Why use more than one set of paddles?
Currently, what kind of paddles do you use in practice? Why? What are the benefits?
If you do use paddles, they are probably a flat paddle of some sort. There is a time and place for these as well as others.
Can you think of any other types of paddles other than a flat paddle? Let me introduce you to all of our paddles that were designed specifically to target different parts of the stroke and different muscle groups. I will also discuss the benefits of each as well as how to incorporate each in your sets for maximum results.
Stroke Master Paddles
Stroke Master Paddles i.e. Flat Paddles of any sorts, even the Agility Paddle. These types of paddles are nice to use occasionally in practice. Here are the following pros and cons.
Pros: They are easy to hold onto. There are a ton of sizes. You can use them in a knuckle wrap to help with the high catch on all strokes and recovery on Fly. If get the right size, it does NOT put extra pressure on the shoulders.
Cons: It is easy to get too big of a size. There are tons of sizes. It is easy for swimmers to ‘cheat’ by slightly changing the pitch of the hand.
Click Here to get your Stroke Master Paddles
The design of these paddles make it so the swimmer has to focus on the fingertips engaging first in the stroke. Since it is also displacement paddles it also forces the swimmer to focus on maximizing the power of the forearm and engage different muscles to move through the water.
Click Here to get your Brute Paddles
Resistance Gloves are not technically paddles, but i am adding these in because when doing an Ascend or Descend with paddles, the Resistance Gloves are used as a transition from Bare hand to paddles. These also provide a different feel for the swimmer. Using the Gloves the swimmer will tune in on how far apart their fingers need to be to catch the maximum amount of water.
Click Here to get your Resistance Gloves
The IM Paddles were designed to engage the Lats and Back muscles. We did this by bending the upper outside part of the paddle. This means that the pinky and outer fingers feel more pressure which engages muscles like the Lats. This is important because these muscles are not properly utilized when swimming. This gives the swimmer a more powerful feel while swimming because of the maximum engagement of ALL muscles. The key is making sure everyone gets the correct size. Just like the parachutes, there is too big of a paddle size for a swimmer. Our recommendation is to get a size slightly larger than the width of your palm. This will ensure that the swimmer can still go all out without putting unnecessary pressure on the shoulders.
Click Here to get your IM Paddles
Yes, these are typically used as a form of drag resistance on the lower body, BUT these makes the swimmer feel something different. Adding this over the forearms and over the hands can be an interesting thing for your swimmers. This is something weird and fun to throw in at the end of a set to make the swimmers question how they are recovering and how they are grabbing the water. It makes them think differently on how to maximize their pull.
Click Here for your Power Bags
How do you incorporate in practice?
One way to do this is to add an Ascend/Descend to your set. Just like doing a descending set where the swimmer has to descend their time, you descend the paddle size every rep of the set or increase (ascend) the size every rep. This is super fun for the swimmers as it helps the swimmers think about what every paddle is teaching them about their stroke. As explained above, each paddle teaches the swimmer something different. By exposing the swimmers to different types of equipment they will improve their stroke over time.
A Set Example of Descending Paddles:
IM Paddles / Stroke Master / Resistance Gloves / Bare / Brute
5 x through switching every rep
3×75 FR for time
Finish with 100 FR for time
A Set Example of Ascending:
Brute / Bare / Resistance Gloves / Stroke Master Paddles / IM Paddles
5 x through switching every rep
4×50 IM Order
100 IM For time (NO Equipment)
The bottom line is to make the swimmers constantly feel something different. In our opinion this is best done with changing up the equipment and not only by different drills. When you have a limited amount of time you have to get creative. Expand your swimmers feel of the water by changing the equipment…but more on that topic another time(coming soon).