyancy, this way of using the pull buoy maintains increased focus on upper limb movements, promoting the improvement of the swimming technique.

The principal aims of the pull buoy are to impose a flat position on the swimmer and to work on the first part of the arm movement (traction), where the swimmer must pull their body (half of which is "immobilised") forward.

The legs are however brought to the surface by the pull buoy, giving you optimal alignment on the water and thus reducing the resistance that would have been caused by your legs dangling (since you are not able to kick at all).

Ankle Pull Buoy

Using a pull buoy between your ankles requires a certain amount of concentration on your lower limbs so as not to let it escape.

In this position, the workout will again be focused on the upper body, with more intense effort on the abs. Your core must remain activated under all circumstances to maintain optimal alignment and avoid thrashing around all over the place and creating excess drag.

By working with a pull buoy, you can improve your swimming positioning and technique while gaining power due to the lack of leg movement. The perfect two-in-one!

The pull buoy can be used alone or in combination with other accessories (swim paddles, band) to add variety to your workout sessions.

3. Swimming Bands

As a cornerstone of swimming resistance training equipment, Decathlon's assortment of swimming bands provides a diverse and targeted approach to muscle strengthening. These training instruments, which range from resistance bands to loop bands, can be used in a variety of ways.

The swim band has the effect of stopping your kicks and therefore unbalancing your body. Your legs instantly fall, strengthening your core to try to keep them at the surface and not let them sink to the bottom.

Arm Strength Swimming Bands

Arm Strength Swimming Bands

Resistance bands are meant to provide variable resistance, allowing swimmers to target specific muscles such as their arms, shoulders, and back. You can efficiently recreate the arm action in different strokes by gripping the band in both hands and making a swimming motion.

This resistance band exercise focuses on the catch and pull part of the stroke, helping you develop your arm power.

Swimming band

Loop Bands for Hip and Core Stability

Swimming bands that can be looped around the legs to target the hips and core are known as loop bands. These bands provide resistance in lateral and rotational movements, which are necessary for swimming stability and power.

You can work the glutes, hip flexors, and core muscles by wrapping a loop band around your knees or ankles and executing side-to-side leg movements. This increases not only hip stability but also the link between the upper and lower bodies, resulting in a more coordinated and forceful stroke.

4. Kickboards

Kickboards are a staple in swimming training equipment, providing targeted lower-body conditioning. Swimmers can isolate their leg muscles by holding onto a kickboard and focusing on kick technique and strength. A kickboard is a buoyant device held in front, allowing swimmers to keep their upper bodies afloat while they work on their legs.

Standard Kickboard

Standard Kickboard

The traditional kickboard is used to isolate leg muscles, offering a workout that focuses on the thighs, calves, and glutes. This kickboard technique emphasises the flutter kick, improving leg strength and coordination.

With your upper body supported, your legs may move freely, allowing you to concentrate on keeping a continuous kick pattern. The traditional kickboard usage aids in training appropriate leg alignment and developing endurance through repetitive leg movements.

Streamline Kickboard

Streamline Kickboard

Holding the streamline kickboard with the arms extended aligns the body in a more streamlined stance. This allows for more dynamic leg motions and emphasises hip roll, which improves the power and flexibility of your kick.

This method of using the kickboard provides a more challenging workout by activating core muscles and increasing balance in the water. It also aids in the practice of transitioning between kicks, which improves the smoothness and effectiveness of your swimming stroke.

5. Swim Fins

Swim fins are an essential piece of competitive swimming training gear. They create resistance by increasing surface area, which helps the development of leg strength, technique, and speed.

Short fins

Short Fins to Improve Technique

Short fins are excellent for practising kick technique and tempo. The shorter blade provides moderate resistance, which aids in the development of leg strength while allowing for a natural, controlled kick pattern.

These fins help improve ankle flexibility, which is essential for effective kicking. Swimmers can improve their range of motion and fluidity in their kick by utilising short fins, leading to higher performance in all strokes.

Long fins

Long fins for Power and Speed

Long fins, with their longer blade length, are intended to create more resistance, making them perfect for increasing leg power and speed. These fins require more effort to kick with, resulting in a more intense leg workout.

Swimmers that use long fins can develop a stronger, more forceful kick, which translates to faster speeds in the water. The additional resistance also aids endurance training by helping swimmers to maintain a forceful kick for longer periods of time.

6. Swimmer's Snorkel

The swimmer's snorkel is becoming more popular and has earned a place in our best swimming training equipment. Allowing swimmers to breathe without turning their heads provides greater alignment and allows them to concentrate solely on stroke technique.

Centre-mounted Snorkel

Centre-mounted Snorkel

The centrally located snorkel aids in the maintenance of a more balanced and aligned body position. It prevents needless head movement and encourages a more efficient stroke, making it suited for all levels of swimmers.

Freestyle Snorkel

Freestyle Snorkel

The freestyle snorkel assists swimmers to maintain a streamlined position while developing a smooth, continuous freestyle stroke. It is especially useful for competitive swimmers or those wishing to improve their freestyle technique.

7. Swimming Watch

Embracing technology is the way forward, and swimming watches can make a huge difference in your performance by giving you the insight you need. Swimming watches offer real-time feedback, tracking metrics like stroke count, pace, distance, and swim efficiency.

GPS Heart Rate Outdoor Smartwatch Instinct

Lap Counting, Pace Tracking and Swimming Analysis

Modern swimming watches have functions such as automatic lap counting and pace tracking. This enables swimmers to monitor their performance without losing concentration, providing real-time data on how quickly they are swimming each lap.

Swimmers can improve their consistency, endurance, and speed by monitoring their pace and making modifications as needed to fulfil their training goals. This feature is especially beneficial for individuals who are preparing for competitive events or trying to increase their overall efficiency.

Metrics and Analysis

Metrics and Analysis

Many swimming watches have sophisticated metrics including stroke rate, stroke type detection, and SWOLF (a measure of swimming efficiency). These insights provide swimmers with a deep picture of their performance, enabling them to make focused adjustments.

swimming goggles

And Plenty More

Decathlon's extensive range of swimming accessories can boost your overall swimming experience. From anti-fog goggles to swim caps and waterproof watches, these additional items cater to various needs.

These swimming accessories are designed with the swimmer in mind, offering comfort, functionality, and style. Whether you're a novice or an elite athlete, these swimming aids for adults and children add to your comfort, performance, and enjoyment in the water.

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