Whether you do it competitively or for your own leisure and conditioning, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to swimming. And if you want results sooner rather than later, it might be a good idea to invest in swim training aids and equipment.
So we’ve compiled a list of some of the best swim training aids below to help make your decision a little bit easier. There are devices designed to build upper body and core strength, as well as those to help with kicking power. We’ve also thrown in a couple important accessories no swimmer should be without. But every piece of equipment on the list will help teach you proper stroke technique and mechanics.
Keep reading below to some of the most popular and effective swimming training aids available today.
Note: the following list is in no particular order
1. TYR Pull Float
The TYR Pull Float is designed to develop your upper body and arms for a more powerful stroke. Made of durable and comfortable EVA foam, the float is easy to use. Simply place it between your legs and swim away, using just your arms to pull you.
Don’t worry, its buoyancy will keep your legs afloat and your upper body in correct position regardless of what stroke you’re doing. The float has a contoured shape and is suitable for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. The TYR Pull Float has a smooth finish so there will be no irritation on your legs.
There are a wide variety of training floats available. Learn more about the FINIS Foam Pull Buoy here.
Price: From $7.32 to $25.60
2. FINIS Agility Hand Paddles
The FINIS Agility Hand Paddles are a multi-purpose training tool which teach proper stroke technique, stroke efficiency, and will build upper body strength. The strapless, convex design will fit the natural contour of your hand. And you’ll get instant feedback; if you don’t have proper technique, the paddles will fall off.
Easy to use, the paddles can be worn for all 4 strokes — freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Available in sizes small, medium, and large, the FINIS hand paddles are suitable for swimmers of all ages and skill levels.
For a different model, check out the Start Smart Contoured Swim Paddles, which offer a 90-day money back guarantee.
Price: From $17.20
3. Speedo Team Kickboard
We’ve talked about a couple of ways to build upper body strength and technique, but there are two sides to swimming. You need your lower body, too. That’s where the Speedo Team Kickboard comes into play. And what post about swimming equipment would be complete with an entry from Speedo, arguably the most popular brand in the sport?
The Team Kickboard is a great way to strengthen your legs, which play a major part for competitive swimmers. You can practice your kick for all strokes with this board. As for the board itself, it is made of a soft textured EVA foam. It has grooves underneath for a non-slip grip, as well as side finger indentations so you can get correct hand placement. The Speedo Team Kickboard is available 3 colors — Black, Blue (pictured), and Lime.
This is the adult size. Learn more about the Speedo Junior Team Kickboard here if shopping for the younger swimmer.
Price: $9.52 (plus shipping)
4. InnoGear Swim Gloves
Get maximum water resistance during your training to build your upper body strength with the InnoGear Swim Gloves. The webbed design will help you propel through the water quickly and smoothly for a total core workout. Made of neoprene, the gloves feature a four-way stretch lycra back for added comfort and superior flexibility. There are openings at the top, so the tips of your fingers will stick out.
Available in sizes medium and large, the gloves also have an adjustable wrist closure so you can get the perfect fit to your hand. You’ll receive both a right- and left-handed with your purchase. And not only are they great for swim training, but can also be used for surfing, body boarding, water aerobics classes.
Looking for a different option? Learn more about the Speedo Aqua Fit Swim Training Gloves here.
5. Actorstion Mirrored Swim Goggles
The Mirrored Swim Goggles by Actorstion combine the latest technology with a sleek design at a low price. The eye pieces are made of double-layered, soft silicone for extreme comfort and leak prevention. The durable polycarbonate lenses, which are anti-shatter, feature the latest in anti-fog technology and offer a full range of vision with crystal clear results.
Also, Actorstion goggles can be removed in a cinch. The unique Quick Release Strap locks and unlocks in the back with ease and quickness. Other highlights of the goggles include 100 percent UV protection, a carrying case is included, and they are latex free. They are available in 10 different colors and are suitable for men, women, and children.
Price: From $9.99
6. Speedo Ergo Ear Plugs
While swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for cardiovascular endurance, but there are potential dangers to it. One of those is swimmer’s ear. If you’ve ever had it, you know the pain it can cause. It’s an infection usually caused by remaining water in the ear after swimming.
But there are ways to prevent it. One is the Speedo Ergo Ear Plugs, which have a contoured shape designed to provide a snug fit to help minimize water entry into the ear. Lightweight and soft, the ear plugs are simple to insert and remove. While the Speedo Ergo Ear Plugs won’t improve your stroke technique per se, they’ll keep you from getting swimmer’s ear so you’ll spend more time in the pool practicing and less out of it in pain.
If you’re looking for a different model, check out the Teensery Silicone Waterproof Earplugs, which are one size fits most.
7. FINIS Alignment Kickboard
The FINIS Alignment Kickboard’s main function is to improve your body position, which is vital to get proper technique and maximizing speed. You’ll achieve this improved body alignment and head position thanks to the hydrodynamic design which can glide underneath the water rather than resting on top like the traditional kickboard. Rather than gripping the sides, simply slide your hand through the hand strap and you’re ready to go.
This board is an excellent tool to work on standard kicking and one-armed drills, and is beneficial for improving all four major strokes. And the compact size will help cut down on neck, back, and shoulder strain. The FINIS Alignment Kickboard is made of soft, yet durable, EVA foam, which provides comfort and reduces irritation.
A snorkel might be needed to get a full and proper workout. Need one? If so, check out the FINIS Swimmer’s Snorkel, which is available in both adult and junior sizes.
8. Speedo Push Plate
With the Speedo Push Plate, you’re basically getting a gym workout but just in the pool. Designed to build strength and power, the unique Push Plate has a hydrodynamic design and uses water resistance to give you a total core workout. A solid core goes a long way in swimming, especially if you swim competitively.
There are two different sets of handles, making the Push Plate more versatile and multifaceted when it comes to performing different exercises. The durable construction will ensure longevity and it can be used in both deep, shallow, and surface level waters.
For a similar training device, check out the Speedo Hydro Shredders here.
9. Kiefer Training Swim Fins
The Kiefer Training Swim Fins are designed to develop leg strength, kick efficiency, and proper mechanics while not overworking your muscles. The soft foot pockets are very flexible and comfortable and those characteristics will also help prevent fatigue, allowing you to put in a long, quality training session.
Easy to put on and take off, the swim fins are available in men, women, and youth sizes. The Kiefer Training Swim Fins will also float to the surface if they fall off, making them easy and safe to retrieve.
Learn more about the Speedo Switchblade Fins if you’d like a comparison.
10. Speedo Level Lock
The Speedo Level Lock is another training aid geared toward building upper body strength. With this particular device, you simply lock your ankles into the curves. The buoyancy of the mechanism will keep your lower body somewhat afloat (and prevent kicking) and that will encourage you to use your upper body and core muscles to pull you through the water.
The Level Lock helps you maintain proper alignment in the water, which, in turn, will lead to a more consistent and effective stroke. Adding resistance are the side valves, so you’ll feel the burn and help in getting a total core workout. The soft construction will lessen irritation and stress on your ankles.
For a similar option, check out the FINIS Axis Buoy here.
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