For swimmers, having strong upper and lower bodies can help increase speed and endurance. Swimming training aids such as pull buoys and kickboards can be used in practice to give strength a boost. Division I swimming and diving coach Marc Christian shares his tips on how to use them effectively.
HOW TO USE A PULL BUOY
“The pull buoy is made of foam and looks like a group of figure 8s stacked on top of each other,” Christian says. “To use a pull buoy, you will place the thing side between your thighs or ankles and squeeze to keep it in place.”
Using a pull buoy can help support your body without kicking your legs. This gives you the opportunity to isolate the muscles of your arms to develop more upper-body strength and endurance. It also helps you focus on your stroke technique.
HOW TO USE A KICKBOARD
Kickboards are a classic swimming training aid. They are small boards that can be made of a variety of different materials. Some have handles, while others are solid. In order to use a kickboard, you can either place it underneath your torso or hold it with your arms extended forward.
Beginner swimmers can use kickboards to help them learn to float and kick. But kickboards aren’t limited to swimming newcomers; they can also be used by more advanced swimmers to isolate their leg muscles. This can help them focus on body alignment and kicking technique, a key element for swimmers.
“Kicking is the most important part of developing your training,” Christian says. “Using a kickboard is an easier way to master your body position.”