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Swimming is an amazing sport that has lots of benefits, however, if you have to swim twice every day (as the top athletes do) it could get quite boring at times and you would need a lot of other distractions to keep motivated.

Apart from getting creative with your swimming workouts and introducing different drills, swimmers can use miscellaneous swimming equipment to spice up their routines and motivate themselves to better swimming performance while also improving swimming technique (I like to call them "coaching toys").

This article will give you a small sample of some of the swim products that I believe will give you the needed edge to keep motivation high and to help you swim faster in the long run.

Most of the swimming toys have a specific purpose and it usually is to improve your technique for a particular stroke.

Are you ready?

Here is the list of equipment that I like to use to keep my swimmers and myself swimming with faster and faster:

Swimmer's Snorkel

![center mounted snorkel](front-mounted-snorkel.jpg "Swimmer's snorkel, the best piece of equipment there is){.img-center .caption}

As discussed in previous posts about breathing and freestyle mistakes, the Swimmer's snorkel is a helpful, fun way to teach you the skill of the correct head position and body rotation.

This type of snorkel is nowadays a must-have in the equipment repository of every swimmer.

Attach the front snorkel to your forehead, put your face in and just relax while swimming.

The front snorkel is also very good for sculling and head position exercises as you don't have to break your rhythm by lifting your head.

If you are going to buy only one piece of equipment, the front snorkel is probably the best buck for result and enjoyment.

I love the Finis Swimmer's Snorkel, however, beware that some swimmers will not be able to use it from the start as they do not know how to blow the water out of the snorkel, so be patient and learn to relax with it.

Here is an article to help you with your Swimmer's snorkel breathing technique.

Also, some folks have troubles with flip turns while using the snorkel, but this is not too complicated to learn if the right streamline on the push-off is present.

Just wedge the top of the front snorkel into your streamlined locked arms and voila, it will not wiggle while you are streamlining away.

Cardio Cap and Dry Top For The Swimmer's Snorkel

snorkel cardio cap
The cardio cap helps to improve your breathing

To help strengthen your diaphragm below your lungs you can experiment with the Cardio cap.

This little piece of equipment goes on top of the snorkel mentioned above.

It is thought to help with lung conditioning by 40%.

The Cardio Cap restricts the intake of oxygen that passes through the snorkel, thus making your diaphragm work harder and more efficient.

If you use the cap couple of times per week for one set during your practice, you should feel the results in a few weeks.

If you already have the center mount snorkel, the Cardio cap is a good/cheap way to break out of the monotony of everyday practice and help your lungs at the same time.

That said, you might want to go directly for a smaller diameter pipe swimmer's snorkel. Like this one from BornToSwim.

There exists another slick attachment for the front snorkel.

Meet the Dry Top device.

This futuristic-looking attachment is actually a wonderful invention.

There are swimmers who have a psychological fear of inhaling water and this fear stops them from fully enjoying the swimmer's snorkel benefits.

With the Dry Top, these individuals can relax and keep their snorkel water free at all times.

If you already have the center mount snorkel, but you keep choking on water, the Dry top is a good/cheap way to keep your snorkel swims smooth and concentration on your technique instead of the water in your lungs.

Hydro Hip

hydro hip - helps with rotation
Learn to rotate your hips with the Hydro Hip

A very good way to get you rolling during your swims is to use the Hydro Hip.

You can easily combine the snorkel and this belt together.

The Hydro Hip belt has two resistant flaps on each side of your body, thus making rotating much tougher than usual.

As a result, your core body muscles are getting stronger and then when you take off the Hydro Hip belt, your body rotates with ease as there is no resistance.

The side fins on the Hydro Hip belt are usually not attached very well hough, so they tend to slide around.

You will need some sort of padding between the belt and the fin attachment to make the connection tighter.

Tech Toc

Tech Toc belt - helps with rotation
Improve your body rotation with Tech Toc belt

Another hip rotation mechanism I will introduce is the Tech Toc belt.

It works on the following principle.

Each time you rotate your hips while swimming a little ball hidden in the top of the Tech Toc belt hits a side of the mechanism and generates a noise.

If the rotation is not good enough, no sound will happen, thus letting you know that you are not rotating enough.

This Tech Toc belt is nice to try but it is not the best, because it has a lot of drag and the ball gets sometimes stuck, so before you go all crazy buying 10 of these for your team, I'd suggest trying it before buying or try the Hydro Hip above.

A few more toys which are helpful in improving your swimming technique are below:

Mono Fin

Swim fast with the mono fin
Feel the speed with mono fin

We all know that swimmers love to feel the speed and the fast movement of the water across their bodies.

One way to get yourself accustomed to swimming fast is to use the Mono Fin.

The monofin is usually used for underwater racing or free diving exercises, but for our purposes, it can be a great learning tool for underwater dolphin kick.

It will strengthen your abdominal area and it is a lot of fun :).

Furthermore, swimming with the mono fin will let you feel any unnecessary resistance that your body has underwater, so you can then fix it.

Be careful though, some mono fins are quite rough on the ankles and can create nasty blisters/bruising, so make sure you know what you are buying before you pull out your wallet.

Also, the edges are sometimes quite sharp, so be careful not to slice someone up with it:).

Shinfin

If you want to try a different type of fin, why not check out the shinfin™ leg fin.

These babies are very good at teaching the proper kicking movement. Not too much knee bend and just enough hip action.

I use these with my novice swimmers all the time and they do wonders.

Pull Buoy

Pullbuoy for stronger upper body
Get a better body position and stronger pulling muscles with a pullbuoy

One very old piece of equipment is the Pull buoy.

This simple pull buoy tool is inserted in between your legs and it keeps your feet from kicking and elevated so you can concentrate only on the arm movement.

However, be careful to not stop rotating your hips when you swim as this is a common mistake when swimming with a pull boy.

This is a must for any swimmer as it helps float the legs up a little, so especially the men with bigger thighs will appreciate it.

If you want to make it a bit harder, you can put a strap around your ankles to really have your feet only dragging behind you.

There you have it.

Just a small taste of what equipment is out there.

If you are not sure what a particular piece of swimming equipment does, read about it before making a purchase or just simply post a comment below and I will be happy to help.

There is a lot of swimming gear which is not that useful when it comes to improving your technique, so read before you buy it.

Swim Advice Topics

My Top 7 Swim Products That Will Help You Swim Faster (Best Swimming Gear To Improve Technique) is part of the following categories: Drills-Tips, Swim Gear and Equipment, Product Reviews

Comments (3)

Tyciol said...
These look really cool, is the one hip fin thing to increase drag?

Also what about using flippers or arm scooper things so we can cup more water and use more arm resistance and go further with fewer strokes?
Reply
swimator said...
@tyciol: thanks for your question, I assume you are talking about the hydro hip. You can say that it does increases drag, however, its main purpose is to help you improve to roll your hips to the side as freestyle is really swam more on your sides than your stomach.

Arm scoopers (also called paddles) are good, but not to be used without proper training as they could hurt your shoulders if not used properly.
Reply
swim shop said...
Swimming gear helps a lot in learning swimming more efficiently.
Reply

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