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Thread: Paddles, gloves etc..

  1. #1
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    Paddles, gloves etc..

    There are so many new products on the market, oddly shaped paddles, gloves - I even saw this contraption where you connect a tube from your waste to your ankles so that kicking is more difficult.

    I do not think that this equipment is effective - particularily paddles - unless you are a very high lever swimmer and you only use it spottingly. Unfortunately ussage tends to be most common with LOW level swimmers and these swimmers use the equipment far too much durring each workout.

    My advice to those returning to the pool is to avoid all of this stuff - it will only lead to injuries.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member jerrycat's Avatar
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    When I first came back...the fins really helped me get through a workout. Now, there isn't a need to rely on them to complete mileage. But, I don't understand what paddels are supposed to do--there are so many opinions out there.

    The other day I saw an ironman athlete swimming with tennis balls in each hand. That was interesting, but I wonder what the purpose is for them.

    And for fins--there are long ones and short ones...what's the difference between them?

    Anyway, I can ask questions forever...so I'll quit while I'm ahead.

    Jerrycat

  3. #3
    Active Member swimrat's Avatar
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    I've actually heard of the tennis ball thing. Though when I was in high school, we called it a "fist drill". Instead of holding tennis balls we would just make balls with our fists. I dont think that drill could ever hurt you. Whenever we did it, it was to put emphasis on how your pull affected you in the water. With your fist it moves so quickly through the water and you dont really get anywhere with it. But when you put your hand in the proper position and pulled, you could feel a big difference. It was to also get the arm in the proper "S" pulling.

    As for the hand paddles/gloves. I've used both. I think the gloves are just more a hassle than anything. Mine are always coming unzipped and they feel funny (uncomfortable). I would go for the hand paddles given the choice. They make for a good shoulder building workout, but yes without the proper training and extent of training, using them for the first time for a long time will more than likely end up injuring yourself.

    Not all things are bad to use. I would totally recommend using paddles, bouy's and fins (short or long). Though only when you feel you've had the proper training/practice before you use them. Good Luck

    Kelli,

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Shaky's Avatar
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    It's sometimes fun to watch a new swimmer come to my pool with a big ol' bag of toys. He spreads them out all over the pool deck and puffs up his chest to try to look serious, all the while glancing around to see if anyone has noticed how big time he is.

    He puts on his snorkel, straps on his paddles and steps into his fins. With the edge of the paddle getting in the way, he struggles to start his brand new waterproof chronograph. Then he shoves off the pool edge against a self-created wall of water and splashes violently down the lane, capsizing the little old lady doing a weak version of backstroke in the next lane. Refusing to give up after 25 meters, he shoves off again, this time considerably weaker. By the time he struggles back to where he started, his arm motion has degenerated into just dragging his paddle through the water under his elbow.

    He stops at the end and breathes heavily, managing to stop his watch after several seconds of fiddling his fingers around the paddle, then glances around to see if anyone has noticed his herculean effort. After about seven minutes' rest, he takes the paddles and snorkel off and grabs his computer designed hydrodynamic wedge shaped kick board. Once again he splashes off down the lane kicking up a fountain, most of which lands on his own back and head.

    The little old lady sees him coming this time and just decides to drown herself to get it over with. The lifeguard is staring at his toenails and doesn't notice.

    After 50 meters with the kick board and fins and another seven minutes rest, it's time to cool down. He floats down the lane on his back imitating backstroke, all the while getting his distance by pulling with his left hand on the lane rope. He ducks under the lane ropes to reach the ladder, disrupting swimmers in the other lanes in the process, gathers all his toys into a bag, and heads for the shower.

    Back at the office, he boasts to the cute new receptionist that he swims a full thirty minutes every day to stay in shape.


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    This is exactly what I am saying Shaky. Paddles etc can be useful, but only to a very experienced swimmer. And the line of "experienced" is alot higher than what most people think or are willing to admit.

    My opinion: if you can't do 10x200m on 2:45 then you DONT need to use paddles.

  6. #6
    Active Member Susan's Avatar
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    I use paddles once every couple of months for short distances because I think it helps me get the feel of the water. Any variation in hand angle is immediately noticeable. I wouldn't use them in a regular workout but I think they have some value when used sparingly.

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    Very Active Member valhallan's Avatar
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    Lefty,

    The water toys are good fun, but should be used sparingly. I think that more often than not, paddles will lead to shoulder problems if there's a quirk in the stroke. All it takes is the slightest repetition of a funny stroke move, and before you know it, there's trouble with the rotator cuff.

    Fins are great for stretching out the ankles, and in developing some power to one's kick. (I happen to like coming in on less than a minute for the hundred yard repeats. Now if they'ld only allow them in races?)

    And on that note...if you can't use all this stuff during a meet, then why get comfortable using it day in and out in practice. I've personally sworn off pull bouys because of the crutch aspect. And although I see some folks swimming with fins, it's gotta be a big reality check when they try to go without them. We're all are born with our own paddles and fins, it's up to us on how to work with them best. But you're not going hear that from a multi-million dollar industry doing all they can to get people to buy their products.

  8. #8
    Participating Member Sluggo's Avatar
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    Hi guys

    I must be the odd man out here as I always use short bladed fins for all my kick sets and drill sets. At the age of 72 I've completely lost any useable propulsive value from my kick and I like to concentrate on 100% correctness in my drills so fins are necessary.

    I love to do an easy pull set as a warm down with buoy and paddles and an ankle band. Its great for finishing with technique and style. Usually about 4 or 500 metres.

    The volume of use without "toys" depends on whether I'm drilling or conditioning.

    I suppose it's about time I became involved instead of just reading.

    Seeya

    Sluggo

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    I believe the addage "anything in moderation won't hurt you".

    "Pool toys" can have many beneficial aspects, not the least is providing variety. 10 or more years at 10 000 metres per week can become a drone for anyone...fins and paddle are great for variety, feeling speed, magnifying different stroke/kick parts, etc. etc. But again, with pool toys, less is more.

    Shaky's post was a chuckle. Worst is the twit with paddles and a wide arm recovery: he/she is the modern day aqua-guillotine! This type usually hogs the middle of the lane, too.

    Maybe that's a thread - pet peeves in the pool.

  10. #10
    Active Member Nancy Graham's Avatar
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    Like someone else who posted, I found fins to be very helpful when I returned to swimming after a long time away. Now I use them rarely, and at the end of my workout to try to strengthen a very weak kick.

    Though I don't want to add a bunch of toys, I have wondered about fist gloves? One of the posts here makes it sound like you can get the same benefit from holding tennis balls in your hands? Perhaps I will try that.

    a thread on pet peeves would most likely bring a large string of responses!!

    Nancy

  11. #11
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    Shaky you are hilarious!!!

    I have seen these swimmers many times and they usually last about a week never to be seen again.

    I now know why I struggle in the pool. My googles were obtained in the lost and found box last year. Yes the life gaurds were taking the box to the trash so I recycled them. Fins, I do not own any of them. Kick board, I use what ever board a kid left at the pool after practice. An added bonus is the parents have learned I always put the lost kick board in a certain location so that they can claim it the next day. Pullboy, same as kick board. I have a never ending supply of goggles, kick boards. and pull boys. Swim bag, my childs left over bag she did not want. Swim suit, I have a brand new one. Practice sets are provided by this web site.

    Thanks for the humor you made my day.

    Have a great day


    Paul

  12. #12
    Very Active Member Shaky's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SearayPaul
    Kick board, I use what ever board a kid left at the pool after practice... Pullboy, same as kick board.
    I am fortunate, I guess, that my pool provides both kick boards and pull bouys. The kick boards are those dense hard foam kind that are shaped like gravestones and always have fingernail indentations in the end of them. The bouys are also made of foam and have teeth marks in them from where the kids have played with them. Maybe those things look like food, but I don't see it myself. I noticed one of the kickboards has a dental impression also; that kid must have had a pretty strong bite.

    The pool also has a variety of colorful noodles and foam water "weights," those dumbell-shaped floating foam devices used by the old ladies in the water aerobics class. I mention them because I have seen some of those new lap swimmers trying to use them in a variety of ways during their workouts. It looks rather strange to see some guy thrashing violently about with a big purple tail or with foam dumbells in his hands.

    Add a snorkel and mask to that purple tail and for a moment you'd think you just saw a water monster.


  13. #13
    Participating Member ggawboy's Avatar
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    Shaky>The pool also has a variety of colorful noodles.
    Shaky> I mention them because I have seen some of
    Shaky>those new lap swimmers trying to use them in a
    Shaky> variety of ways during their workouts. It looks
    Shaky> rather strange to see some guy thrashing
    Shaky> violently about with a big purple tail ...

    When our coach has had a bad day at work, he makes us kick with a couple of those noodles under our arm pits. The justification for this form of torture is that it helps us keep our hips up while kicking. Another drill he has us do is to do a breast stroke pull while flutter kicking with the noodle under our arm pits. This is sort of like the lane line pull drill except you can also work on keeping your hips up at the same time. This is actually a good drill. So the noodles are not worthless for swimmers.

    I wonder if any swim coach has found a use for those dumb bells? When I am on the road, they are guaranteed to be there, unlike kick boards, pull buoys or those noodles.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Not what Masters is about

    I have read Shaky's two posts ridiculing other swimmers with disgust. It is easy to recognize the new swimmer (especially around January 1). And, usually by this time of year, the regular crowd is all that is left and the newbies have long dropped out.

    However, the fact that someone is making an effort to improve their physical conditioning should be applauded, not ridiculed. Maybe a word of encouragement or invitation to participate with other Masters would help that person stay in the pool.

    I have found that if you truly want to see an impressive collection of pool toys, go to a Masters workout.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member eliana2003's Avatar
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    Re: Not what Masters is about

    Originally posted by aquageek
    I have read Shaky's two posts ridiculing other swimmers with disgust. It is easy to recognize the new swimmer (especially around January 1). And, usually by this time of year, the regular crowd is all that is left and the newbies have long dropped out.

    However, the fact that someone is making an effort to improve their physical conditioning should be applauded, not ridiculed. Maybe a word of encouragement or invitation to participate with other Masters would help that person stay in the pool.

    I have found that if you truly want to see an impressive collection of pool toys, go to a Masters workout.
    Hi ya, maybe I shouldn't jump in here- but I will
    whilst i understand your concern regarding the apparent sarcasm in Shaky's post (it's not nice to make fun of ANYONE )- i interpreted it more to be a comment on the overreliance of training aids in the absence of actual hard work in order to look good- i must admit that i never even knew that many of these training aids existed until i came to the States; however, i do use many of them now (under the guidance of a Masters coach) and, when used in moderation, can be very useful.

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    Very Active Member Gareth Eckley's Avatar
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    Cool

    Just my 2c for what it is worth. The 1 pool toy that I never use is the Kickboard, which I feel is a total waste of time, does more harm than good.

    I use zoomer fins to help increase my ankle flexibility, to work on legs driving core body rotation and to build up core body strength. Sets of fly kicking on front, back and sides for ab strength. I also use them for sprint sets mainly to help me to increase my turnover and to become more relaxed when swimming at speed.

    The pull bouy I use very occasionally to test the degree of lateral deviation in my freestyle. Swim a length over the lane line, eyes closed with a pull bouy. If you have lateral deviation then your body will drift off the centre line.

    I find fistgloves useful, although recently I am using more fist swimming and opening to full hand in mid stroke as I am working on feeling the flow of water. I have been reading " Breakthrough Swimming " by Cecil Colwin and he has a fascinating chapter on flow control.

    I have been trying Finger paddles for a few months, an unexpected benefit I have found is in feedback for Coaching. I get my swimmers to use them while I watch from the pool deck, the paddles allow me to see exactly where their hands move during the stroke. This can be hard to make out when swimming with just hands. I am also teaching early Sculling practices to them using paddles and a pull bouy before they progress to hands only.

    I use the pool toys for very specific purposes, often to test my stroke and it seems to work OK. I also use the speedo stroke monitor watch on every swim and if anyone from speedo is reading this, I would love a new one!

    Another benefit is if you want to clear people out of your lane then swim fly with paddles! OK I have never done that but sometimes I am tempted!
    Last edited by Gareth Eckley; July 8th, 2003 at 08:07 AM.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member Shaky's Avatar
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    Re: Not what Masters is about

    Originally posted by aquageek
    However, the fact that someone is making an effort to improve their physical conditioning should be applauded, not ridiculed. Maybe a word of encouragement or invitation to participate with other Masters would help that person stay in the pool.
    Perhaps I should take them by the hand and lead them in a poolside rendition of Kum Ba Yah.

    I didn't ridicule people who are making an effort to improve their physical condition. I ridiculed posers who have no idea how to use the toys, or what they're for, who buy them because they think that the equipment makes the sport. I ridiculed those people who think that because they buy the toys, they are now "swimmers" and should tie up the fast and very fast lanes with their thrashing instead of moving over to the slow lane.

    I didn't ridicule anyone who is actually "making an effort." I ridiculed people who are actually making a minimal effort to improve conditioning, but making a huge effort to look the part.

    And I don't want to encourage them at all. My pool is too crowded to put up with them trying to swim in the fast lane when they can't keep up. There's a reason our lanes are divided into slow, medium, fast and very fast, and that is to designate a place for them to swim where they won't interfere with the people who really are making an effort (and who, by the way, usually know how to use whatever toys they bring).

    Some of us are in this for our own conditioning. I didn't join the campfire girls.

  18. #18
    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Must be nice to be you...

    One person's minimal effort is another's maximum effort and it's not for you to judge. YMCA pools are not just for Masters swimmers. You do, of course, realize the Y mission is "to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build health spirit, mind and body for all." I suggest you keep this in mind as you look down on those you don't feel are worthy of swimming with you. I've seen swimmers like you from time to time chasing down slower swimmers and doing all you can to intimidate less capable participants. It's boorish behavior.

    The "thems" and "theys" you refer to are fellow Y members and have just as much right to swim with you as a fast swimmer. You can't complain about swimming at a Y, you get all abilities there. I suggest you join a swim club that caters to elite swimmers like yourself so you can avoid the riff-raff you obviously have to suffer with daily.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member Shaky's Avatar
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    Kum ba yah, my lord, Kum ba yah...

  20. #20
    Participating Member JJJ's Avatar
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    Paddles

    In response to the original question, I have found paddles to be a useful tool. I coach an USS age group team. I have my swimmers use paddles a couple of times a week. The main reason I have my swimmers use paddles is because if you use a paddle, which does not have the wrist strap, and you swim freestyle with it and the paddle moves a lot, this is a pretty good indication that you are doing something wrong on your catch or pull. I have my swimmers fiddle around with their catch and pull as they try and not make the paddle move. If the swimmer is pulling "correctly" then the paddle should not move. Also, I have really bad knees and I use paddles to help me swim and take the pressure off of my knees.

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