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smontanaro
December 8th, 2007, 02:12 PM
I would like to start a discussion on some of the training "toys" available, but I don't want the discussion to get tossed by the moderators. I'm not sure what the forum guidelines are for discussing specific commercial products. I certainly haven't been able to figure it out from various threads. Here's what I think though:


generic toys such as pull buoys, basic paddles and fins seem to be okay
discussing specific brands of tech suits seems to be okay, perhaps because the manufacturers don't seem to participate
certain training devices (which for now shall remain unnamed) seem to be more-or-less discouraged from the forums, at least in part because the inventors/vendors of those products are active participants


Do I have that about right? If so, I'd propose that it's okay to discuss specific training tools as long as the people selling them don't participate in the threads, just people like me with no financial interest in such stuff, other than the lightening my wallet would undergo if I purchased them. Would it be okay for those with a financial interest to respond via PM to specific posts in a thread? Would it be okay for such people to respond to the thread if their messages contained a disclaimer?

Comments please...

Skip Montanaro

pwolf66
December 8th, 2007, 03:01 PM
Well, I got my Fina Swim Snorkel Wednesday and will be trying it out Monday. So we'll see how that goes.

Paul

Ripple
December 8th, 2007, 07:26 PM
I don't know if Fistgloves really count as "toys", because I count the seconds until I can finally take them off, but I love the way my hands feel so huge when the gloves finally do come off and I can swim bare handed. Recently l got some weird Hungarian "Turtle" paddles that look like prehistoric sea creatures, with the bottom shaped like the hull of a boat. Similar in function to Fistgloves, but harder to use - I really feel the abdominal muscles working on every stroke. Again, sort of this feeling:
:frustrated:
Feels so good to take them off! I've really learned to relax my hands with these suckers, because they really don't work if I don't.
Other than that, and some Zoomers, I don't really like a whole lot of stuff in my swim bag. Too heavy to carry, and I live too close to the pool to have a good excuse not to walk most days.

smontanaro
December 8th, 2007, 08:01 PM
Okay, here are the two training devices I'm curious about at the moment: the Techpaddle (http://techpaddle.com/product.html) and the Forearm Fulcrum (http://www.finisinc.com/products-tr-forearmfulcrum.shtml). If you've used either one, I'd like to hear your opinions about them. Do you think they help with your stroke mechanics?

Thx,

Skip Montanaro

ALM
December 8th, 2007, 08:37 PM
I'm not sure what the forum guidelines are for discussing specific commercial products. I certainly haven't been able to figure it out from various threads. Here's what I think though:

Here's a basic guideline for the discussion of products or services.

--Don't start a thread to promote a specific product or service, regardless of whether you are the provider/seller of the product.

--Don't post replies in threads with out-of-context promotion of products or services.

--It's OK to reply to questions from forum users about specific products/services (for example, Tomtopo could answer questions about his tech paddles, or Terry Laughlin could answer questions about TI).

These rules apply even if the product/service is a free one.

Anna Lea

Surfsalterpath
December 8th, 2007, 09:34 PM
always wondered about this??

why would you buy fistgloves when you can swim w/ your fists closed?

I see TI suggest the fistgloves and I always wondered why not just swim with your fists closed for free?

and yes it does feel great to finally open those paddles(hands) back up!

Czarazuk
December 8th, 2007, 10:03 PM
always wondered about this??

why would you buy fistgloves when you can swim w/ your fists closed?

The advantage of fistgloves is that the sensation of water passing around your hand is significantly (if not entirely) reduced. This causes you to focus more upon using the arm to act as the surface that moves water. Despite this, I choose not to use fistgloves and still get a lot of benefit from training with bare fists.

Ripple
December 9th, 2007, 12:07 AM
...why would you buy fistgloves when you can swim w/ your fists closed?...


I think I'd get very sore forearm muscles if I tried to hold a fist for as long as I use the gloves, but sometimes I'll start off every length with 6 to 10 strokes with my fists closed, then open them up part-way down the pool. With the gloves, there's no effort required to hold the hands in that position.

spudfin
December 9th, 2007, 12:08 AM
Ok here is my weigh in on the toys I have used to date.

Pull Buoys. I just overcame a two year addiction to my buoy. Took me three painful months to get over it. I will never use one again as long as I swim.
Finis Freestyle paddles. The only toy I still use. Like them cuz it helps me extend and stretch better and the pull is a great workout. Only use them for 10-20% of any workout, usually only once a week.
Zoomers. Great for making the legs burn. Currently retired but may bring them back for limited appearances.
TYR fins. Like them for go fast sets. Currently retired.
Blue Seventy Energie wetsuit. AWESOME wetsuit! Will only retire this one when it falls apartThats all I have used other than goggles and a jammer.

I am curious about the arm cradle that I have read to keep the elbow bent. Anyone use that one?
Spudfin

JMiller
December 9th, 2007, 12:12 AM
Here's a basic guideline for the discussion of products or services.

--Don't start a thread to promote a specific product or service, regardless of whether you are the provider/seller of the product.


The thing is, intellectual property is a product, so technically we shouldn't say anything smart at all.... :rofl:

However, I'm a big proponent of tubing in the pool...

I think the reason why full-length pool tubing
works is because water naturally offers
a constant (and limited amount of resistance).
So the tubing increases the resistance on the
parts of your body that are most out
of streamline, and forces you to make
adjustments that are conducive to the
clock work. This trains your autonomic
system to be more technically efficient
without cognitive interference. This
essentially improves kinesthetic awareness,
which is critical for swimming faster.

Thrashing Slug
December 10th, 2007, 12:07 AM
I just got some fistgloves a couple of weeks ago, and I've been using them during warmup, which is typically about 800 to 1000 yards. Prior to getting the gloves, I used to swim bare-handed with closed fists. The gloves make it a lot easier to relax and focus on technique. They also make make my hands feel huge and uber-sensitive when I take them off. The first couple of times I used them at the beginning of my workouts, I was way more tired than usual during the main set, much quicker than usual. I think it was because some of the stroke adjustments made during the warmup rubbed off and lingered into the main workout. I must have been pushing more water, which made me get tired in a way I normally didn't.

I've used zoomers for years, but lately I've been leaving those at home in favor of the longer, stiffer fins they have at the pool. The zoomers don't stretch my ankles out enough, all they do is give me a harder leg workout. When I use the longer fins, I get a hard workout, go much faster, and feel loose and smooth when the fins come off.

I don't like the pull buoy, especially not for distances > 200, but we use it pretty frequently so I try to make the best of it. Sometimes the pull set falls within my warmup period, so I pull with the fistgloves on. That's kind of fun, in a sort of masochistic way... trying to keep up with the people using paddles.

On the rare occasions that I swim with paddles, I use yellow Tyr catalysts with the wrist straps removed. Sometime I take all the straps off, or just flip them over, and swim breaststroke. That's one of my favorite drills.

I like the tubing too. It's been awhile since we've used it, but I find that swimming a few hard sprints with the tubing is a great way to end a workout. It really helps work out the dead spots in my stroke.


At this point the only pool toys I'd still like to try are a monofin and a SwiMP3.
Oh, and I'm still looking for those mythical goggles that don't leak.

tomtopo
December 12th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Hi!
I'm the EVF guy. The techpaddle is an Early Vertical Training device that is a very technical tool and must be used differently than hand-paddles First; They should only be used for a 50 yard swim after your warm-up, again after your main set and before you leave. The speed in which you use the techpaddle is another difference and must be done in ultra-slow speeds that allow swimmers to analyze and develop muscle memory (swimming with them using a snorkel is an awesome idea). It's important to note that positive propulsive change cannot occur unless 3 weeks of effective propulsive changes are made. That means, if you don't concentrate on improving your EVF and do it correctly, it's difficult to see significant and positive changes. I sign out with a website that can give you more information. Thanks for the question. Coach T.

knelson
December 12th, 2007, 06:34 PM
I tried something last night I hadn't done before: swimming with both paddles and fins. Yeah, obviously you can go fast, but it's also pretty tiring. I found I could only hold about the same pace as I can when using paddles and a buoy. The feel is totally different, though.

pwolf66
December 13th, 2007, 08:56 AM
I used my swim snorkel for the first time this morning. Lemme say this: OUCH!!!!

Now let me clarify, by ouch I mean not having to worry about lifting my head to breath really let me concentrate on maintaining good body position and just concentrate on kicking. I'm hooked. Just kicking 100 in warmup really thrashed my legs because I wasn't resting on a board, rotated on my side or occasionally pulling with one arm to breathe. So no more kickboards and no more fins (except the MF I'm getting for Christmas) on kick sets. Just me and my snorkel. And all the weird looks I got from my team mates. :thhbbb:

Paul

The Fortress
December 13th, 2007, 09:01 AM
I used my swim snorkle for the first time this morning. Lemme say this: OUCH!!!!

Now let me clarify, by ouch I mean not having to worry about lifting my head to breath really let me concentrate on maintaining good body position and just concentrate on kicking. I'm hooked. Just kicking 100 in warmup really thrashed my legs because I wasn't resting on a board, rotated on my side or occasionally pulling with one arm to breathe. So no more kickboards and no more fins (except the MF I'm getting for Christmas) on kick sets. Just me and my snorkle. And all the weird looks I got from my team mates. :thhbbb:

Paul

Why not use your fins sometimes when kicking? Fins act with more resistance and leverage on the legs and help build strength and flexibility. They also get your heart rate up and you can do some good race pace work with them. That said, I try to kick without fins too.

I think I should dust off my snorkle that's been sitting in the close for my scheduled January kick-a-thon. I just need to learn to flip with it ...

knelson
December 13th, 2007, 10:36 AM
I've tried using a snorkel (correct spelling, by the way) a few times, but I find it annoying how much it flops around during a turn. I'm sure it's something to do with my turn technique being bad, but I can't seem to get the thing to stay straight.

blainesapprentice
December 13th, 2007, 11:20 AM
I've tried using a snorkel (correct spelling, by the way) a few times, but I find it annoying how much it flops around during a turn. I'm sure it's something to do with my turn technique being bad, but I can't seem to get the thing to stay straight.

It is your turn technique. I use to have that problem as well and would get so frustrated with it that I wrote to Finis to find out why they had this horrible flaw in their product...and they wrote back..."it's a personal flaw your experiencing" haha. I just worked a lot on coming off my walls on my side rather than over rotating on my turns and pushing off on or near flat...and that fixed my snorkel woes.

pwolf66
December 13th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Why not use your fins sometimes when kicking? Fins act with more resistance and leverage on the legs and help build strength and flexibility. They also get your heart rate up and you can do some good race pace work with them. That said, I try to kick without fins too.

I think I should dust off my snorkle that's been sitting in the close for my scheduled January kick-a-thon. I just need to learn to flip with it ...

I will still use fins but only during sprint sets for the speed feel. But for now, on kick drills I will go finless until I can make myself use proper kicking technique. I just felt that I was not using proper technique with fins. Not kicking fins to the curb, just using them more sparingly.

Paul

thewookiee
December 13th, 2007, 12:38 PM
I've tried using a snorkel (correct spelling, by the way) a few times, but I find it annoying how much it flops around during a turn. I'm sure it's something to do with my turn technique being bad, but I can't seem to get the thing to stay straight.

I had the same problem. What fixed it for me, was to have a tighter(more than I was doing) streamline...where I stretch for the wall that I am about to swim toward. This kinda pinched the snorkel in place, made me focus on keeping my head still and improved my streamlining.

When I forget to do this, it whips around...providing a quick reminder to STREAMLINE

Donna
December 13th, 2007, 02:35 PM
I love my toys and now I have learned the proper uses and what to work on with each toy I use.

Fly with a flat paddle really corrected my stroke. Paddles in general are good for reenforcing proper technique on all strokes for me.

Using a Kickboard in the place of a bouy is new to me but is great for rotational emphasis and also to build core strenth. Just watch out for FLYING KICKBOARDS! Especially on turns. It is also great for kick sets (my biggest weakness).

Fins are great for speed work and also focusing on proper fly technique over longer distances.

The bouy my coach allows me when I grow tired, just as a consession if I put in a good days work or during taper time/recovery days.

jmeyer
December 14th, 2007, 01:09 AM
Someone mentioned the Finis Fulcrum. I tried this out recently, and think I'll get some for myself. Your mileage may vary. I could never tell if I was holding my hands at the proper angle. Now I know.

You might also consider the Bolster paddle. It's similar.

I have a pair of TechPaddles, but I've only used them once. Give me a few more weeks and then I'll be able to share my thoughts.